Embracing a slower paced life, Chinese design label LER revisits Normcore in its debut at London Fashion Week

(London 22 August 2017) A Shanghai-based brand, LER, will make its debut at London Fashion Week from the 15th to 19th of September. Its AW2017 collection will be presented in the Designers Showroom alongside a host of emerging international designers.

Ler is part of a rising trend among contemporary Chinese brands which subtly blends elements of traditional Chinese aesthetics and philosophy into wearable, Nordic-inspired pieces of metropolitan womenswear.

Established in 2015, Ler is the latest label under the lifestyle brand Xianzhuo Culture & Creative Ltd. Meaning ‘smile’ in Swedish, Ler’s name carries with it an ethos of kindness and warmth, while the brand’s Chinese name – 子时 – relates to a long-held Chinese concept of seizing upon the right moment for transformation.

In its merging of Chinese charm and Nordic minimalism, LER is comfortably aligned with the ongoing Normcore trend toward simple, unpretentious fashion. By offering a diverse selection of pieces to metropolitan consumers who are interested in Chinese aesthetics and culture, LER concentrates on creating something subtle, neat and sexy to professional women who value freedom and creativity most. This direction is expressed through comfortable and high-quality fabrics, understated palettes and clean lines with a feminine touch.

Regarding her adventures in the fashion business, the founder and CEO of LER,Yixian Li (李艺娴) has observed that there has been a so-called “consumption upgrade” underway in China during recent years – and that “upgrade” in this context does not mean a simple increase in purchasing power and capacity, but rather an enhanced sophistication and confidence. Chinese urban consumers have experienced an interesting journey during the last few decades; moving from simply chasing international luxury brands, to consciously seeking out eye-catching or quirky independent designer labels and onward in turn to simpler, higher quality fashion that speaks of a mindful approach daily life, appreciating a slower pace and the happiness derived from inner peace.

Yixian Li took buffet as an analogy: ‘the first time when we tried buffet, we tended to have countless dishes and eat as much as possible. In time, though, we realised that we only truly loved a few simple dishes – could be soymilk, or pickles, or congee. People now understand themselves better and fare comfortable enough to figure out their personal style and preferences. As a result, even if there are hundreds of options out there, they won’t feel lost – they’ll only select what they really want.’

For LER, a good design is measured and mature, serving its wearer without overshadowing one’s personality. The brand stresses simplicity, breath and warmth in life and focuses on the quality and moderation missed by many.

LER utilizes comfortable fabrics to create pared-down silhouettes, and creates pieces under three practical themes: daily life, travelling and important events.

“Highly functional with hidden features” is the key highlight of LER’s 2017 AW collection. One garment can be worn in different ways. Cuffs can transform to a pair of gloves. Down jacket fold neatly into a pillow which is convenient for business traveling. True to the brand’s ethos of understated elegance, the collection is presented in muted shades of grey and violet.

A dress code can reflect one’s character. LER hopes that its Normcore – inspired designs can help the modern intellectual woman to express her free spirit and a down-to-earth attitude, to be inspired by nature and small details, and stay to grounded and optimistic in a rather noisy world.