September 14, 2016
By Marcellous L. Jones
Photos Courtesy of Lan Yu Couture
Paris, France – This season the Chinese couturier Lan Yu has decided to evolve the way she presents her couture line in Paris. Instead of the usual elegant happening with mannequins or live models, she has opted to display her work in the cadre of a fashion show. Though this allows dramatically less time for her fans to admire the work up close, this does however allow us to witness the pieces as they move effortlessly through space and through time.
A great beauty in her own right, Lan Yu understands the importance of infusing subtlety and delicateness into her work. This is the reason for which she was greatly affected by the paper cutting skill of the artist Gao Fenglian. It is about refinement, about the themes important in Chinese philosophical assumptions and about life through the perpetuation of a species.
Lan Yu reinterprets all this into her silhouettes, which are dominated by silks lace and silk organza. The thin, sheer fabric is used to create the beautiful silhouettes in the form of sheath dresses. Once a minimum amount of light is shown upon them, they reveal traces of the naked body. These gowns and sheath dresses often include complements of lace.
The appliqués prove to be the most interesting detail of the collection. Cut as butterflies, leaves, etc. they are used to embellish the dresses and gowns at the hips, bust and shoulders. We also see the appliqués forms used in the construction of the footwear.
Once all is said and done, we fully understand the skill and vision of Lan Yu. And through her work, we live a rare moment in which a gentle whisper is translated into physical form.