>> I'm currently in Trieste in Italy judging the 11th edition of the International Talent Scout ITS competition for fashion students, with cash prizes of up to EUR25,000 up for grabs.  Therefore apologies if the blog is a) a bit scant today and b) very student-centric.  It's been a goldrush of talent in the fashion student graduate area at the moment, particularly from the schools in the UK (no patriotic bias there, just based on pure observation).  Despite the flood of new names that are getting onto the blog, I'd hate to be one of those people that writes about a student and then forgets about their future endeavours.  Therefore it was good to hear from Xiao Li, a London College of Fashion BA graduate I wrote about, whose tin toy inspired collection made it to the Chinese equivalent of Project Runway.  And it was actually good.  Surprise surprise.  

Xiao Li is currently studying her MA at the esteemed Royal College of London and is focusing on progressive knitwear.  She's just picked up an award at Pitti Filati's Feel the Yarn competition.  Feel the Yarn is an independent initiative to encourage students to come to Italy for an intensive training programme about what Italian knitwear can offer.  It's also a useful website about the world of technically advanced yarns and knitwear.  Xiao Li impressed the judges with her particular technique of moulding knitted fabrics with silicone and creating a texture contrast that I think looks like it could be developed into something quite progressive.

In addition to the use of silicone, she has also used a recycled denim yarn produced by Pinori that makes use of old jeans and processes them up to create a knitting yarn.  She then made moulds for these knitted recycled denim fabrics and appied silicone to the mould, creating a whole new piece of fabric that has a rubberised texture to them.  She then combined these silicone coated fabrics with other knits to create two neon statement knits that are definitely a promising starting point to what Xiao Li can do in her graduating MA collection.  As a surface texture, it also gives knitwear a rigid and solid feeling, as opposed to the slouchiness that we often associate with knitwear.  To use some lingo from my generation – it's #thisisnextlevelshit.  

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Comments (20)

  1. Leanne says:

    Hehe…at LAST, denim can be used to make something that is actually INTERESTING!! Love the neon yellow & orange knitwear, I have to say :)

  2. Serdane says:

    Since to see maybe our future dressers.
    http://www.younglington.wordpress.com

  3. annissh says:

    I’m in love with your blog Susie! I’ll have to come here more frequently, I promise :D
    Bisou from Portugal honey!!
    Check my blog http://www.afashiond.blogspot.com and I hope u like it <3

  4. nausinae says:

    Love her clothes!

  5. Tian says:

    It’s so interesting that she uses recycled denim yarn. Her work looks amazing! Thanks for sharing.
    http://aspiringforever.blogspot.com

  6. Mariana L says:

    Oh wow, I love seeing the whole thought and design process through the sketches and construction photos…http://www.msfabulous.com

  7. Audrey says:

    The color scheme is amazing! Love how she’s pushing the boundaries with knit and creating something completely different.
    On a side note, I’m visiting Shanghai and Beijing this summer and do you have any boutique recommendations? Most of the websites I’ve been looking through for recommendations have been sadly lacking. Thanks!

  8. Nathan Niche says:

    i love me some cool knits, esp how she reworked them and gave them some nice dimensions ;)
    xx nathan.niche
    New GIVENCHY outfit post:
    http://style-niche.blogspot.hk/2012/07/kilts-on-stilts.html#comment-form

  9. Gillian says:

    Its a colour fest!!! What a treat

  10. Steffi says:

    very nice. neon and knit is a great contrast

  11. Mitha Komala says:

    seems like a great event! love those neon colored coats =) xx
    Letters To Juliet

  12. Chloe says:

    Wow love it! So creative + innovative.
    Chloe
    http://www.thesweetlysour.com

  13. Evgenia says:

    It’s great to see so many student talents mentioned on your blog, despite the somewhat “student-centric” focus that you’ve mentioned. They deserve the recognition, and as a person with limited knowledge of fashion, i find your posts to be an outstanding point of reference and source of information.
    So, do continue posting about students! There are so many talents to learn more about.

  14. Fumi says:

    Those pieces are pretty damn amazing.
    You know, call me egocentric but I would love to see that material on shoes (in particular, high heeled booties) and in a hat (love me my hats!). I’m imagining a bubble hat (no wide brimmed business…may look a little overdone).

  15. Samantha says:

    super amazing beautiful

  16. Olive says:

    dying to have her necklaces! and super in love with the collections :)

  17. love your blog!!!
    My new miu miu bag in http://cravingforbarneys.com

  18. Jatinda says:

    Is that you in the pictures? You look different, maybe you have a different hair style, I thought you had long hair.
    I love the neon knits.
    Look nice
    love your blog,
    http://www.personalautographs.blogspot.co.uk

  19. susie_bubble says:

    Errr… no…that’s the designer Xiao Li that i was talking about in the post.

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