Thursday, October 21, 2021

Lili Zhao

DESIGNER TO WATCH

Lil Zhao, who is London based graduated this past June 2019 with her MFA in Womenswear from The Royal College of Art. Her work is based on the tension of the material, structure, and the form of the body. Some of her designs bordered on the conceptual, as in a white mesh bodysuit with scrunched and ruffled extensions that made the model look like an unraveled loofah sponge.

MFA Graduate Collection
Lili Zhao's Graduate Collection is entitled "Disobedience" which was inspired by Henry David Thoreau's article "Civil Disobedience" advocating the Liberty and Justice, which brought me a sense of living and inspired me to explore freedom and self-awareness in a homogeneous society. So the concept 'Disobedience' relates both on the body tension and materiality.

Parametric design is the main focus of this collection, which involves one typical architecture structure called minimal surface. Lili chose pleats for its geometric and kinetic characteristics, which allows her to make garments based on an algorithm by counting grids and calculate the pattern.

Each material is different, just like every human being is unique. When she did material experiments, she found most materials reacted intensively to the outside force, and the core energy was activated. She chose one material, one color, and one pattern to create the collection. And she created her methodology based on experiments and the original pattern cutting technique half-cut. The half-cut technique can change the material's dimension from 2D to 3D automatically to shape any form without relying on the traditional garment pattern or sewing. Some pieces in her collection are even cut in one piece of fabric each with one sewing line, and all the units connect themselves intelligently and construct a new form. Both material and the designer evolved into an original shape in a way and shared a new life journey by mutual exploration and communication.

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