Like so many designers the London-based, Chinese-born Xu Zhi took the deconstructed route for fall, turning out a sophisticated, raw-edged collection full of patchwork jeans, supple napa leather, and lots of hand braiding and embroidery.
The designer showed his collection at Teatro Armani, and it stood up to that vast space, with pieces including wide-bottom, high-waisted trousers pieced together with frayed, dark and faded denim fabrics. A dark denim suit came with cropped, fringed trousers.
Where there wasn’t a raw denim edge, there was fringe — silky and swingy from the hem of short dusty rose or light gray skirts; as fluttery bits of leather at the front of a short jacket, the hem of a long leather skirt or the zigzagging seams of other chiffon skirts. Zhi also twisted and embroidered delicate, hand-braided ropes of yarn into barely there halter tops, which were among the stars of this polished, tightly edited show.
Backstage, the designer was thinking about the tension between the fragile and the powerful. “I wanted to show human emotions through the fabric — pieces that look as if they’re falling apart, but are really holding together,” he said.