Mass consumerism is a problem for fashion designers. Designers are pressured into creating more than two collections a year that have lasting impressions on consumers. Fall and spring, resort and pre-fall. That is what is expected from designers. Mary Katrantzou, Jonathan Saunders and Christopher Kane are growing London labels that are able to cater to the demands. Their businesses are doing extremely well but they are noticeable names. Lesser known designers are finding it harder to breakthrough like their predecessors. What better way to target mass consumerism, and solve the problems associated with it, than to poke fun at it. That’s what Chinese-born designer Xiao Li did for her Fall 2015 collection.
Fashion Scout is the parallel schedule to the official BFC schedule during London Fashion Week. Held at the Freemasons Hall, the selection hosts a number of developing designers with interesting ideas. Li is one of them. Making fun of mass consumerism with well-designed (primarily) knitwear collection is a very good idea.Honoured in 2014 with the Merit Award from Fashion Scout, Li has gone on to present three fabulous collections since. This season, however, is her strongest. “Stay healthy, avoid fashion” the slogan read on a handful of outfits. Also poking fun at perfumes, Li had “Can science make a better perfume?” emblazoned on a faux-Xiao-Li perfume bottle skirt. Genetically modified organisms were also a laughing matter of the collection. A fork entering a tomato labeled “GMO! OMG!” adorned the bodice of one knit.
When consumers ask for a new it jacket, Li does that. Her purple poncho had a white drawing of all the components of a jacket. Genius. Another look that stood out was a 3-D knitted poncho with jacket motifs in pale grey and tangerine. A longer poncho had a sleeveless coat. I predict Susie Lau will wear one of these amazing numbers next season.
Designers tackling important issues in their own way with interest-piquing-ideas is powerful. This collection was commercially friendly and it did something that a lot of collections fail to do. It made me smile and I believe that is a good sign.
Photo Credit: fashion-scout.com