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Backstage at Yang Li SS15 Dazed Lea Colombo
Backstage at Yang Li SS15Photography Lea Colombo

Yang Li SS15

Soundtracked by the unsettling prelude of Lars Von Trier's 'Europa', Yang Li gives romance an anarchistic edge with a little help from Genesis P-Orridge

Initial reaction:

Romantic minimalism with an anarchistic edge – courtesy of pandrogynous icon Genesis P-Orridge who collaborated with Yang Li this season. 

Ominous atmosphere:

The prelude to Lars von Trier's 1991 film Europa soundtracked the opening of the show. Narrated by actor Max von Sydow, the unsettling voice-over hypnotised the audience – “At the count of ten, you will be in Europa...you are in Germany. The year is 1945.” The inclusion of such an unflinching reference to the darkness of post-war Europe (and its representation by one of the world’s most infamously demanding directors) posed a strong contrast to the collection's romanticism. 

Poetry in motion:

NOTHING SHORT OF A TOTAL

RIOT

NOTHING SHORT OF A TOTAL

WAR

NOTHING SHORT OF A TOTAL

LOVE

This season’s manifesto – after the success of his 'Dreamers' collection last season — was the result of spending two days working with Throbbing Gristle's Genesis P-Orridge, whom Li cites as an inspiration. As a designer he's always taken his readings from youth subcultures and rebellious visionaries – with P-Orridge and Cosey Fanni Tutti setting the bar in the art world with their notorious 1976 ICA show, 'Prostitution'. The show, which was condemned and shut down, featured the group known at the time as COUM Transmissions, and a stripper called Cherry writhing naked on the floor. As Li's manifesto went from 'war' to 'love', his collection clashed subversive and anarchistic messages ('So destroy the expected' and 'Bore') with romantic elements of chiffon and embroidery. 

The soundtrack to Yang Li SS15: