Having specialized in intricate textural effects at her fledgling brand, Paris-based designer Yiqing Yin is turning her hand to prints for her debut collection as creative director of Leonard.
“I haven’t used [prints] a lot in my own collections,” she acknowledged. But for Leonard, “I selected prints that I thought could have a modern resonance, once we updated them a little, colorized or sometimes even reworked them, and tried them out on fabrics the house is not necessarily used to working with.”
Yin transposed archival Leonard patterns onto fabrics such as wool, jacquard and a triple silk satin. She pleated, draped and layered them to break up the motifs and create multifunctional outfits in stark contrast with the house’s signature floral-print silk jersey dresses.
“I wanted to express a falsely nonchalant attitude, as if you draped a traditional Leonard silk scarf randomly on the body,” Yin said.
For instance, a bulky black sweater was slung over an asymmetric printed evening gown, while a tattoo-effect sheer T-shirt could be worn under a plain sleeveless dress.
Yin — who was born in Beijing but left China at the age of four — nodded to Leonard’s strong presence in Asia and her own heritage, sprinkling in design elements such as Empire waists and kimono collars and sleeves.
“I don’t want it to be a Japanese-inspired collection. Rather, it’s ‘grunge geisha’ — much more of a mix of genres and origins, with a kind of nomadic attitude,” she said.
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