Taking inspiration for her new collection from her roots, RenLi Su’s thoughts returned to her small seaside hometown in China’s Fujian province and specifically to the sea; it’s changing shapes, patterns and colours. Now based in London, she seeks solace and inspiration in nature, finding it a useful bridge to overcome homesickness and cultural difference as a chinese designer in the West.
Photography: Alice Neale
Styling: Victoire Simonney
Set design: Amy Stickland
Hair: Yumi Noh
Make up: Asahi Sano
Model: Mar Gonzales at IMG models
As she explores her transplanted identity, she looks to 19th century oriental workwear and to the female silhouettes of the Victorian era to create a modern look, playing with the idea of badges as symbols of identification through her detailed embroidery.
This season’s patterns feature a creative combination of Eastern and Western stitches (like couching and cretan, satin and detached chain stitching) and were designed in the context of graceful geometric grids which presents visual stability; at the same time, organic details are added into the design to bring in some vivid dynamics.
Furthermore, these themes of cultural conflict and combination come through her materials with hybrid weaves, wool with linen, cotton with nylon and linen with cotton, and through her designs with fluid sculptural shapes, which much like the sea, simultaneously embody tension and tranquility.