Imagine closing your eyes and picturing a Super 8 home video from the ’70s. Hear the clicking of the film and the sepia tones in the images. Now fill the visuals with pictures of your family, friends and loved ones. Well, Claudia Li’s Spring Summer 2021 captures the magic and nostalgia of gatherings, something I think we are all craving, especially in today’s world. If you bottled up Spring and Summer into a jar to sell to consumers during the cold winter months, you would have Claudia’s collection.
Part of New York Fashion Week’s magic stems from the production value. Yes, the clothes are the star, but what about the music and visuals accompanying the models as they walk the runway. While I am sure we are all missing the standard shows, virtual presentations create a unique opportunity- one Claudia Li rose to. Her digital presentation does more than showcase her designs; it transports you to a time where we all had less to worry about, with her clothes aiding in the visualization.
Her Ready-to-Wear collection is beautiful, utilizing Li’s own Hawaiin wedding served as inspiration for this collection. Her dresses, track jackets and jumpsuits featured exotic flowers, tule, sheer and lamé fabric components, pleats in flowing skirts and what can only be described as holographic and iridescent sequins. While watching her presentation, I imagined myself transported back to the ’70s witnessing my family in the garden. The metallic patterns and colors within this collection hold the promise of a new and hopeful future, one filled with whimsy and joy tieing into the name of her digital presentation “Till We Meet Again…”
I would be remiss not to mention the model selected for Claudia Li’s SS21 collection, Kennedy Yanko. Li and Yanko met in February and shared a desire to have louder voices for minorities and women in their industries. The Brooklyn-based painter and sculpture took to Instagram, sharing part of the presentation was filmed in the warehouse where she learned to weld. She even modeled on a machine where she almost lost her pinky.
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@claudialiofficial a designer after my heart. I took her and her team to the warehouse I learned to weld in, sitting on top of a machine I almost lost my pinky to twice! We played around my industrial neighborhood of bushwhick in order to support and create the vision of this incredibly talented young woman. Our adventure and her 2021 collection will be live on nyfw.com at 6:30pm est today September 15. I’m so proud you! 🥝🥝🥝🥝
It seems fitting Claudi Li selected Yanko as her model. The collection is a perfect combination of strength, beauty and whimsy. The designs portray power while displaying femininity through color and fabric choices. Li’s garments are nuanced, some filled with beautiful patterns, while others are sleek and filled with simplicity. Her garments are now available for pre-order here. I know I am hoping the upcoming Spring and Summer months bring the same warmth and enjoyment Li’s designs portray.