New York-based designer Claudia Li presented her fall 2019 collection “unapologetic celebration” at New York Fashion Week.
The collection was inspired and impacted by women of all walks of life through emails, Instagram and even some postal mail the designer received prior her last NYFW show, where she featured a cast of all Asian women.
“It’s like the anxiety you have when you’re the first person on the dancefloor,” she said. “The uncertainty of whether you look good, or whether you look awkward and foolish. After four years in this business, I can finally say: this is who I am, this is what I love, and I am unafraid to dance.”
For this collection, Claudia takes this energy and channels it inward: going back to some of her earliest sketchbooks, revisiting her passions: except this time, with no hesitation or fear.
Weaving, knitting and braiding handiwork came back this season in full force. The floating weave creates movement on sleeves and trousers; metallic weaving panels find home on the back of a bomber jacket; large leather bags are covered in bright hand-crocheted slipcovers.
Mongolian lamb shearling is used across oversized sleeves, coats and accessories, establishing immediate graphic focus while providing significant comfort and cosiness. “My woman is playful with how she looks, but she’s smart and ready for the cold,” the designer said. “Indulging design and staying warm are not mutually exclusive.”
The neck is established as an erogenous zone of private, confident sensuality through the visual focus of exaggerated, lily-shaped fold overs and oversized, attached ties that can be self-styled as the wearer chooses.
Pointed use of metallics and glitter provide contrasting areas of shine and matte throughout the collection, along with unexpected contrasts such as lurex worn with sport mesh, and sequined eveningwear paired with denim. An assortment of dresses, tops and skirts were presented, combining Claudia’s artistic aesthetic.