LONDON, United Kingdom — Xiao Li’s aspirations delve somewhat deeper into fashion’s conceptual gene pool, with her voluminous knitwear studies that create moments of plush texture and organic lines that cocoon the body. She employs feminine devices like the ruffle and the flounce, too. However, Li’s arrive so monumentally oversized that the context changes: instead, they become a giant scarf lapel on a sky blue, raw-edged jacket or fall down the front of a coat like petals of maroon velvet.
This season, Dalì’s surrealism informed the exaggerated wrapped and drooping forms of her shaggy chenille sweaters, asymmetric sleeves and trails of giant curly lace, yet posed questions about the viability of her clownish proportions in today’s marketplace. There are definite shadings of the Japanese designers to be found in these experimental shapes, yet in Li’s favour her colour sensibility reads as both fresh and unusual, spanning shades of palest peach and periwinkle blue to rusty pinks and moody navy.