VINCENT LI'S LATEST COLLECTION THE LEFT EAR ARRIVES AT THE DRESS COLLECTIVE
VINCENT LI is a Melbourne label well known for its bold, daring and unusual silhouettes, some of which are masculine and some of which are feminine, but each piece masters resolution in its design.
Designer Vincent Li started life in the vibrancy of Shanghai, China, training as a dancer from a young age. He took the path into the technical world of IT from school but eventually came back to his true self and the quixotic world of the arts, launching his self-titled label VINCENT LI in 2014.
Since, he has shown nationally at the MENSKE exhibition in Melbourne, at Melbourne Spring Fashion Week with Fred Hates Fashion, and internationally at London Men’s Fashion Week and CHIC CHINA at Shanghai Fashion Week. Most recently in February 2016, VINCENT LI delivered his latest collection at The Dress Collective Runway as part of the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival, and also collaborated with the New Palm Court Orchestra to present a celebration of the poetic relationship between fashion and music – and all the while Vincent has remained humble.
Meeting Vincent for the first time is memorable; it is his bright and welcoming yet quiet friendliness that intrigues, and his effervescent laughter leaves an indelible impression. But delve a little deeper and you will find a lot more than frivolity. Vincent’s passion and love for fashion surpasses the need to create something new or amazing to wear – it is much deeper – and he is determined to capture the emotions and heart of the wearer. It is not about the aesthetics but about the whole, and from the second you step into a VINCENT LI garment, you begin a journey into his artisan realm.
His personality is infused in each piece, delving into the depths of an intellectual topic and transforming a theme into wearable pieces of art. The inspiration behind the “The Left Ear”, the new Autumn/Winter 2016 collection from VINCENT LI, revolves heavily around the designer’s interest in the silhouette, as well as the bitter-sweetness of teenage love, depicted in the Chinese film “The Left Ear”. The film portrays the youthful journey of exploring the often painful and cruel events of love that most of us experience growing up.
But why the left ear? Because it is the ear closest to the heart, the side to whisper ‘I love you’ and to evoke those emotions of ‘first love’ – a theme which carries through the entire collection by means of asymmetric silhouettes. The collection’s prints and colours are similarly characterized, evoking emotions of beauty and perhaps something a little more haunting – the experience of that first love that didn’t end quite the way the romance novels do.
And this is the philosophy of VINCENT LI: to awaken the emotions and thoughts within, intellectualizing fashion into an artistic form of an everyday experience. Vincent continues to dance, but now it is the beauty of movement through his garments and their silhouettes for which he is becoming renowned. This combination brings the final light and shade needed to complete the performance of his fashion.
Vincent has not forgotten his roots of the magnificent history of China either, and he continues to combine this with tenets of western fashion. VINCENT LI garments play to the soft and feminine aspects orientalism that the western eye perceives, balancing the more masculine forms of western men’s clothing. It is something different; bringing a hint of trepidation to the wearer but at the same time it is uplifting, bringing the wearer into a new aesthetic.
And as Vincent says, “Beauty exists because perfection does not.”