Languid yet precise, Yuhan Wang explores the language of deshabille in her subtly nuanced debut collection at Fashion East.
“People always have a curiosity about what happens ‘behind the curtain’ and I see that as a metaphor about the body, the way we dress and the story behind it. The dialogue between a woman and her self and the way she appears is private - it is her inner universe expressed in the outside world,” says Wang who expands on the theme of her Central St Martins M.A. collection entitled: ‘Women Indoors.
“I cut the garments in a Western way but the aesthetics are intrinsically Asian, from the way I see the world,” explains Wang of the East West confluences in her bias cut, flounced light satin silk and semi sheer print jersey dresses. Shapes with slender sleeves, drapes and gentle flurries shimmy down the body fastened with tiny buttons and ribbon tab fastenings. In some designs, areas of the skin are revealed at the midriff and the thigh as if the fabric has been gently prized apart. Shades of primrose yellow and powder pink, palest blue and eau de nil suggest delicacy while a chrysanthemum flower pattern (hand drawn by Wang) speaks of optimism and joy.
Wang draws on period portraits of Regency women as well as on the vernacular of Chinese dress. Giant cartwheel hats made from translucent jersey and wire frame the face like soft sculptures while hybrid silk glove/shawls and suggest a genteel femininity. Hand crafted accessories including gold painted metal leaf brooches that scatter across the body and ear cuffs and necklaces that resemble small bunches of half eaten grapes. “I prefer ‘slow.’ I like to think and convey feelings in a nuanced way. I lean to beauty with weirdness, softness, delicacy and sensibility,” says Wang.