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Fri - Nov 24, 2023 12:00 pm EST

Dating back to the 1880s-1940s, the Chinese male immigrant community in the United States was forced to separate from their wives and children due to the Chinese Exclusion Act and segregation policies, they left alone in a foreign country trying to build up their lives from nothing. This was a long historical period called the “Bachelor’s Society”. In addition to the changes that have taken place in their lives, intertwined social factors would also irresistibly affect the identity of individuals.

YA YI SS24 continues to explore the Asian immigrant identity after her debut collection IT IS NOT SPRING, UNTIL ALL FLOWERS BLOSSOM. For this season, YA YI casts her eyes on a special collection of portraits of early migrants, which reveal the specific historical predicament behind them through an abnormal form. The family photos that are taken in the form of collages, the portraits that are created in a deliberately Westernized stereotype -- while photographs have become the reluctant tool for immigrant groups to shape and construct identities, they also enable them to become an idealized representation paradigm. When seemingly contradictory elements are intertwined with each other, these objects also reflect the dislocation and complexity of individual identity cognition in the social environment.

This “sense of dislocation” inspired YA YI to re-examine the uncanny aesthetics and surrealism. The bodies and flowers are placed in an overlapping space and time; the sculptural construction of sequin fabric combines with folded drapes, to create a deformed yet richly emotional poetic silhouette. YA YI‘s collection is inspired by the combination of old photographs and hand-crafted flowers. Generated from the exaggerated form of vintage bridal flower bouquets, this collection refines and reshapes the element of flower bouquets through devore silk velvet and jacquard fabrics. Blending with the dreamy and mysterious feather motif, merging with the fragile and glamorous texture of double-sided sequin fabric. The appearance of this collection, which resembles peeling wallpaper, creates a sense of the passasge of time. The colour of the collection uses a contrast of black and white to restore the nostalgic atmosphere of faded old wedding photos. “Navy Blue” represents dignity and mystery, “Gold” symbolizes nobility and wealth in traditional Chinese culture, and also refers to the original driving force of early Chinese immigrants in the United States to leave their homes only to “find the gold mountain”.


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