Distinguished China-born, London-based designer Xiao Li is no stranger to success despite her short career span. Her achievements include the Fashion Scout Merit Award for F/W 2014 and the Diesel International Talent Support (ITS) Award. Most recently, she was also named a finalist for the H&M Design Award. Her European success has yet to translate in her home country, but her latest collection could be the catalyst to start the journey for global recognition.
A graduate from the Royal College of Art, Li presented her first individual London Fashion Week catwalk show during on February 15 at the Freemasons’ Hall. Jing Daily went backstage to talk to the designer Fashion Scout is calling “a truly exhilarating new innovator of design” about her inspirations for this season’s collection.
A close-up of one of the looks on the runway at Xiao Li's F/W 2014 London Fashion Week runway show. (Alexa Beatriz)
Unlike other Chinese designers showing at London Fashion Week, her heritage is not at the forefront of her label’s identity; instead, it's her unique craftsmanship. Li has the proven ability to manipulate textures, including molded knits and unyielding silicon to create voluminous sport lux wear, which was apparent throughout the F/W 2014 collection, which Li tells Jing Daily was inspired by “Iceland and its scenery.” The color palette for the F/W 2014 collection consisted of translucent whites with haunting echoes of blues to encapsulate the aesthetic of Icelandic backdrops.
Backstage after the show, Li was the essence of calm with gentle confidence after presenting her first standalone show in front of members of the fashion council and bloggers like Susie Bubble—a milestone in her career. Perhaps her mentor Creative Director at Diesel, Nicola Formechetti, has passed on professional advice that to Li, who has already accomplished a great deal for a 26-year-old.