Spring 2016 Haute Couture: Lan Yu
China-born couturiers are making their mark on Paris' Haute Couture week this Spring 2016 season. While Guo Pei presented her debut collection on Couture Week’s official calendar, fellow Chinese designer Lan Yu showed her latest offerings in the elegant salon of the mini-Palais.
Unlike Guo, who drew lightly on her Chinese heritage to present a youthful and flirty collection of mostly short cocktail dresses, Lan looked to the past and West to present a collection full of long glamorous gowns. Inspired by the roaring 1920s and the Belle Époque, the collection included looks with tightly molded bodies that nipped in at the waist and emphasized the hips.
One crimson number, featuring fan pleats that hugged the female form, was evocative of some of Charles James' best work. Elsewhere, there were transparent tulles delicately embroidered with flowers and pearls. Yet another number, in a bluish black, recalled a grand stage curtain falling at the opera.
Launched in 2005, Lan's Beijing-based label, LANYU, has been showing in Paris since 2014. Her creations always incorporate traditional Suzhou embroideries, which are characterized by the use of varying thread thicknesses, as well as brightly colored, seemingly-random stitches (such as oblique and crossing lines that are layered to create a design). Her atelier’s techniques were on full display this season, culminating in the pièce de resistance of an ivory feather frock, adorned with extremely lifelike butterfly appliqués in gradated shades of red.
As first published on BLOUINARTINFO.COM