Rhythm + Fluidity
When Rhyzem presented their SS24 collection, Through Which They Glimpse the World, on London Fashion Week’s digital showcasing platform DiscoveryLAB, we were introduced to a brand that distorts the rules of menswear towards a contemporary, progressive vision. By using delicate sheer fabrics to envelope tailored silhouettes, Rhyzem immediately displayed their ethos of projecting menswear through a distinctly feminine eye. Catching up with the co-founders behind Rhyzem – Yinghua Wu and Boqun Huang, two Chinese designers who recently graduated from different London fashion schools – we discussed their inspirations, their sourcing methods, and what the next step is for their brand.
Barry Pierce: Tell us who you are and the story behind Rhyzem?
Yinghua Wu: I’m Yinghua and I just graduated from London College of Fashion where I studied menswear. This is my partner Boqun, and she just graduated from Central Saint Martins where she studied biodesign. We founded Rhyzem in 2023. The name of the brand is derived from the words “rhizome” and “rhythm”. Rhizome comes from [Gilles] Delueze’s theory which emphasises the idea of inclusivity and fluidity, and rhythm has meanings of fluidity and harmony and embodies the elegance of the objects.
BP: And how did you get into fashion?
YW: My family was already involved in the fashion industry in China. They’re at the manufacturing side of things, fabric resourcing. So I’d had some knowledge of the industry since I was very young. When I was a teenager I thought I could use that knowledge to begin creating things. I’m really interested in pattern cutting and detailed manufacturing, as well as working with technical fabrics.
BP: Where are you from in China?
YW: I’m from Shenzhen in China, which is right next to Hong Kong. It’s in a province where there are a lot of factories as well as fabric resources and traditional handcrafting. It’s an area that is really associated with the fashion industry in China.
“I like working in menswear because there are a lot of rules and I like to break them.”
BP: Who would you consider your biggest fashion inspiration?
YW: One of them is definitely Ann Demeulemeester. I’m a really big fan of hers. Her aesthetic and understanding of fashion really inspired me in how to build the structure of garments and also breaking the boundaries of traditional fashion.
BP: Can you take us through your SS24 collection that was shown at London Fashion Week?
YW: The collection was inspired by Eastern philosophical theories about the relationship between human energy and the environment, exploring the presence of fluid consciousness in space and the aura. The structure of the garments is emphasised through the medium of transparency and classical photography, allowing men to wear transparent garments without exposing the body.
The collection actually combined three different techniques in fashion. The first part was the plan version of the garment, the second was the drape or the transparent version of the garment, and the third was a print or neat version of the garment.
BP: What drew you to menswear specifically?
YW: It mostly comes from my interest in techniques and classic pattern cutting. I was really into tailoring, but I’m also someone who likes breaking the boundaries within a mould. I like working in menswear because there are a lot of rules and I like to break them.
BP: How is your next collection shaping up?
YW: We’re currently in development, researching techniques, sourcing fabrics, looking at handcrafting, which is why we are back in China at the moment. We’re also seeking out some new materials because, as I said, my partner has an MA in biodesign so we’re looking to introduce some sustainable materials in the new collection.
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