“I want to break free,” Freddie Mercury sang. “Same here,” Claudia Li responded. Encouraged by the profusion of messages she got from women around the world following her spring show that featured an Asian-only cast, the designer said that for fall she felt able to really focus on what she likes.

In a nod to her years at fashion school, she experimented with weaving and braiding techniques that gave an artisanal touch to a double-breasted coat with maxi buttons and a range of separates crafted from metallic fabrics with an iridescent feel.   

Mount Cook lilies from New Zealand are another thing that Li loves. “I created bold, exaggerated prints of them, which, seen from a certain distance, look like abstract motifs,” she said, referring to the flamboyant patterns splashed on comfortable and breezy tunic dresses and separates.

And another of the designer’s fixations, Mongolian lamb shearling, was crafted not only for plush, oversize pillow bags, but also for the chubby, fluffy sleeves of knit sweaters. Their bold attitude was balanced by a range of clean, urban designs, such as a leather bomber jacket with drawstrings paired with a pleated skirt and a cotton shirt with a bow collar and a cute denim biker jacket paired with a matching mini skirt.

The overall result was fresh, modern and definitely personal.

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