Stumbled upon Li Xiaofeng‘s gorgeous porcelain dresses a few weeks ago and have been itching to show them to you all ever since. I find them very striking, in how something so hard and sharp as ceramic shards could manage to look so soft when utilized in a dress. The patterns on the traditional chinese porcelain almost look like embroidery, albeit exceptionally bright and potent in their color and shapes; the variety of shape used gives a patchworked sort of feel, but there’s that interesting discongruity in how each piece of ceramic maintains a shape that gives “patchwork” a whole other dimension (as opposed to flat pieces of fabric pieced together to form a 3-D shape). They’re dresses that look particularly alive in a way.
(imagine all of the family dinners, and teas, and stories that have been told in each objects presence!)
Although Mr. Xiafeng’s clothes were created a few years a go, I feel they hold a particularly poignant timeliness to the present. When I saw them, I thought about Sarah’s Smash Shack which I wrote about this past January. Basically, you can go there and take your aggression out on ceramic and glass objects. I think all of us, at some point, and especially in the past year or two would really like to break something out of frustration. At the same time, people have been trying to be happy with less, spending more time with families and loved ones in a pared down existence, trying to foster kindness and giving. Trying to be optimistic. And of course all of this has entailed picking up the pieces of the things that have been broken and creating something new from them. And these dresses take something beautiful and traditional and done some new and modern with them, while still allowing you to feel a sense of the history, the background from which they came.