Social media often rewards the loudest and most outre with near-instant fame and hype. That doesn’t seem to bother Chinese designer Renli Su who has been steadily weaving her vision of tender Victorian sprites since she started her label in 2014, after graduating with an MA in Fashion Design and Technology Womenswear from the London College of Fashion.
Su hails from China’s Fujian province but was besotted with the wardrobe of the particular period in British history growing up, and that fascination is imbued in every collection. Her customer is invariably attired in a delicate confection – usually in shades of cream, periwinkle blue or daffodil; the fabrics soft and crinkled just so, calling to mind antique christening gowns.
Renli Su, founder of the eponymous womenswear brand
It’s also the kind of clothing that rewards those who take the time to appreciate its diffident strokes: detachable lace linings, fabric-covered buttons, hand-painted prints and custom fabrics such as cotton jacquard. Her trademark roomy pieces achieve their silhouette through an ancient Chinese form of pattern cutting – fabrics are cut directly on a table instead of against a mannequin.
Their child-like allure has since drawn in many, including Dover Street Market Singapore that started stocking the brand last year.
To the casual observer, Su’s works might appear unchanging, but there’s a quiet poetry in her approach of taking time to evolve slowly and in tactility over the years.
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