Five years ago, Beijing-born designer Xin Si moved to New York, where she received a BFA from Parsons School of Design at The New School. Harking from a small town anchored in local traditional culture, an education in Fine Arts brought her to her passion for art and fashion, where a unique composition process was instilled: working with flat surfaces as the centre of her designs, Xin Si transcribes the relation between forms and colours into clothing. Geometricity and linear pieces are the result of a clean, sleek design: aiming to evoke a sense of tranquillity, communicating a sense of intimacy with yourself. The young design talent talks Schön! through her work.
How did growing up in Beijing impact your career as a fashion designer?
Actually since I was in kindergarten my dreams have always been to be an artist and fashion designer. I love drawing, and it is my gift. And I love to draw beautiful clothes since that time. I guess it is what I born to be. But as a capital city which has a rich cultural background, growing up in Beijing definitely help me a lot aesthetically. Visiting all these wonderful museums and galleries, listening lectures from all the talented artists, and all the elements of the environment influenced me.
You studied Fine Art in Beijing. What influence has this had on your approach to fashion?
By seeing all the masterpieces in the history and practicing painting from day to day during the period when I was a Fine Art student, I had become more sensitive and creative on construction and colours. I had been always attracted by the interesting combination of colours and composition of a picture. I always saw art in clothing. In my opinion, as a human being, people are the most important root-cause of art, creation, emotion, aesthetic, and so on. So I feel what is wearing on human’s body is the most powerful thing to publish ideas as an artist. And focusing on clothing is very interesting.
What was the most important thing you learnt at design school?
As a designer, the most important thing I learnt was to think about your customer and how to translate your inspiration into design and how to carry your main ideas to a whole wearable collection as a mature designer.
Your latest collection, A Few of Blues, is influenced by a series of photographs by Simon Butterworth entitled Blue Fields. How did you first encounter his work, and which elements of the photographs did you most want to draw upon with your designs?
I saw Blue Fields in an art magazine. I loved it when I first saw the pictures, I felt the colour of blue and the shapes of the fields were so beautiful, pure, and tranquil. So I searched online about the details, and saw the photographer describe the collection: “The series is part of a larger, long term project, Aesthetics of the Unexpected, which explore the relationships between perception, expectation and reality.” I was very touched about the meaning. I felt a strong peaceful feeling when I saw the series. And about that time I realised how irritable the world is nowadays, including myself, but I knew deep down inside there was and is a peaceful field I had been ignoring. And I believe everyone has and needs the peaceful field they may also have ignored. So I decided to use this series of photographs as my inspiration to resonate.
How do you want women to feel wearing your designs?
I hope people can feel confident when wearing my designs and are able to understand their true self and to show their own power, just like my motto: Be significant, be alive.
Discover the full collection by Xin Si here.
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