By Ava Gilchrist

Artist’s Eye: Xiaojie Liu

In an industry that is increasingly operating under a ‘high risk, high reward’ mentality, burgeoning fashion designers from all corners of the globe are adapting to our ostentatious desires with unanticipated reverence. GRAZIA commissions nine artists to chronicle fashion’s vanguard, those marking a ‘coup de théâtre’ for the Spring/Summer 2023 season


In Sun Woo’s fantastical world, circular fashion doesn’t pertain to the idea of a self-perpetuating sustainable economy. Rather, it takes on a literal sense with the designer’s excitingly wearable annular garments a coup de foudre for style savants. What started as a utilitarian examination of practical pieces that can pop up and fold in on themselves, preceded a highly sought after renaissance of space-age looking attire. It’s hard to deny the influence Pierre Cardin and Issey Miyake have in Woo’s circular protruding dresses, which have found themselves in the wardrobes of the likes of Solange and Jennifer Coolidge.

These slinky, other-worldly designs hold appeal in their innately inventive engineered shapes. Lines are intrinsically a human treatment, nothing on the body is perfectly straight, so Woo’s enhancement of this movement and curve subverts form into something more surreal and intriguing. The silhouette may resonate with the fashion set as well now as it did in the 1960s, but Woo’s own take on the circular
look is reinventive and refreshing. A redux of a poignant expression that articulates fashion’s need for reappraising the meaning of the word ‘wearability’. These circular outlines, almost arbitrary in their childlike expression, denote an unexpectedly personal element. The tent serves as a form of protector while the conceptual elementary shapes suggest a component of youthful curiosity.

Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century, just got a much needed wardrobe update. When it comes to colonising Mars, don’t be surprised when you see Woo offered as the uniform of choice for the upper echelon of interstellar extraterrestrials.

XIAOJIE LIU: A discourse of contrasts, award-winning artist Xiaojie Liu focuses on the vitality of modern life through a distinctly idiosyncratic lens. One that draws upon the life experience of ethnic minorities and emits a childlike dreamscape rich in pastel tones and botanical elements. Liu’s latest picture books, ‘Metaverse and Computer Chips’ will be published in 2023.

Follow Xiaojie Liu @xiaojie__liu