By Roisin Breen

On Friday, September 9th, Bad Binch TONGTONG showcased their inaugural Spring/Summer 2023 collection at The Pfizer Building, 630 Flushing Avenue with a choreographed dance presentation in collaboration with Stefanie Nelson, artistic director of Stefanie Nelson Dance Group.

Bad Binch TONGTONG’s inaugural presentation was an expedition within the designer himself. To Terrence Zhou, the label’s founder and designer, silhouettes are merely a physical transformation of his most present emotions. As shapes connect, push, repel, and transcend, they communicate the experiences that have led him to this moment.

To be seen as a spiritually autobiographical performance, Zhou interrogates the projection of his own life. He got his start academically in mathematics and engineering, before pursuing fashion design – still mesmerized by laws and logic, he conversely looks to break these rules by his own process of understanding reality in design. As the work progresses and comes to life, it can be seen as a process without a set outcome at the outset – much like his life, the way to achieve the final “structure” is organic, uncontrollable, sometimes even random. 

The collaboration with Stefanie Nelson, artistic director of the eponymous dance group, brought this theoretical narrative to life. Performers were adorned with fantastical forms such as spiders, octopi, centipedes, and siren tails, as they progressed through choreography that amplified the audacity of Zhou’s design.

Through Zhou and Nelson’s found synergy, both in design and in presentation, two practices intertwine to pose enticing questions: can clothing defy gravity? What does fashion mean in relation to the body? Will fashion supersede our physical notions of clothing altogether? The duo feels comfortable challenging the norm: Zhou has no reservations to break rules surrounding shape and wearability, while Nelson’s direction and historical inclusion of differently abled bodies pushes the universality of beauty in more ways than one.

From the start, drawing inspiration from day-to-day life, Zhou has explored the meanings and implications of reality through his work in unexpected ways, and the collection intends to control the viewer by offering a remastering of his experience, retold through a lens of spirituality, absurdity, and farce.

In tandem with his physical garments, Zhou also presented a digital fashion offering at Richard Taittinger Gallery on September 9th titled BAD BINCH CIDERLAND, a purely virtual fashion presentation – further pushing the meaning of wearable fashion. In collaboration with fashion label Cider, Zhou continues to be driven by his interdisciplinary obsession with fashion and innovation. 

Discover all the looks below.


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