"I rescued tracing paper from the refuse pile in the studio." For her sophomore collection as creative director at Leonard, Yiqing Yin found her inspiration in the very heart of the French house reputed for its exuberant floral prints.
Rather than the archives, the process that lead to them is where the young couturier mined to create the delicate sketches where the skill of the hand is even more visible than usual.
Although she rarely utilizes prints in her own work, the graphic impact of her fabrics in her designs cannot be denied, so this ode to the hand felt like an apt continuation.
"It was a naïf examination of the process, one in which the accidents bring magic," Yin said backstage. Floral prints were not only taken at their inception stage but, when completed, they were also scattered across surfaces as if they had exploded, creating a surreal impression of movement. The way in which Yin engages the brand speaks of a mind set for a challenge. An approach based not only on the archived pieces but on the processes, speaks of reinvention on the nuclear level, and with this, no doubt a new clientele. Cuts therefore stayed a course that paired contemporary flair with effective crowd-pleasers. Many silhouettes, by their lightness, recalled the movement of scarves, some captured in a slightly stiffer material, for a sportier kick to drapes and folds. Cape dresses and shorts balanced the dressy and the youthful, without either feeling over-powering.
But the real story here was the denim. A jumpsuit subtly printed in a cascade of white flowers opened the show, and from thereon forward, the unmistakable ease of Yin's volumes could be felt. Ease came off these silhouettes in which her couture touch could be felt. A flowered jumpsuit felt fresh, particularly when styled with a little denim vest. Printed denim trousers paved the way for a long full skirt beautifully embroidered. All this would have looked fine in silks and jerseys, as they did on flowing cape dresses or the swimwear seen peeking from under a shirt, but in denim, they had a bracing modernity.