The Swiss Church, or Église Suisse as I like to call it, is a place of worship in London “where people can explore their faith and spirituality regardless of how little or much faith you have when you join [it].” Renli Su took over the venue for her Spring 2016 collection during London Fashion Week in September. I arrived towards the end of the presentation but still managed to see the majority of the collection. Inspired by the brilliant work of Mark Rothko and the women in the Victorian era, Su juxtaposed the two to create a sophisticated and airy collection for Spring.
The moodiness of Rothko’s paintings “seek the mystery in human emotion beyond awareness and sensory experience.” Su used this to create clothing that will present the wearer’s social and personal identities. The body is the canvas, the clothes the paint. Also representing a historical context, the “charm, sophistication and elegance” of Victorian era clothing was modernised. The grandiose Victorian era clothing, as well as being modernised, were distilled here, and given a serene touch. It was a pleasant touch. The allusive interpretation was welcome in a season where Victorian-inspired dressing is explicitly conveyed.
The stripe, a trend seen at Prada, Miu Miu, and Dolce & Gabbana, was also present in Su’s collection. A vertical stripe blazer is a chic daywear item. The rust coloured button-up jacket, baring Asian influence, is a day-to-night staple. The floaty dresses and cardigans would be perfect for a summer vacationing in the sweltering heat. The short and top combination is also beautiful.
The effort poured into the collection is estimable. From Georgina Low’s intriguing set-design to the footwear collaboration with Dear Frances, the collection was a carefully put-together display. It may have been an intimate off-off-schedule outing but it was memorable.
All photos are my own