LFW AW16: Xiao Li

Last time Glass met designer Xiao Li was last February after her AW15 show at Fashion Scout. This time we met backstage at the BFC show space where it was busy and buzzing as this year marked Li’s first season on the official LFW schedule as a part of Mercedes-Benz exchange programme, which will see Li showcasing her collection during Beijing Fashion Week as well.


Feeling excited but nervous after the show, Li described the woman she was designing for AW16 as independent, “I think it’s important to be independent. So that she has her own life path and know what she’s doing,” Li says.


The theme of the collection and the designer’s inspiration was time. Li thought about the incredible speed of the fashion industry, which is currently becoming more of an issue and is being rethought, as well as the time that has gone by during her career. When asked how we could improve the speed of fashion and in general, the Chinese-born designer answered, “I thought about this a lot but I can’t really find any answers and I go crazy. Maybe one day if we had a machine to recycle time. Today we can recycle water or paper, we can reuse it. But we can’t recycle time.


The theme was translated quite literally into silicone handbags in the shape of a clock, also seen in the backdrop of the runway, or necklaces from the same material, used regularly by Li in her collections, inspired by Salvador Dalí’s surrealistic painting ‘The Persistence of Memory’ of melting clocks.


Dalí’s shapes were apparent in the clothes as well in round edges seemingly melting together. Some garments had an unfinished look as second sleeves were missing, as if there was no time to finish them.


A play with silhouettes and oversized shapes, favourite to the designer, were again present this season. A round maxi dress with a frilled hem was layered over wide trousers, voluminous culottes were paired with an oversized top with countless folds and fuzzy sparkly jumpers had extremely long bell sleeves.


Baby blue and pastel peach were the main colours used, also as the eyeliner, along with white, burgundy and navy. This season Li presented a range slightly more polished, perhaps reflecting her growing up. A peach suit with wide trousers was paired with white trainers and so were long evening dresses.


Signature knitwear wasn’t forgotten though. The highlight was a matching combo of trousers and sweater made out of white yarn so fine it looked like a light haze was covering the model’s body. A glittery fuzzy lurex was also used as oversized jumpers, beanies or big gloves resembling boxing ones. Also velvety knitwear was used in jumpers tying the models’ arms.

by Sara Hesikova

Photographer: Mitchell Sams

Images courtesy of Karla Otto


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