A huge thank you to We Are Selecters for letting me know that an image I had posted last week was that belonging to a Chinese designer called Qiu Hao, who was recently awarded the Woolmark Prize which has a value of €100,000.
This emerging talent has created the most intensely beautiful collection I have seen in many years.
Softly quilted coats envelope the body and oversized hoods shroud the face in this monochromatic collection. Fur oozes out of cuffs and adds texture and subtle movement to the clothes. The long, slim shapes are interrupted with beautifully considered volume which, though seemingly excessive at times, never makes the silhouette too bulky or overly large - the volume is always temptered with something very lean on the bottom.
Volume like this can sometimes only be editorial worthy as it requires a very slight model, with no additional lumps and bumps, to stop it looking like a duvet and actually work in this way, but imagine an ever so slightly less volumous version of the quilted pieces and you have something normal sized people could wear with great ease. But then again, I have looked like I'm wearing a duvet many times in my life so, really, that's actually not a problem!
In the current context however, the purity of form does make for the most haunting and striking images, and whilst it may take a svelte Chinese girl to make it so, these images will most certainly be in my dreams for some weeks to come.
Of all the kinds of clothing I wear and am attracted to, this is the kind I'd probably wear every day in life given the choice, and the wardrobe of course. The shapes are haunting, evocative and, though severe, still have a warmth to them that prevents them from becoming overwhelmingly stark. Undoubtedly, it's a tricky silhouette to carry off with aplomb and requires a cool aloofness to really carry through the visual statement, but I reckon I could give it a jolly good try!
White is normally a very difficult tone to get right, but Qiu has used extreme structure to great effect to lure the edge out of white. Simply breathtaking.