In Rui’s AW22 collection, the lines between the everyday and festive, masculine and feminine, functionality and costume, are completely blurred. The brand’s founder, Rui Zhou, found inspiration in mundanity. Her new collection was a meditation on the juxtapositions and ambiguities of the imperfect and ordinary.
The designer compared one of the garments, a violet gown, to the Möbius strip – but other pieces have a kind of mathematical balance to them ,as well. Zhou’s genderless approach means that there are no distinctions between womenswear and menswear, and garments have an evergreen and intimate quality to them. Everything was accompanied by the inclusive, conscious approach to the body that has become synonymous with the brand. Both tight and oversize fits were present, forming a seductive net of layers.
The brand – which took home the 2021 Karl Lagerfeld LVMH Prize for Young Designers – employed a range of modern technologies to present reinterpretations of its signature cut-out, fine knit pieces. Textures, sometimes developed using 3D whole-garment-knitting techniques, steal the show. Tired of the traditional cotton jersey? Here, open-work, transparent segments of dresses contrast cosy, woollen tops, and everything is surrounded by circular holes and asymmetrical cuts.
For the first time, Rui presented a range of hats and jewellery as well. Accessories in the new collection, similarly to the clothing pieces, were unique variations on classic items – there were spiky hoop earrings and classic pump shoes, from which shiny hair flowed into the floor. The future, according to Rui, is seeing the ordinary through new eyes.
Photography courtesy of Rui.