YANG LI AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR PARIS FASHION WEEK

YANG LI AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR PARIS FASHION WEEK

“Tension,” said (apparently utterly un-tense) Yang Li after his Fall show: “It was absolutely about tension.” Tension is a positive force? “You have to destroy to create.” Ah, that old chestnut. Then what was he destroying today? “Well, with my hands, in the lineup, I was destroying the clothes.”

Here Li referred to the crinkly, stiff, but malleable garments in an aluminum-injected fabric (starting at look 14) that allowed him—as it would anyone who bought one of those pieces—to set their shape by hand. With them you could do practically anything, except perhaps sit down. Sometimes Li’s fold-peppered sculpted silhouettes were appealingly touched by drama (a khaki trench with a frozen cascade of gray between its collars; skirt hems motionless in flight as if lifted mid-gust), while on occasion it looked as if the wearer was an about-to-be-eaten bar of chocolate.

One tension could definitely be charted bubbled between the venerable—a touch of satin-sheen New Look here, opera gloves there—and the roughly irreverent, like raw-hemmed cotton bell-bottoms whose flare kept broadening, gnawed-at belted leather coats, and a dress worn inside out. Playing chorus to these limelight-hoggers was a sprinkling of more gently spoken but persuasive options, including a glazed black wool blazer dress and some short-sleeve safari-shirt satin gowns. Fun to watch, and potentially deeply entertaining to wear, so no tension necessary.

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