FEATURING: BERNHARD WILLHELM
For F/W 2019, Yuhan Wang delivers an explosion of silk-satin fabric blended with floral-embroidered tulle that delicately embraces the body. The collection is highly reminiscent of paintings created by Gai Qi, both artist and designer capture an air of understated, subtle femininity that deploys visual signifiers evocative of Victorian romanticism. The pieces possess a whimsical quality that keenly balances the act of revealing and concealing—what they seem to communicate is that these polar desires can exist simultaneously without necessarily being mutually exclusive. Through clothing, Wang clears out any potential for cognitive dissonance by consolidating polarities associated with womanhood, thereby presenting an alternative form of femininity that is hyper-aware of its multiplicities.
If statement pieces derive their everlasting prominence from mere discernibility, then Y/Project’s F/W 2019 collection defies this formula by completely reimagining what it means for something to attain icon status. Instead of delivering intelligible, user-friendly womenswear, designer Glenn Martens complicates the nature of clothing by introducing enigmatic forms that synthesize a myriad of singular physical entities. Each piece escapes categorization—it is this calculated hybridity which allows for boundless potential. The brand’s classic thigh-high ruched boots are reworked into additional panels that sit below the legs of checked trousers, both operating as one unified configuration. It is unclear where one piece ends or begins, and this ambiguity stands as a testament to Y/Project’s incomparable propensity to eradicate boundaries, both visually and conceptually.