Reclusion is Really a State of Mind, Zirui Huang
Zirui Huang is an NYC-based designer. She appreciates the aesthetic of romantic minimalism, subtle things and loves to create and manipulate unique fabrics to highlight the continuity of the garments' surfaces. With a heavy focus on textile, Zirui uses an understated color palette in her collection to create a sober and temperate style, which always has a quiet but powerful beauty to it.
How did you get into fashion?
I came to NYC right after I graduated high school. I was then a business student at a university in the mid-west. After studying for 2 years I got really into fashion. After taking a class here, I got transferred to FIT - I just finished my bachelor degree last year and started my own line in February while working for a bigger fashion house. So things are busy right now!
Very much a New York lifestyle then!
Yeah for sure, I don’t want to just keep myself to just one thing.
Do you find that lifestyle inspires you, and does this translate into your designs?
Honestly? No, I actually like London more - London Fashion Week especially, I like France and Paris Fashion Week, New York Fashion Week actually inspired me the least, because New York is geared more towards the business side; so everyone’s thinking “what kind of clothes can make money?”, rather than London fashion week or the other fashion weeks, where the idea is “what kind of clothes are more interesting and what kind of clothes are more unique?”. So here in NYC, companies are largely interested in garments that can makes millions of dollars, otherwise they’re not interested
What would you say actually inspires you with your designs?
I’m really into Asian Art; it has this quiet but powerful beauty to it, it doesn’t need to be very overwhelming, like they pay a lot of attention to the details, to the fabrics and things. So when people see it, they know it’s you, it’s not very overwhelming.
Tranquillity: "While picking asters 'neath the Eastern fence, My gaze upon the Southern mountain rests; The mountain views are good by day or night, The birds come flying homeward to their nests. A truth in this reflection lies concealed, But I forget how it may be revealed."
I was inspired by this ancient Chinese poem, which suggests that "reclusion is really a state of mind and not necessarily a question of the physical occupation of a remote place.”
I actually made my own unique fabric for this collection.
Why is it important to you to create your own fabric?
Because right now in the world, it’s really easy to copy someone else's work, right? But if you start to create your own fabric, it’s hard. People are not going to just copy from what they see, they’re not going weave the same thing as I did. But, if I start from my own fabric, it’s really hard to copy, and honestly, all my favourite designers weave their own fabric.
So, describe your design process here, it’s an incredibly beautiful and intricate design, but how did you get to that, what’s your design process?
I actually start from a material, when I see this interesting material, like yarn or an interesting piece of paper, I will start with that.
Is there a particular message that you’re conveying in this one?
Yeah, so the theme is called tranquillity, it’s what developed from an Asian-Chinese poem; if you want a quiet space, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be in that quiet space, it’s about your heart - whether it’s quiet inside you.
Do you normally aim to have some kind of central theme in your designs?
I know I want to explore different things, and I’m interested in womenswear, menswear and unisex, so I don’t want to limit myself to a certain theme, but as I was saying my theme is always quiet but powerful beauty.
What’s next for you?
I’m working on like a unisex collection, it has more men’s wear involved in.