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Yiqinq Yin brings back the sensuality of Paul Poiret

March 7 2018

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It's been a year since Yiqing Yin worked in secret on the revival of the Poiret brand, which closed its doors 90 years ago. It was one of the most anticipated fashion week shows and one of the most moving. Bringing the seamstress in from the archives, a spirit, a generosity, a freedom, a beauty, that she interprets within the context of today. - Isabelle Cerboneschi.

Watch the video of the Poiret fashion show. Film by Sébastien Bauer. Production: Provisional Title X OBO Global

One of the most anticipated shows of the season was Poiret. How to resurrect a brand that closed its doors almost a hundred years ago? And above all, did it make sense?

Yes and a thousand times yes! The answer comes from the obvious after having scrolled the collection designed by Yiqing Yin.

The girls moved slowly out of a compact mist to go to the light, an allegorical passage between the past and the present.

They wore clothes with controlled forms, falsely nonchalant. Some dresses in woven metal fibre, jacquards woven floral motifs inspired by the archives, flashes of gold crossing a sweater, revealing themselves in the lining of a coat. Hidden beauty.

It's been a year since seamstress Yiqing Yin secretly works on the revival of the house that Paul Poiret opened in 1903 only to close it in 1929. She looked at the codes, how to best integrate them in an era that has some similarities with the one that saw the birth of the brand. No direct quotation, but the beautiful, the just, the desirable, the falsely fragile, the preciousness that does not say its name, the whispered luxury.

IC: One year of work in secret, twenty minutes of show, how do you feel?
Yiqing Yin: I am very happy. It's been a year since we all worked on this collection and it's like we're letting go of our baby.

How does one become impregnated with a house that has disappeared for almost a century?
By doing a lot of research, in the archives, in the autobiography of Paul Poiret. I also found a vintage book at a second-hand bookstore. I took it as a sign. We have deviated from a first-degree interpretation. We focused on the personality of Mr. Paul Poiret, trying to recreate his generosity, his love of art, his hedonism, the way he had released the body of women and their minds, and put that in our story.

And this release, how do you express it?
By throws, clothes very nonchalant, malleable and versatile. Architectures quite sober to the purified construction. We did a lot of textile development work from the archives that we transformed with contemporary tools. We wanted to push the technological frontiers.

What do you bring to the fashion along with Poiret?
I try to return to a fashion that remains in the service of women, which solves the paradox of sensuality in clothing, today. I would like to propose to women a sensual alternative, but without excess, conscious, with a garment that invites to the game and to the expression of oneself so that each one can establish its singularity. There are many clothes in the collection that are worn in different ways and that I have shown several times, differently on the podium: oversize version, belted, back in front and vice versa, rollovers, tilted volumes ... clothing is the chalice of the moods of the woman who wears them and of her secret intentions.

What identity do you want to give to Poiret today?
Paul Poiret was part of a kind of collaborative generosity. He invited personalities, creative minds around him to play in his universe and I would like to continue in this inclusive spirit. There is such rich archives, beauty, inspiration! I would like to provoke artistic meetings in different fields of expression so that this house is curator of singular writings, resulting from meetings with dissimilar personalities, original crafts.

Paul Poiret had developed a signature, or rather many styles gold which are among his fundamental codes that you chose to keep?
He was well known for the extravagance of his ennoblements, when in fact the architecture of his clothes was very sober. For me, it's the couturier who invented two very contemporary notions: theoversize and minimalism. Two very strong codes, anchored in our sartorial culture, which allow another approach of sensuality: a sensuality that adapts to the body, with which one can play, reveal, but not immediately. And that's what I find very modern.

You have created a 360 degrees collection, which includes clothing and accessories. How did you think about this?
I tried to preserve the notion of automatic writing in the creation of props: return to the creative state of a child would. I asked myself "what's there?" By putting everything on the table. Then we assembled, stitched randomly, fast and instinctively and we tried to fix it in time.