In a world that often values excess, reduction can be a refreshing and powerful approach to design, art, and life. Reduction is about shedding the unnecessary, distilling things down to their essence, and finding what truly matters. This quest for matters that matter can lead to beauty, simplicity, and meaning.

One area where reduction has a particular impact is in the world of design. In design, reduction means removing elements that do not serve a purpose, simplifying forms, and creating a sense of harmony and balance. This approach can lead to designs that are timeless and elegant, with a focus on the essential elements of form, function, and material.

Reduction can also be seen in the world of art, where artists often strive to capture the essence of their subject matter. This can involve simplifying forms, focusing on key elements, or using minimal color palettes. By removing distractions and focusing on the essential, artists can create works that are powerful and memorable.

After enduring three years of pandemic-related setbacks, designer Wang Zhi has finally returned to Paris to showcase her latest collection in a physical fashion show at the American Cathedral. As with her previous designs, Wang Zhi's latest collection showcases her dedication to fabric selection. Her newest pieces feature a range of textures, including her first-ever use of faux fur, shiny coated linens that have been treated with a "plasticized" finish, thick boiled and felted wool, chunky velvets, and a tapestry cotton that she developed in collaboration with Italian suppliers she has worked with for many years. Additionally, Wang Zhi has experimented with denim, treating the material to achieve a worn-in appearance.

This collection showcases a unique charm through the fusion of Chinese style and Italian elements. Much like the sudden demise of the Roman city of Pompeii, everything in life is ephemeral. Wang Zhi has incorporated the concept of reduction into her designs, where the rich velvets and luxurious silks represent glory, while the mottled prints and grayish tones on the fabrics evoke a sense of fading glory that remains etched in people's memories.

Wang Zhi's latest show prompts us to contemplate the notions of extinction and reduction. It goes beyond being merely visually satisfying and instead invites deeper introspection. The collection encourages a thoughtful consideration of the transience of life and the importance of simplification.


Photography exclusively for LUCENTEMENT by Sarah Chen.