Shown as part of the ICY Global Designer Platform show, a Chinese based designer “incubator / collective / workshop” hybrid, Parsons School of Design grad YiQi “Leaf” Xia showed her first NYFW runway collection under the Leaf Xia moniker. Her first colletion was shown in London in 2016. The Spring 2020 collection was an exuberant & carefree mélange of ideas the likes of which is rarely seen outside of the skilled hands of avant grade master Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons. Xia showed a little of this, a little of that & a lot of something else, but to glorious result!
The collection is a difficult one to categorize as there were definite elements of couture at work as there were elements of traditional sportswear, yet there were definitive moments of “street” style as well. Even with all of that, there was room for some retro-vintage styles as well. Yet, the result was one of decided control & oddly… restraint, as not a single look suffered from a common pitfall so commonly seen in freshman efforts where the designer seems to feel she’ll never have another chance to show, so she dumps every idea possible on the runway all at once. Xia’s result was with obvious intent, rather than creative desperation, thus the result was one to be celebrated.
Of course, like with any collection of this ilk, these looks will be dissected & worn as part of a look versus the full look, but it’s immediately evident that these pieces are each strong enough to stand on their own as the centerpiece of the ensemble yet at once subtle enough to serve as a dash of fashionable spice.
The ICY Global Designer provides a self-stated “one-stop service integrating marketing, manufacturing & selling for global designers” emerging from China. Spring 2020, entitled “ICY Presents: Dynasty” is their second venture on the runways of NYFW, following off of last season’s “ICY Presents: Palace” & we can state without any uncertainty what so ever, that we cannot wait for their 3rd showing. Such innovative business models are no doubt going to play a vital spot in the future of fashion. It’s sort of like fashion’s equivalent to WeWork… one central sourcing, sales & distribution office with multiple creative inputs to build a stronger collective that will allow smaller brands to flourish… just like we hope Leaf Xia does!
-R. Scott French
Designer Website: www.leafxiastudio.com
Images: Elvia Gobbo Photography