R.L.E Redefines Femininity With Cozy Chic Fall 23 Collection


Founded by Cici Zhang in 2021, r.l.e is a London-based ready to wear label with designs that blur the line between art and fashion. Often drawing inspirations from Mother Nature, r.l.e’s pieces showcase Zhang’s unique take on romantic yet thought-provoking aesthetics. Making the brand’s debut at London Fashion Week with the AW23 collection, Zhang transforms the White Loft into an ethereal vision of white light, complimenting a collection that redefines femininity with cozy chic silhouettes.

r.l.e’s AW23 looks feature soft ruffles and billowing volumes in abundance, exuding a mood that’s comforting, safe, yet girlishly joyous and fairy-like. With a color palette that’s notably muted and only includes few pops of sharp tones like lilac-blue and gentle canary-yellow, Zhang wants the collection to offer wearers the ultimate freedom in their safe space — whether mentally or physically.

Speaking of the overriding theme behind the new looks for next season, Zhang refers to a question she often thinks of — “what is the sense of security in our hearts that we are looking for?”, and a bush she often passes on the way home, which look like a thousand butterflies from the distance in the dim street light, but are actually tiny flowers when you inch up-close.

“All of these phantoms are like a true reflection of my heart. In my deepest inner heart, there is a small ‘room’ with a warm light trickling through. On the way to this room, I pass cascades of flower petals, which are the unconscious protective layer of my inner world.” Says Zhang.

“This ‘room’ has collected all the feelings and memories that make me feel secure; it is also like a book or a tea room for me. Every time I feel insecure or negative, I venture to this room in my heart; I open the door and sit for a while, immersing myself in it. This allows me to rejuvenate my energy so I am ready to face the world again with a positive mindset.”

r.l.e’s collections, past or present, steer clear of any trend, with the founder and designer Zhang continuing to celebrate the brand’s muse: the authentic beauty of nature. The AW23 series is full of puffy silhouettes, pleatings, and airy layers that gently wrap around the body, conveying a sense of security by creating a cocoon in ultra softness. The knitted elements, which are weaved throughout the collection, are inspired by the intricate details found in real flowers, butterflies, and branches.

Utilizing quality materials, r.l.e believes that sustainability is not only about using eco-friendly materials but also creating something that can bring everlasting joy over years to come. The brand continues to hand-craft whenever possible: “The warmth and uniqueness of hand-crafted pieces cannot be replaced, we have to slow down in this fast industry.” says Zhang.


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