Qixin Wu drew inspiration from the concept of taphonomy, the study of decomposition, and its five stages: fresh, bloat, active, advanced decay, and dry/remains. By breaking down the components of decaying flowers and leaves, Wu creates a visual representation of the aging and textural qualities that can be harnessed for design. The result is a collection that celebrates the beauty that emerges from the cycle of life and death.
What sets "The Last Blooming" apart is the combination of natural decay and Wu's innovative heat pressing technique. Some of the flowers and leaves in the collection decayed naturally, while others were processed through heat pressing. This process involves applying heat and pressure to the botanical materials, causing the fluid to be squeezed out of the stems and petals. The result is a melting effect that showcases the rich colors and textures of the decaying process.
The collection features a range of colors and motifs that reflect the various stages of decomposition. Fresh green and goldenrod hues depict the early stages, while musty mushrooms with bloated ripe caps turned black and liquefied represent the advanced decay. The addition of white fluff enhances the overall sense of decay and adds a touch of intrigue to the designs.
Technologically, "The Last Blooming" utilizes double-layer fabrics, with chiffon on top and cotton on the back. This combination creates a shifting effect when the wind blows, adding movement and dimension to the designs. The transparent quality of the chiffon further enhances the allure and mystery of the collection.
The technical specifications of "The Last Blooming" include a height of 27 inches and a width of 45 inches, making it suitable for a variety of applications, from fashion to interior design.
Qixin Wu's research for this collection drew from various sources, including Leslie W.C. Miles' "Textile Printing," Hitoshi Ujiie's "Digital Printing of Textile," and Joyce Storey's "Manual of Textile Printing." These resources provided valuable insights into the world of textile design and printing techniques.
One of the main challenges Wu faced during the design process was selecting the right materials to convey the concept of "Death Beauty." After testing more than 50 different options, Wu settled on a textured cotton and polyester chiffon blend. This choice not only achieved the desired transparent look but also provided a soft and luxurious hand feel.
"The Last Blooming" is a testament to Wu's ability to transform the seemingly complex into a simple exploration of the relationship between life and death. Through the use of decaying flowers and innovative techniques, Wu has created a collection that celebrates the beauty found in the final stages of life. The harmonious repeat and vibrant motifs of the designs offer endless possibilities for expression, while the transparent chiffon adds an element of allure and mystery.
The Last Blooming by Qixin Wu was awarded the Iron A' Design Award in the Textile, Fabric, Textures, Patterns, and Cloth Design category in 2023. This prestigious award recognizes designs that are well-designed, practical, and innovative, meeting professional and industrial requirements. Wu's collection stands out for its integration of industry best practices and competent technical characteristics, contributing to a better world through fulfillment and positive feelings.
Project Designers: Qixin Wu
Image Credits: Qixin Wu
Project Team Members: Qixin Wu
Project Name: The Last Blooming
Project Client: Qixin Wu