Vincent Li is a Melbourne-based, Melbourne-made label mastering a menswear sweet spot that celebrates ambigender over androgyny, appealing to both men and women. And, though his roots lay deep within the magnificent history of China, Vincent Li combines heritage with tenets of western fashion.

This Saturday Vincent Li is a featured designer in The Fashion Advocate Runway at Luna Park as part of Melbourne Fashion Festival’s Offsite Runway series. We took a Pre show5 with him.

1/ What has the lead time been for your runway show with The Fashion Advocate this Saturday with designers Blushed by Teagan Jacobs, Habadakas, P’JUNK by Kate Hannah, Orocéo Castro, FOOL, MHOO MHOO, Rayan Ardati, DIIDA and Tatyana Design Lorenza The Label?

Around 3 Months.

2/ The show is described as a celebration of Australian made fashion and unique style. What do you feel is your signature contribution to that line up?

Our clothes clothes combine the soft, almost feminine aspects the western eye detects in orientalism with the more masculine form of western men’s clothing. It’s something different; it might bring a hint of trepidation to the wearer, but at the same time it’s uplifting because it also brings the wearer into a new aesthetic.

VINCENT LI is not your typical menswear. Our style is ambigender but it’s not androgynous. It fits with both men and women, yet it remains masculine.

As an independent designer label, we target an niche market. We do not serve for the mass market and do not operate as fast fashion. Each garment is carefully crafted and produced in Australia, in smaller units. It not only ensures the quality, but it’s run in an ethical and sustainable manner.

‘Beauty exists because perfection does not.’

3/ What sort of brief were you given, if any?  

I think it was to present what is new. We’re presenting the second chapter of our “DISGUISE” Collection. The first one was COLLECTION “DISGUISE” {COOL}. Now we’re rolling out COLLECTION DISGUISE {WARM}. Our style is a kind of mask that expresses the figure one chooses to create. We are divided, contradictory creatures with an uncanny capacity, to not only disguise ourselves from other people, but also to masquerade our own wishes and desires from ourselves.

4/ How long does it take you to produce a collection for a runway show?

For us it usually takes three months of preparation. The development of a whole new collection would take five or six months to complete – from research, design development, sourcing fabrics and trims, pattern-making, sample-making, pricing, photo shoots, model casting, styling direction, and then runway production and promotion.

5/ What can we expect to see from you on Saturday night?

To get inspired by my interpretation on how men could wear the collection, and to take in the innovative designs in terms of the armour-like silhouette, exclusively designed new prints, the different textures, panels and layers. And also, ways in which we can disguise our bodies in a monochrome colour palette.

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VINCENT LI COLLECTION “DISGUISE” {WARM} Photographer: Ray Ranoa Hair and Make Up: Curlysiouxsie Film: Damien Lipp Model: Shane Savage

The Fashion Advocate Runway takes place at 6.30pm on Saturday at Luna Park in St Kilda. Buy tickets here.

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