Xu Zhi AW19 London Fashion Week

Movement characterised the AW19 presentation by designer Xu Zhi, which was inspired by the anonymous character of the Woman in Gold in the iconic Gustav Klimt painting. Instead of models the designer worked with dancers who crafted a performance around characters for the unusual London Fashion Week presentation at Bridgewell Hall.

As the dancers moved through their performance they were drawn towards a boxy installation in the centre of the space, eventually posing there as one group. The end result was a show that integrated the audience and one that was particularly memorable for the way each of the pieces was displayed on a body in motion, as opposed to via model poses.

The unusual use of the human body enabled alternate perspectives of the pieces the designer created for AW19. Distorted plaids, embroidery and jacquard were crafted into wearable designs intended to emphasise the anonymity of the wearer. Xu Zhi’s style is frequently textural and this collection followed suit with fabrics like denim and luxe faux fur providing tactile contrast and 3D details and epic fringing adding to the vibrancy of the looks.

The designer matched hats to coats, shirts to jackets, trousers to jackets – sometimes head to toe - creating another level of coordination that reinforced the anonymity theme. Although shades were muted there were bursts of fierce colour, including a hot pink, lengthily fringed dress that (of course) was accompanied by a matching hoop handled bag.

By Alex Pett. Images shot for us by Kerry Curl.