Towards the Maturity of Naturalistic
In the early days of autumn, in August, P.J. completed the design and plate-making work for A R P brand's Edition 25, the 2024 Spring/Summer collection. As the Nearly White Dew Festival approached, samples poured in, each meticulously displayed in A R P's studio in Beijing. The collection featured clothing crafted from natural materials such as silk, wool, and linen, characterized by a palette of soft, luminous hues: yellow, azure, pearly pink, ochre, with hints of gray and black, forming the primary color scheme for over 50 styles this season.
The designs showcased long, slender dresses with a focus on precise line cuts, featuring a three-dimensional quality achieved through the intricate interweaving of silk and linen, in keeping with A R P brand's commitment to practicality. Impeccable tailoring defined the suits, embellished with embroidery that added intriguing details, while round shapes contributed to an abstract aesthetic. The meticulously detailed prints, capturing the vividness of P.J.'s own photography - "Early Spring Peony," added depth and realism.
P.J., a designer who deeply values substance, initially lacked a sense of lightness in her early work. This absence seemed to mirror her inner consciousness, imbuing her designs with a rare, sincere force that gradually evolved over time. Especially evident in her formal wear collection was a sense of perseverance, strength, and grandeur. However, in recent days, Beijing's scorching summers and her collaboration with a new fabric company have led her to experiment with tulle and silk, exploring the ultimate elegance of lightweight styles. She also ventured into discovering fabrics that best embodied the enchanting spirit of the Orient. The fusion of idealism and practicality, the transformation of southern Chinese silk through modernist techniques, and the soft, ethereal ambiance inspired by Jiangnan's misty rain offered an alternative aesthetic narrative to reality. It delicately intertwined passion with independence and resilience with dreamy romanticism. Even seemingly minor details like ruffled decorations, neck scarves, organ pleats, and handmade glass necklaces were seen as P.J.'s exquisite manifestations of her overarching design ambition.
Design, in essence, must strike a balance between skillful execution and the free coordination of materials. "I handwrite my mind" has always served as a profoundly sincere touchstone in the realm of the arts.
If minimalism embodies precision and comfort represents freedom, then what does self-consistency signify? True maturation is essentially a metamorphosis, a process that entails enduring numerous trials and tribulations. However, one's choice of attire should not define their status; instead, it should reflect the quality of beauty within their wisdom. Clothing not only safeguards our physical bodies but also nurtures our inner selves. Whether it's a reflection of past melancholy or a profound yearning for freedom, by looking within ourselves, we can capture the essence of light.