For Di Du, each collection of her eponymous brand is an opportunity to see what she can shake out of her mental grab bag of inspirations. Take “The Last Dance of Life,” her spring collection. Her starting points were Georgia O’Keeffe’s color palette, the Edvard Munch painting titled “The Dance of Life” and the mess we’ve made of our planet — not that you could see much of the first two ideas from looking at the lineup.
The look: Apocalyptic island chic. Du designs around the idea that skin is a textile, too, deconstructing, splicing and layering what goes over it into body-hugging tailoring and filmy dresses. This time, she’s thinking about how to be adaptable in the new reality of unpredictable extreme weather, hence the number of pieces cut from swimwear material.
Quote of note: “It’s about the idea that we created this situation ourselves, so we have to eat the consequences. So if you’re wearing a formal look and you get soaked from the rain of a hurricane that’s just torn down your house, you can dry fast,” she said.
Standout pieces: The variety of trouser options, in particular those with a trompe-l’oeil effect that looked like white chaps over tan pants; another pair with asymmetric curves sloping to the side and featuring a cutout curling along the hip bone; tailored shorts with wide strips of denim as cuffs. Otherwise: a denim blazer-motorcycle jacket hybrid that toed the line between dressy and sporty; the flowing gowns with cutouts in various places.
Takeaway: While the lineup felt geared toward those OK with being a bit exposed, closer inspection turned up a host of palatable options for anyone looking to face whatever the day brings nowadays, parties or pandemics. They could do worse than Du’s futuristic wardrobe.