Mixing traditional Chinese craftsmanship with Western influences, XU ZHI's AW19 collection entitled “Fading Memories of Collective Identities” showcased during Shanghai Fashion Week was a celebration of abstract beauty, modern femininity, soft romance and new layering. We caught up with XU ZHI founder and Central Saint Martins’ graduate Xuzhi Chen to find out more.
Describe the XU ZHI AW19 collection in three words?
Romantic, sophisticated, textured.
What was your main inspiration / mood board references for both men and womenswear?
This season is that London rainy scene that inspired the collection. Men and women on the street. Wearing recognisable print – like tartans and stripes. But all the textured are distorted as if the rain distorted them.
How does your cultural heritage feed into your designs?
I think there’s a lot of emphasis of subtlety and balance in Chinese culture. I think that core influences me with design a lot. Something is rich but not loud, a balance between raw and refined.
How would you describe the fashion mood in Shanghai right now? Why is it so exciting to show there specifically compared to other places?
The most exciting thing about Shanghai Fashion week to me is the community of young designers. We all share similar educational backgrounds and uprising. And in one of the biggest luxury markets we as a community are showcasing our development as creatives, season after season. This sense of growing as a community that I deeply relate to keeps me going.
What would you like to see more of in fashion?
I love the brand Art school. I think what they are doing is so important. It might be easier in the west but I think the east needs more of influences culturally to lead the society in to a more equal place. I think there are non-binary customers who love clothing, but in different style. I hope there are more brands about that.
What is one of the biggest challenges facing young brands today?
To future of fashion in one word?
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5 April 2019