Spring 2014 Haute Couture: Yiqing Yin's Cocoon Couture


Young designer Yiqing Yin, who recently took the helm at Leonard, delivered a beautifully crafted collection around the theme of transformations centered on moths and butterflies, enveloping her models in light cocoons that gently protected their bodies with her signature pleating and textured layering.

Speaking following her presentation earlier this week, the French designer said her main inspiration had been the “strange beauty of moths, the marvelous stages of metamorphosis taking their lives from the caterpillar to the cocoon, and on to the adult form; so complex yet so short-lived.”

Favoring a main palette of grays, her first dress set the tone for the whole collection. The designer used an exclusive fabric that had been hand-woven by accumulating coverlock-stitched lines with various threads to compose a delicate surface with naturally fleeting tones. The idea of an enveloping cocoon could be seen in the pleated rounded shoulders of various outfits as well as the early chrysalis-like state of some fabrics that enveloped the models’ arms and legs. Certain outfits represented the metamorphosis stage, combining translucent with opaque fabrics. Wing-like patterns could be seen on the front of a pretty cocktail dress and an evening jacket studded with tiny pearls.

For a Spring/Summer collection, the designer surprisingly used a lot of furs and the show-stopper was a stunning gown with pearl mink fur cut into tiny pieces and then used like embroidery on silk chiffon to create a soft vaporous effect, fading into transparency.

Two loose summary silk and organza dresses represented the final transformation in what had been overall a very cohesive collection, well illustrated its theme of transformation.

Some models wore butterfly masks further highlighting how butterflies seem to be enjoying their moment this season having also been present in Alexis Mabille, Stéphane Rolland and Jean Paul Gaultier's presentations.