In the short time since she launched her line, designer Claudia Li has experienced both personal and aesthetic growth. She introduced her brand as an underground champion of creatively bold yet refined construction and deconstruction. She was shortlisted last season in WWD’s “New York New” designers to watch for her expressive takes on knitwear and denim. She always had the most sophisticated sensibility in that designer pool, and today showed her most polished exploration of drama to date.
With the theme, “take me away to a different place and time,” Li looked back at portraits of strong female figures and ideas associated with time travel for inspiration. “This is a very grown up, mature collection compared to the last one,” she said at the presentation. “For me it was very personal. I feel like I’m feeling the same way.”
Who knew references to time travel could be so glam? The idea of a time tunnel was interpreted as piping and ties decorating voluminous sleeves of all shapes that were adjustable for an exaggerated ruching effect or play on elongated lines. The same design details were applied as spiral loops, because who’s to say time travel is a straight course? A triangle motif (related to Bermuda, perhaps?) was interpreted on lapels, sleeves, cuffs and layering details. A blue corduroy jacket featured a triangle back shape; other angular lines hammered that home. Playfully grand, Li’s growth has been a pleasure to witness.
Asked if she had any favorites, she gleefully replied, “I love everything!”