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Yang Du Womenswear A/W12

The young London-based knitwear designer had animals trooping into her imaginary Noah’s Ark

London’s ON|OFF schedule has decamped to Paris for the second time running and has already pulled in a few names to kickstart what is an official Paris off-schedule. Zandra Rhodes showed a retrospective show that powered through a riot of madcap pattern and colour. Bernhard Willhelm also had a show there last night. It also welcomed the young knitwear designer Yang Du to Paris with a presentation of her A/W 12-3 collection 'Why do fools fall in love?' which is sure to please admirers of Du’s witty play with animal motifs and impactful knits. "I received a New Year's card from a friend which had two dinosaurs, waiting to get on the Noah's Ark that said 'Oh shit, is that today," so it's a really funny take on the Bible story. I just got this idea to do a collection for Joyce to set up an animal scene where different animals from the jungle would all be trying to get on Noah's Ark," explained Du about the origins of this inconceivable animal world.

I got this idea to do a collection where different animals from the jungle would all be trying to get on Noah's Ark

Tigers and giraffes mingled with owls and flamingos. Their colour blocked faces would be enlarged on simple, short intarsia cashmere dresses as well as her signature jumbo capes. Du also added a heavyweight of accessories with giant panelled backpacks that featured a hippo’s head or an owl’s body. Swans and crocodiles would be knitted up in to quirky gloves, hats and scarves. Choosing Paris as the location of Du's debut show was a brave one but it also speaks of ambition. ON|OFF is a curious initiative that exists in Paris and with designers as uniquely minded as Du being a part of it, there’s a very good chance that London won’t be the only city known as the hotbed of creativity.