Zheng’s collection takes the form of activism in fashion. The hardware in the garments removes all functionality from the outfits. The sleeves of jackets are nailed into the armhole with a metal frame, and spiked gears and wheels are attached at the back of the shoulders. He rebels against the idea of efficiency, so what may be perceived as workwear, does not serve the purpose. Pastel tones of powder blue, pink, and green are used on outerwear pieces. A lime green sleeveless trench coat has a belt with fastenings that have jagged teeth. A pink silk shirt and pant duo is layered with a belted utility-apron-style skirt. “Silk is a relatively fragile and expensive fabric which is not often used in workwear. It shows that even if we are equipped well, it is useless,” Zheng explains. The assembly of the clothing is displayed in the form of an instruction manual, drawing a parallel to machinery.
“As part of my project, I also created a schedule where I work eight hours a day twice a week to demonstrate that we should not be exploited”
The designer also created accessories carved out of plywood to accompany the clothes. A briefcase he calls the one-coin bag and a tote with a USB port that has handles with metal spikes gave the finishing touches. Although Zheng uses his collection to send across his message, he also focuses on the practical aspect of producing clothes. “As part of my project, I also created a schedule where I work eight hours a day twice a week to demonstrate that we should not be exploited,” he says. “The industry needs a healthy work system,” adds Zheng.