Encouraging Exploration: Leonard Paris Womens Autumn/Winter 2014-15
French designer house Leonard is in the throes of change, with new creative director Yiqing Yin at the helm of its Autumn/Winter 2014-15 collection. Yin sees herself as providing a “new identity and vocabulary,” while simultaneously acknowledging the legacy of the “Leonard archives.” The result is generated entirely from this archive, so while it appears a bold new step for Leonard, which has built a brand around floral designs and gentle chiffon, it still holds true to the distinctive Leonard look.
While many designs are still unmistakably floral, they have been twisted in an exciting and worldly new direction, with an oriental flavor in Chinese and Chinoiserie prints. The highly detailed embroidery work stuns on understated backgrounds, powerfully showcasing the isolated flower blooms and geometric patterns.
Another staple of the Leonard house is the foulard, a trademark Yin delights in as “a shape that swings as she walks.” Embracing the free-flowing forms as a metaphor for freedom and emancipation, Yin extends this to the entirety of the pieces, resulting in rippling fabrics and an iridescent palette.
“It is an invitation to travel,” Yin explains, keen to present the collection as the natural choice of an urbane traveller. Indeed, there is a definite cosmopolitan air to this collection compared to Leonard’s looks of the past. It is an invitation that is irresistibly appealing.