Prepare to be transported into a realm where the boundaries between the artificial and the organic blur, as Susan Fang unveils her gripping Spring/Summer 2024 collection, aptly named Ai.R-life. This thought-provoking showcase, unveiled during London Fashion Week, delves deep into the enigmatic relationship between humanity and AI, exploring the intimate connection between technology and the spiritual essence of life itself.
In this captivating series, the juxtaposition of nature and the ever-growing influence of AI takes centre stage. Imaginative beings of metal and circuitry, adorned with colossal wings crafted from kites, grace the runway, their presence both ethereal and commanding. With each step, they embark on a quest to discover their own spiritual awakening. Have these machines, having surpassed the limits of human cognition, begun to yearn for emotions and sensibilities akin to our own? Are they driven by a desire to possess a soul? Fang invites us to join this journey, to uncover the ultimate answer.
The collection’s garments showcase a groundbreaking technique known as air-weave smocking, a remarkable fusion of mechanics and human artistry. Layers upon layers of fabric intertwine, creating an illusion of weightless smoke that billows gracefully on collars, shoulders, and sleeves. Delicate lace fabrics, transparent yet imbued with superior texture, enrobe exquisitely tailored dresses. In this symbiotic dance between lifeless matter and human spirituality, fragmented data and fabrics converge to form resplendent blossoms, evoking an overwhelming surge of emotions.
Sustainability lies at the heart of Fang’s brand ethos, with over 90% of the materials used in this collection sourced from imported luxury stock fabrics and fabric stock from esteemed luxury fashion houses. The brand’s commitment to responsible fashion shines through, exemplifying the harmonious coexistence of style and environmental consciousness.
The grand finale of Ai.R-life is a testament to the harmonious blend of spirituality and collective subconsciousness. A handcrafted dress, painstakingly assembled with six hundred bead trees, stands as a testament to love, spirit, and human connection. These magnificent creations were crafted by mothers from Chinese minority groups, in collaboration with the Bloom Education Charity Foundation. Radiating the pure energy of human life, this ensemble resembles the Tree of Life itself, a symbol of profound significance.
Accessories in this collection push the boundaries of innovation and aesthetics. Futuristic eyeglasses, infused with cutting-edge technology, feature intricate bio-inspired flowers delicately adorning the area around the eyes. Four 3D clutch bags, each boasting a distinct tone, symbolise different scenarios: orange heralds the prelude of nightfall, pale pink embodies the anticipation of rainy days, turquoise represents the celestial union of heaven and earth, while brown and blue evoke the mesmerising spectacle of gazing at the sun from outer space. The former scenarios, derived from our increasingly chaotic and unknown world, give birth to a new aesthetic movement: retro-futurism - guiding us toward a profound understanding of our connection to the ethereal and the artificial.
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