Xiao Li spring/summer 2018 collection presentation for LFWLondon Fashion Week SS18
Xiao Li’s SS18 presentation defiantly entitled I am not a Robot reverberates through the collection, expelling frustration at the mounting pressure of fast fashion.
A bright and airy room was the setting, with a simple white wooden structure as the centrepiece in the style of a weaving loom, with the letters R,B,T and a cartoon drawing of a cog repeated recurrently across the threaded screen. A simple prop effectively conveys the equally stark message of an increasingly demanding industry on designers.
Showcasing a bold and whimsical colour palette of pink, blue, red and white, feminine silhouettes are paired with mesh and organza revealing the female form beneath. Exaggerated bows and ribbons on both clothing and footwear alter the gaze, distorting the fluidity of the female body’s natural form. The transparent materials echo the message of invisibility and uniformity of a robot, rejecting individuality and reducing to a body instead of a personality. Waistlines are accentuated with precise tailoring, and further magnified with puff sleeves and A-line skirts.
The standout piece was a spaghetti strap cherry-red organza dress presenting a large central ruffle detail fastened with a matching bow. The mesh fabric adds another dimension to an ultra-feminine cut. This was paired with chunky platform slider sandals in a matching red hue, adding an androgynous element to an otherwise graceful look.
Xiao Li’s poignant collection demonstrates that maybe we are robots after all.
Photos: Erol Birsen