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VINCENT LI is a genderless sustainable fashion brand based in Australia and Hong Kong. Juxtaposing textures and materials within a balanced color palette, the garments often reflect East Asian aesthetics and philosophies.

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Orientalism. On the + side: style, artefacts, or traits considered characteristic of the peoples and cultures of Asia. On the – side: the representation of Asia, especially the Middle East, in a stereotyped way that is regarded as embodying a colonialist attitude. Temper doesn’t do politics and as our glass is always half-full, we’re going with +. 

The designer’s work is to combine different ethnic elements, and to contrast textures and materials. They often reflect East Asian aesthetics and philosophies.

Rather than traditionally focus on details and textiles for most menswear products in the market, the VINCENT LI brand focuses on continuously posing innovative ideas against conventional menswear silhouettes and shapes. It crafts silhouettes from rich textures and prints in a balanced color palette.

THE VINCENT LI “MIRRIGANG II” COLLECTION IS A COLLABORATION WITH NGARIGO QUEER VISUAL AND PERFORMANCE ARTIST PETER WAPLES-CROWE . IMAGE: VINCENT LI

Man of the Hour

This Shanghai-born designer was once a trained dancer during childhood and worked as an IT consultant prior to his decision to study fashion design. Vincent Li studied fashion in Melbourne and Hong Kong. In 2013, Vincent took his internship at J.W.ANDERSON when he returned to Australia to start his label, VINCENT LI, in 2014 — based in Melbourne.

Li’s passion for fashion intends to capture the heart of the wearer. It’s not the aesthetics, but the whole shebang; you put the clothes on and then embark on a journey into the intellectual artisanship which each of his garments aims to instill. The designer’s personality is infused into every piece he creates. Li considers every season an expressive new chapter for the label. It starts with developing the depths of an intellectual topic and transforming a theme into what some may see as wearable art.

VINCENT LI creations combine the soft aspects the Western eye detects in orientalism with the more masculine form of Western men’s clothing.

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Shades of Humanity

Li uses both the dark and light sides of the human condition, throwing in a zest of orientalism. He dislikes the literal, always seeking the intellectual viewpoint that translates into silhouettes that emphasize the theme of each collection. Vincent’s designs are a performance of shapes and colors that meld the conventional and unconventional into an understated artisanship through his signature prints he painstakingly develops.

Li is a designer of many complex facets, on one hand expressing the enthusiastic innocence and joy of a child, but at other times can show deep and sometimes convoluted cerebral machinations of the adult, all this is reflected in the different pieces in each collection. He revels in his oriental heritage, but loves to melt this with the traditions of Western clothing design.

VINCENT LI, “ROCK AND SKIN,” SS22. IMAGE: VINCENT LI

Breaking Into the Unknown

His SS22 collection, “Rock and Skin,” refers to the Chinese character 破 ( pò| to break). The work reflects the urge of breaking through current troubles and managing an unknown future. As the brand’s aesthetic is not defined by gender, it desires to create a new chapter with an open mind and a more inclusive view of our life.

The collection tries to answer some questions lingering inside its creator’s mind: Must we define Western styles or Eastern styles? What is our unique signature for the future? As an independent label, under the pandemic, how do we balance our brand identity with the changes in buying patterns? For example.

We do not define an article of clothing by gender and age but aim to resolve it to become a stronger unique signature that will be redefined. The designs not only care for our feelings, but also cater for its functions. They can adapt to more body shapes and be styled in various ways. “More importantly, we care for our environment, the community, and the next generation,” Li said of his MO.

VINCENT LI, “ROCK AND SKIN,” SS22. IMAGE: VINCENT LI

VINCENT LI, “ROCK AND SKIN,” SS22. IMAGE: VINCENT LI

“Rock and Skin” evokes its emotions through exclusively designed artwork prints. The color palette of the collection is in pastels, earthy and light tones. We illustrate and digitalize the artwork in a more tangible scale rather than the previous abstract feelings. The prints of the brand used to be dominant, but now it has become a highlight detail or complements the entire look. Through the eye of orientalism, more feminine aspects and Chinese styles are integrated in the design.

The collection juxtaposes the structure with collaging contrasting textiles, and colors. It still maintains the brand’s slight oversized look, but features a more defined A-line silhouette. Versatility and a hint of humor are the red thread connecting the pieces, i.e. the kilt-like belt, detachable lapels and sleeves, separate collar pieces, or a cropped sleeveless shirt for overlaying.

 

VINCENT LI AW 21 VOICE WITHOUT TRACE II from VINCENT LI on Vimeo.

For Your Entertainment

View Vimeo. “The voices are lingering around us from the distances in the dark. Real or Imaginary? They seem to question our actions, our morals, and our sins. No one seems to believe our answers. The voices control us. We feel panic. We feel anxious. We feel insecure. We feel vulnerable. Finally, it is reaching to our limits. Will you fall off the cliff and be crashed into dust? Or stay true to your own and embrace the words of the opinions with brave? Perhaps, the lights are just going to show through the thick clouds sooner.”

Li dove into a surreal journey with this one. The voices are shifting between hallucination and reality. Sometimes the voices are descriptive, are judgmental, are arguing, or are extremely harsh. Sometimes the sound of the voices surrounding us is familiar. They could be the talking from our closer and loved ones. Illusion involves distortedly misinterpreted real perception. This a dark, and traumatizing, experience.

The design process always starts with exploring the depths of a mental illness and transforming it into what some may see as a piece of wearable art. The “Voices Without Traces II” collection is dark, mysterious, and sensual through the distorted shapes and sound-wave like details. The designer used shades and textiles of black colors in a sustainable wool collection, by adding satin, silk, linen, and crepe. The collection balances its heavy elements with a sleepwear-like silhouette, to convey comfort and ease.

The beginning.

 

Well, the future is made of virtual insanity.

IG: @vincentlistudio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FEATURED IMAGE: VINCENT LI, the “DISGUISE” CAMPAIGN. IMAGE: VINCENT LI
Photographer: Ray Ranoa
Film: Damien Lipp
Make Up and Hair: Curlysiouxsie
Nail Stylist: Lunel Laque
Model: Thomas Chow (Folk Collective)
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Elsbeth van Paridon
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