Yixiao (V.) Li

Image: Steel Waters is a reminiscence of my grandmother Ms. Gong, who was a policewoman and a revolutionary woman.

She was born in the 50s China, a period of time that was turbulent and financially challenging. Influenced by her childhood experience, my grandma had always been very strict to me, but after she passed away, all I recall is the tenderness and happy moments we shared together.

She demonstrated how to be delicate, resilient, at the same time strong as metal.

In this collection, I combined hard and soft materials to recreate my impression of her, and to honor the modern femininity.
Image: I drew inspiration from my grandma's gestures, reimagining them as silhouettes with the aim of capturing the essence of her enduring presence within me.
Image: The slime's natural movement beautifully conforms to the body, yet lacks durability. To enhance its longevity, I draped thermo clay on myself, intentionally leaving negative space to allow fabrics to interact harmoniously with it.
Image: I chose soft fabrics like silk georgette and dyed them with herbs transported from China.
Image: The adornments are hand sculptred, inspired by body gestures, and carefully coated with 14k gold leaf.
Image: These adornments resemble molten metal, honoring my grandmother's policewoman identity and reflecting her resilient persona.
Image: I explored alternative fabric joining methods beyond sewing - silicone molding for garment shaping. However, I aim to enhance sustainability and incorporating natural dyes for coloration.
Image: So I made bioplastic and let them dry on top of silk organza.


Yixiao (V.) Li

V is a fashion design graduate and multimedia artist based in New York. Sensations of dwelling and companionship guide her creative journey, she draws inspiration from her upbringing in Beijing, China and subsequent move to the States. Her work often explores her childhood and earthy creatures as reflections of human traits, challenging traditional garment construction and textile choices. In her recent thesis collection, "Steel Waters," V presents garments combining hard sculptures with soft fabrics, deviating from machine-sewn conventions.