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yang li cop police car ss18 menswear
Yang Li SS18 MenswearPhotography Robi Rodriguez, styling Ellie Grace Cumming

Yang Li takes inspiration from dirty cops for SS18

The fashion police – literally

In the current global political climate, it is easy to believe that those in power are the bad guys. Perhaps Yang Li agrees, as this season he’s taken inspiration from villains – albeit cinematic ones. “On the surface, the villains in film are the most well dressed… almost perversely well dressed,” explains Li, who wanted to explore a different villain over three seasons. Last season, the ‘Yang Li Villain Trilogy’ saw the horror film killer brought to life – complete with leather gloves and sinister stares. This time, he focussed on the corrupt cop.

“The dirty cop is perhaps one of the ultimate anti-heroes as a figure of authority,” the designer said. Taking inspiration from a host of characters including Gary Oldman in Léon: The Professional and Harvey Keitel in Bad Lieutenant (the ultimate bad cop, says Li) he even referenced Brooklyn’s real-life corrupt cop, Mike Dowd.

The lookbook is photographed by Robi Rodriguez and styled by Another Man’s Fashion Director Ellie Grace Cumming with art direction by Dazed’s Jamie Reid. Much like the detectives in the films, the cop in the SS18 collection favours loose fitting tailoring, often with rolled up sleeves and shirts unbuttoned at the collar. A police car sets the scene; the dashboard covered in used Marlboro Red packets. The theme is continued with thick-soled, black boots and Sheriff-like, boxy beige shirts complete with aviator sunglasses – there’s even a cop badge on one of the looks.

With the bad cop and the serial killer ticked off the villain checklist, you’ll have to wait for the AW18 collection to see who Li chooses next season to complete the trilogy.