Claudia Li has looked back on her childhood the past few seasons to propel her still-infant brand in a more mature direction. She’s slowly evolved her repertoire of conceptual statement items into a full wardrobe that suits a busy social calendar. This season, that included a new evening category balancing offbeat charm with polish, which included sets with asymmetric ruching and dresses with cutouts that gave the appearance of layers.

She began by revisiting her introduction to art — in kindergarten, no less — through vegetable block printing, where vegetables are used as stamps to create unique, organic imprints. She used potatoes and onions as the groundwork for the season’s print, which was blown up onto boxy suits, accented on the collars and cuffs of sleek outerwear with topstitching outlines, or used as the blueprint for embroidery and woven surface detail, also new for the season. Set atop a button-down shirt, bomber jacket and jeans, the embroidery provided a handcrafted yet graphic simplicity, which Li assures she’ll explore fully in her forthcoming February collection.

Her inclinations have leaned heavily on elevating sportswear, too, where she’s updated a popular parka style with mesh or added short sleeve overlay, and cut skirts featuring paracord ties with leather. Urban and cool yet polished and practical, Claudia Li has hit her stride.

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