Whether abstract or figurative, linear or intricate a print, all prints start with the uncertain lines of a sketch. This process was suggested by the opening silhouette at Leonard, with its colorful scribbles that evoked a sketch's premises. Yet even this extremely simplified expression was extracted from the house archives, as creative director Yiqing Yin explained post-show.
Look closely — those squares were a Warholesque multiplication of the same print in a myriad of hues. Drops of color curling around the body were not just a colorblock, but the magnified vision of a butterfly print. Yin has constantly been pushing print beyond what it had come to mean in the venerable house, and the prints accompany her careful examination and subsequent compositions. Regardless of time period, archival prints and even promotional printed material were collages into a changeant palette that evoked the vividness of warm summer destinations. She goes beyond mere graphic interpretation, taking lacquered eel to evoke the banding that dresses the edges of many Leonard prints.
Unrepentantly youthful, the silhouettes Yin drew played on the elegance of materials paired with charismatic sporty cuts. It may appear like too wide a split from the lady-like customer base, but through this joyful, candid proposal, she appeals to their sense of fun as they playfully take on the constraints of diversified schedules. "One should draw strength from contradiction," she mused, gesturing to the lineup that went from perfectly tailored trousers and jackets to more daring cropped tops and flowing dresses. By removing the notion of age from the house's DNA, Yin strives to offer things that simply feel relevant — for a woman who allows herself to experiment.