Richao Liao

Degree Show 2023

Richao Liao

BA Fashion Design

Fuelled by my love for streetwear, functionality, and tailoring, my creations often reflect a seamless fusion of style and purpose. Moreover, my inspiration often stems from the rich tapestry of my surroundings, drawing heavily from my Seychellois and Chinese heritage, as well as other vibrant cultures that surround me.

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‘Lakaz Kreol’ directly translates to ‘Creole House’ in English. This collection is inspired by colonial-era architecture, which heavily features corrugated iron sheets and wooden planks – the most readily available construction materials at the time. In the 21st century, many of these buildings that are found in rural areas remain the primary residence of many older Seychellois. On the other hand, those that remain in plain view in Mahé’s urban areas show clear signs of abandonment and decay. I chose to marry this with A Cold Wall’s design philosophy with the aim of promoting Seychelles’ raw, unpolished features. This collection utilises primary images of rusting corrugated iron-sheets and wooden houses to inspire the rich colour palette, print, silhouette, and design features.

Finally, this collection is sentimental and personal to me as its designer. The message I want to convey is that there is beauty to be found in our imperfect heritage. As we embrace our faults, we can also embrace the good, the bad, and the so-called ‘ugly’ as they all comprise part of our identity as Seychellois.

Seychelles’ natural environment is a brilliant, shining jewel that provides an abundance of inspiration for creatives. However, opportunities for artists are very limited, especially for those considering art as a full-time career. Despite these challenges, Tristan Adams captures magical and romantic scenes through his water-colour paintings of the beaches, mountains, and other facets of the island landscape. Therefore, as a designer from Seychelles, this collection is my way of appreciating, supporting, and spreading awareness for our local talent.

Adidas is known for its influential designs and liberal use of advanced design technology. For this reason, this collection takes inspiration from technology on the micro-scale, zooming in specifically on the motherboard. The connotations of its power, speed, and advancement resonates with Adidas’s ethos and their customer base. The collection takes an interest in the colourful circuit boards, providing opportunities for prints, graphics, and colour for this portfolio.