Perhaps it’s no accident that for her first show since being granted the official haute couture designation, Yiqing Yin focused on the theme of rebirth.
Yin recently parted ways with Leonard after two years as creative director of the French fashion house in order to focus on her own brand. As divorces go, this appears to have been an amicable one, since Leonard managing director Nathalie Tribouillard-Chassaing was sitting front row.
The narrative of the collection, titled “Blooming Ashes,” was steeped in fantasy — think warrior women in chainmail mesh and leather harnesses — yet it also sounded like a metaphor for the designer’s own journey. “She is changing, she’s victorious, she’s a warrior, she’s a fighter, she goes back to her instincts,” Yin said backstage.
Indeed, Yin was back to creating the kind of complex handcrafted pieces that are the hallmark of couture, including a corset resembling a cage of creeping vine branches, or an off-the-shoulder sheath dress made from a mosaic of seven different types of fur.
She balanced the semi-conceptual pieces — including a little black dress in a cage of fairy lights — with her off-hand approach to luxury: draped tops and dresses incorporating panels of fine silver mesh; jumpsuits in washed silk or stretchy waxed cotton, and finely woven leather dresses and tops.
A pale blue silk gown encased in a web of knotted rope struck the perfect balance between design and wearability.