In the contemporary art museum in Milan, we got to encounter the very first collection of Phaedo, titled as ‘From Things to Form’. Chinese designer Zhuzhu is the maker of Phaedo, who has been preparing this moment for 3 years with his team. In the cocktail party after the presentation, Zhuzhu shared with us that the process of designing was not difficult. What he had struggled for so long was self-positioning, namely brand positioning. Through various handworks like carving bricks (which were also shown in the presentation scene), Zhuzhu tried to see the inside of himself and found out the design he truly wanted to work on.
Being a Chinese Designer nowadays
Zhuzhu showed his ambition actively of introducing emerging fashion creativity from China to the world. After Shanghai Fashion Week, without doubt, prestigious fashion leaders in the industry are paying more attention than ever to the one of the biggest fashion market lovers. Over the years, huge amount of young Chinese have been enrolled in various fashion schools around the world. It is high time to ripe what has been sewed.
However instead of carving his name eagerly on the marble of the world fashion industry, Zhuzhu emphasized on the significance of a good team. A team that sticks together for the same belief and aesthetic vision lies at the core of Phaedo. Three years don’t come as a short period of time especially in such a fast changing industry. So we proposed our doubts to Zhuzhu. Under the situation of no productions and no collections, how to build a brand and team.
The designer told us no collections didn’t mean they had done nothing. In the past three years, they established contacts and more essentially, refined the team. Because those who didn’t understand his aesthetics and Phaedo would have left the brand before they were told. So at the scene of presentation, we could see how the team communicated to each other freely and at the same time, respected the thoughts of designer before anything.
The materials of this collection were natural fabrics, silk and cotton. What amazed everyone was how these 3 simple fabrics performed unexpected textures. The leather-like garments were, in fact, made of silk and cotton. The colors were simple and natural. And the dying process was also distinctive. They hand-dyed everything with persimmons and coffee. In order to present different tones, they exposed dyed garments under sunlights. Various days that the garments were exposed to defined the final results.
The whole presentation came out as a very unique piece. The whole setting shaped as a maze but at the same time, as an open book, where you got to see the very heart of the brand. Ethereal melody as the background music, models in slow motion. You know you wouldn’t get any concept related to ‘fast’ here. It was exciting to see such a systematic aesthetic vision well expressed in the first collection with cuts and materials. Such fashion language with strong oriental accent is so riveting and addictive.
Image Credits: Attila communication agency