Xuzhi Chen, the designer behind XU ZHI, returned to LFW for the seventh time this season to present his SS19 Collection at Two Temple Place. The neo-Gothic mansion was filled with garments inspired by famed American poet, Emily Dickinson. The sixteen looks of the collection showcase pairs of outfits, one in white and one more colourful, to represent the myth surrounding Dickinson – that she only wore white in mourning for her father. Similarly talented, Xuzhi Chen was selected in 2018 on the Business of Fashion’s (BoF) 500 list, a list of people currently named as defining current fashion.
Xuzhi Chen explained the inspiration he gained from Emily Dickinson’s artistry:
“Reading her poems, there is a sense of romance but also great strength”
And, the designer displays these qualities in his collection well. He flies in the face of convention, as the American poet did her whole life. The detail of the collection, seen in the embellishment of Swarovski crystals, embroidered flowers or bold earrings circling ears in various hoops and shapes, added to the sense of the romantic.
The models gaze with intensity yet stand nonchalantly whilst some perch on antique furniture, allowing the garments to take centre stage with romantically dim lighting and the serenading sounds of string instruments.
XU ZHI blew us away, but what did you think? Tell Backstage Tales in the comments below.
Text: Jess Saunders
Images: Emily Pringle