A Piece of Red Cloth

All Clothes by Weina Li, BFA Fashion Design
Photography and Video by Kai Wai Wong, BFA Photography
Words by Faith Ripoli, BA Fashion Journalism

In 1967, students across China unified in support of the teachings and beliefs of the then-Communist Chairman of China, Mao Zedong, in a movement that became known as “The Chinese Cultural Revolution”. The students attacked, pillaged and killed many intellectuals and individuals who held ‘traditional values’, all in the name of progress for Chinese culture.  The group became known as the Red Guards, often identified by the red armbands attached to their military uniforms; that piece of red cloth became associated with the fear and destruction of the sociopolitical movement.

In 2018 — more than 50 years later — Chinese fashion design student, Weina Li, reflects upon and informs us about the cultural event through a fashion concept entitled A Piece of Red Cloth. Li, a student at Academy of Art University, symbolizes the revolution’s destruction and torment through the use of red cloth, broken porcelain, torn literature, and the physics of movement. Shards of broken objects lay at the base of Li’s garments, while her designs capture brokenness, along with elements of ruination, with pieces that are held together by knots and slashed fabric with unfinished edges.

Li’s A Piece of Red Cloth is a contemporary look at a part of Chinese cultural history that many still view as politically sensitive. Through the representation of the red cloth, Li, as a new Chinese youth, is able to shed light on an event that changed Chinese culture — and ultimately connects the contradictions between destruction and creation.

Styling by: Weina Li
Model: Guyphysty Aldalai
Makeup & Hair: Elena Martinez