Words By: Katie Farley

Photo Credit: Rudy K Lawidjaja

Claudia Li showcased a colorful and eclectic display for her Fall-Winter 2020 Ready-to-Wear collection that extracted a series of poignant references from her beloved grandfather, who passed away last March. Exhibited at Spring Studios in New York City, the thirty-piece collection, inspired by the moments shared by grandfather and granddaughter, emerged as a celebratory narrative. Throughout the fashion presentation, Li returns to themes that have become her signature and intuits fresh concepts to identify the most authentic essence of herself, along with her label’s distinctiveness.

The Slouchy Shirt, the Big Bow Jumpsuit, and the Windy Skirt are all fundamental silhouettes that have been reimaged and collectively decoded into a range of new fabrics featuring quilted padding and soft leathers. The Erhu print arrives as the latest edition this season, along with plaids, hand embroidery, and the Goldfish print.

The Erhu print featured in the collection was designed with Claudia’s family’s creative and musical influences in mind. Her grandfather, known as a painter, was also an accomplished musician who played multiple instruments, with the Erhu being the piece he performed most frequently. This specific print comes in two shades, Bluejay and Samba Red, while The Goldfish print and hand embroidery invoke memories in China shopping with Claudia’s grandfather at street markets. Classic suit fabrics bedecked with plaid prints appear throughout the collection, seen in Pink Flambe, Impala Yellow, and Maui Blue plaids on lustrous vinyl. Also notable are the oversized mesh bags that featured hand cross-stitched patterns.

Bespoke and original accessories made their appearance in hand-crocheted beanies with large pom-poms and earrings, also hand made, and beaded with fabric flowers. TEVA provided hand beaded sandals. Claudia Li, who established her eponymous brand in 2015, previously acquired notable design positions with several incredibly influential designers, including Brandon Maxwell for Haus of Gaga, followed by British designer J.W. Anderson.

Li excels at her craft, combining bold colors, textures, prints, and silhouettes, all filtered through her background in fine arts, which shines through her extraordinary fashion stories. These factors have earned the designer an array of accolades that focuses on a sense of artistry, wearability, and craftsmanship.With the ability to intermingle original design with creativity and craftsmanship, Claudia Li is championing New York’s flourishing circle of innovative talent.