Yang Li AW13-14 was the collection we had been waiting for during Paris runaway shows in September. We were so frustrated there were no images of the show, no reports everywhere (nothing on Style.com, British Vogue, Fashion 156, DazedDigital...). Such a shame! Yang Li is not a very popular label but the brand deserves a post. It is a up-and-coming label supported by Dover Street Market and LN-CC (references in the fashion market that always know where the good and promising things are!).
After many weeks, waiting for Yang Li's website to post images and videos from the AW13-14, it was worth the waiting. All the looks from this show were worth this long wait. Thus, the look N°20 worn by a female model composed of a leather bodice perfecto,a ribbed sweater, the leather culottes and the rear lace boots is a perfect summary of the whole collection. This look is the epitomy, the wow moment which is actually repeated by the closing look n°28 with a different variation (the leather bodice perfecto,the ribbed knit sweater, the floor lenghth circle skirt and derbies).
The leather bodice perfecto is a central piece in this collection, revealing Yang Li's signature (and will to inspire a gothic/romantic spirit in his collection) and his work on raw materials. It is a new addition in the label's wardrobe and soon it will be a basic just like Balenciaga German shepherd sweater. When you start your own label, you have to build your own identity, you have to define what is your DNA. These pieces are clearly part of Li's DNA and they strike you for a long time. Others leather pieces are definitely classic like the leather shirts, the perfecto and the culottes that both men and women can easily wear. There is always an attempt in Yang Li's work, collections after collections, to create new classic made with non-classical fabrics. That's why the over-used of leather for a bodice or a shirt.
The question of beauty is also the understatement behind this collection. Girls will be Boys and Boys will be Girls. The male/female model in the look n°11 is wearing a long coat with a long knit top and a slim trousers like the female/male model in look n° 27 very boyish in a men's long coat and her dress . Boys and girls wearing pieces (the long coat) that are not so classical at the end contribute to set gender confusion: the classical long coat is no longer conventional, the borders are no longer well-defined. This idea can be perceived too in the choice of models insofar as with the styling, sometimes you find it hard to tell if it's a man or a woman. Big impact!
The ribbed knit sweater is purposely unfinished like the shift dress in the look n°12 (a black dress with strong cut on the sleeves) giving this idea of something ripped. This collection is screaming ANTI-FASHION! and finds an echo in Margiela or Rei Kawakubo's work who presented garments that look unfinished. We are not saying that Yang Li is copying the Anti-Designers but it's a reference that you can feel behind his collection. The use of unfinished materials conveys the will to present unperfect clothes but raw clothes, strong and powerful, clothes that have a soul for sure.