Angie Li, Whitecliffe

Angie Li has graduated this year with a BFA Fashion and Sustainability degree at Whitecliffe. Beauty in all its forms has always fascinated Li, and fashion shows left a lasting impression on her when she was just a kid. 

“It was like magic, to bring fantasy and fairy tales into reality.”

Learning about fashion and art enabled Li to appreciate beauty in many forms. With her in-depth studies around fashion and sustainability, Li noticed that fashion can be a powerful force to express hope in making the planet a better place. 

Through her studies at Whitecliffe, Li now understands the importance of sustainability and how valuable it is. The course opened up a new perspective for Li and gave her a deeper understanding of the concept. She applies what she has learnt within her design practice. Turning creative ideas into reality and having the ability to appreciate both art and fashion has been paramount in her journey at Whitecliffe. 

In Li’s graduate collection, it is filled with frills and ruffles of all different sizes, silhouettes, shapes, and layers. These repetitive yet different styles of frills aim to represent the inner trauma we all have inside. 

“The pain of trauma that is so similar yet so different, it becomes a unique part of us,” explained Li. 

“I hope that these broken and renewed emotions will make us unique and charismatic.” 

Li used mud dyed fabric as it creates a unique texture once it is washed. The dark hue it is in also represents and expresses ‘heavy’ emotions. 

For the frills, Li chose lightweight silk organza and natural tie-dyed silk stain to form a contrast to dilute the overall heavy mood. 

“Some frills seem to restore the shape of wonders and express the beauty of healing. I hope to convey a dreamy perspective to calm the real pain.”

Li received the top Year Three Research and Design Portfolio Award and an internship at Hawes and Freer. During her internship, she learnt more about the supply chain side of fabrics, daily operations of business and the challenges and opportunities textile companies faced due to COVID-19. The spirit of collaboration between local businesses also became apparent to Li during this trying time. 

As a Chinese growing up in New Zealand, Li has a unique perspective of mixed cultures and a deeper understanding of the Asian market. 

“I am looking forward to developing the concept of sustainable fashion as my brand philosophy, and I hope to use my Chinese background to convey the concept of sustainability to Chinese consumers.”

Li believes that the more people that understand the importance of sustainability, the more benefits we get as consumers as well as for the planets. 

Upon graduating, Li hopes to set up her own brand and website, whist also connecting with other fashion graduates and students and also those within the local fashion industry in New Zealand.

With thanks to Vanity Walk Models, Red Eleven Model Management and Bintang Models and Management.