BATD ON Feb 26, 2014 AT 4:57 pm

by Valirie Morgan

Yang Li's AW14 collection.

Yang Li’s AW14 collection.

It can be easy for fall collections to get lost in the shuffle of muted tones and trench coats, even at Paris Fashion Week. Today’s shows were largely reminiscent of the same old autumn style, but one collection in particular managed to catch our eye: Yang Li. The London-based designer did not stray too far from the traditional colours of fall, but his pieces really stood out because of their varied and edgy silhouettes. Each outfit featured strong angular lines, juxtaposing fabric textures and an interesting sense of emotion. While his name may not be familiar, Li has the potential to become one of the next “it” designers, and his A/W14 collection seen in Paris is the proof.

Yang Li

The young designer was born in Beijing and moved to Perth, Australia when he was 10 years old. His teenage years in Perth were spent playing basketball and skateboarding, activities which Li said lead him into fashion.

“When you play basketball or when you skate, how you wear your jeans and which graphic is on your skateboard is important—it’s so much about style and expression,” Li said in an interview with Elle. “Studying fashion was justifying this interest, really, and applying it in a more conventional way.”

Now based out of London, the 26-year-old has accomplished a lot in quite a short period of time. After dropping out of Central Saint Martins, where he had been studying fashion, Li worked as an intern for accomplished designer Raf Simons. He’s now had several seasons of experience with his own fashions. Like his mentor Simons, Li has said he is less interested in reinventing a piece of clothing than what he is saying with it. Some of his pieces are indeed similar, but Li manages to add a new spin to each with his rough vision of modern luxury. Mixing lush velvet fabrics with the likes of ripped cotton t-shirts and leather biker-inspired jackets, the fall collection evokes a sense of elegance overpowered by harsh, edgy touches.

Yang Li’s AW14 collection.

Li has cited his inspiration as street wear with a gothic influence, and it shows in the details he adds — from raw edges to slitted knees and undone hems and seams, everything he displays compels the viewer to realize the hard aspects of urban streets. His clothes are made in Italy and finished with the utmost precision, but Li occasionally likes to throw in some impulsive finishing touches of his own, like slashing the knees of leather pants in his fall collection. For today’s show, Li apparently asked his factories to make each item perfectly and then “destroy one element.”

“Art is not all clean lines, but has a human touch,” he said in an interview last year. “Same with fashion.”

After seeing Yang Li’s impressive take on the autumn/winter styles for 2014, we’ve set our expectations even higher for his next collection. For more information about the designer or his collections, visit his website.

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