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A Story Lost in Time

 

Autumn Winter 2022

 

For the Autumn-Winter 2022 collection Renli Su drew inspiration from the lost story of Adelaide Herrmann, “The Queen of Magic”. Adelaide was a professional dancer who married famous magician Alexander Herrmann. She started as his assistant, but when he tragically died, she took his place on stage and quickly rose to fame during the early 1900s. Known for her bold theatrical acts, at the time she was as famous as Houdini.

 

Intrigued by Adelaide Herrmann’s theatrical world, this season we explore deeper into the acts and characters she created. One of Hermann’s first acts to be completed as a solo artist was called ‘The bullet catch’, at the time, very few magicians were able to execute this act as it involved being shot at with live ammunition. Adelaide’s revolutionary spirit resonates with Renli, adding a theatrical twist to the signature androgynous suiting, in washed wools and antique floral jacquard.

 

Adelaide’s favourite illusion, “The Phantom Bride”, which perhaps meaningfully to Adelaide, had themes of love, loss, and marriage. Through hypnotism, she gave the illusion of a floating bride which suddenly vanishes into thin air. With Adelaide’s storytelling central to this season’s aesthetic, our bridal dresses hold floaty sheer exaggerated puffball silhouettes, with delicate hand beading that only Adelaide would approve, for any bride-to-be.

Perhaps her greatest act of all was “Noah’s Ark”, in which prowled a parade of dogs, in costumes of birds, leopards, lions, and tigers. Reminiscent of Herrmann’s playful sense of humour, bunny hats and faux fur-trimmed wool jackets grace the stage this season, between powder apricots and pale pink silks. In 1926, in a horrendous fire everything from Adelaide Herrmann’s magic show burned to the ground. Even after rebuilding her career as a magician after the fire, there were sadly very few valuables left of hers to preserve her memory, and as time passed, the story of Adelaide Herrmann was lost in time.

 

Let this season’s Autumn Winter collection be an ode to Adelaide Herrmann.

 

The Queen of Magic.

 

 

Photographer : Benjamin Werner

Art Direction: Nina Scott-Smith

Casting: Aymeric Pichegrain

Styling: Takenaka Kazuhiro

Hair: Hiroki Kojima