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The Blossom in the Mirror- A Couture Fashion Collection Inspired by Mirror Obsession

How do you navigate the intersection of social issues and fashion, finding inspiration in individual behavior and societal impact for your designs?

I possess a diverse emotional spectrum, and I find immense fulfillment in exploring personal narratives and emotions. I view introspection as an essential aspect for every artist and, indeed, every individual. Throughout my previous collections, I've delved into intimate themes such as my anxieties about aging, the unique culture surrounding my family's dining table, and my fascination with mirrors, among others.

Moreover, I actively examine the interplay of social issues and individual behavior to draw inspiration for my designs. My own emotional perceptions and experiences certainly don't arise out of thin air; they are, in fact, influenced by the society around me. This dual approach ensures that each fashion collection is not merely an introspective journey but also a profound exploration of the interconnectedness between my personal experiences and the broader societal landscape. It transforms my creations into a dialogue not only with my soul but also into a meaningful conversation with the external world.

Can you share instances where your global experiences, having lived and studied in London, New York, and Shanghai, have directly influenced the aesthetic and themes of your collections?

The energy of New York, with its fast-paced urban lifestyle, influenced my focus on functional yet chic pieces that seamlessly transition from day to night. In London, I immersed myself in the city's avant-garde fashion scene, where I developed an appreciation for unconventional styles and experimental design elements. Shanghai, being a fusion of tradition and modernity, inspired me to blend classic craftsmanship with contemporary aesthetics. The multiculturalism embedded in these cities has infused my designs with a rich tapestry of influences, resulting in collections that resonate globally while telling a story that reflects the intersections of cultures and experiences.

As a designer who enjoys experimenting with different materials, could you discuss your creative process when selecting and transforming materials, and how it contributes to your unique design perspective?

I aspire for my creations to be truly unique. Designing with ready-made fabrics purchased off the shelf wouldn't achieve that distinctiveness. Therefore, I often engage in manual craftsmanship to transform and elevate these materials. I enjoy incorporating haute couture techniques such as embroidery, lace appliqué, and more. In terms of material selection, I prioritize environmentally friendly options. For instance, in this collection, I collected discarded soda cans, cut, polished, and assembled them, adding Swarovski crystals to create a series of beautiful detachable floral embellishments to accentuate the dress.

With your designs gaining recognition in major fashion publications, such as CFDA Runway 360, Vogue, and Not Just a Label, how has this exposure affected your approach to design and the direction of your brand?

It motivates me to innovate, uphold excellence, and take creative risks. The exposure has opened doors to collaborations, expanding the reach of my creations and reinforcing the importance of a unique brand identity. Ultimately, this recognition serves as a catalyst for growth, pushing my designs and brand to evolve while staying true to my core values.

Your Instagram handle is @shiqixu_. How do you leverage social media to connect with your audience and share the narrative of your design journey?

Actually, I just naturally share my creations on Instagram. I believe that as long as I continue creating, there will always be fresh content to share. Each post is like planting a seed; you never know what it might bring—perhaps an opportunity for a magazine shoot, a collaboration with a celebrity borrowing my designs, or simply a kind compliment.

The English pronunciation of your name, "SHEKEY," stands for "she is the key." How does this mantra serve as a consistent design philosophy, and how does it manifest in your creations?

"She is the key." serves as a consistent design philosophy, emphasizing themes of femininity and vulnerability across various collections. While each collection may introduce a new theme, I maintain a timeless exploration of these qualities. My focus is on delving into the possibilities of fashion through the lens of women. I believe that femininity, at its core, embodies a silent strength, and vulnerability, far from indicating weakness, possesses a distinctive and captivating charm of its own.

Could you elaborate on the timeless themes of femininity and vulnerability that you consistently explore, and how these themes manifest in the overall narrative of your collections?

In terms of femininity, I am drawn to the inherent strength that exists in subtlety and grace. I aim to celebrate the multifaceted nature of women, embracing their softness and resilience.

Vulnerability, in my perspective, is not synonymous with fragility but rather an authentic and powerful expression of openness. It's about being true to oneself and embracing imperfections. This theme manifests in my collections through thoughtful silhouettes, delicate fabrics, and intricate detailing that evoke a sense of intimacy and emotional connection.

Overall, the narrative of my collections unfolds as a celebration of the strength found in vulnerability, intertwined with the timeless essence of femininity. These themes are not just design elements but integral aspects of the story I aim to tell with each piece, creating a cohesive and meaningful narrative that resonates with the modern woman.

For aspiring fashion designers, what advice would you offer based on your experiences and successes in the industry, especially in staying true to a unique vision in a rapidly evolving fashion landscape?

Keep creating, continually explore new ideas, and be open to making mistakes. The creative process involves experimentation and learning, so embrace the journey, stay true to your vision, and let your passion guide you through the dynamic and ever-changing world of fashion.

Fashion Designer: Shiqi Xu @shiqixu_

Hair Stylist: Erdan Li @erdanli

Photographer: Ramona Wang @ramonadai

Model: Faith Vaughn @faithsorad @The Brick Management, APM, THAT Agency & The Lab Models



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