LFW AW24: Yuhan Wang

FORMIDABLE, audacious and confident, the Yuhan Wang woman is never to be dismissed. For autumn-winter 2024, the Chinese designer looked to courtroom attire for inspiration. Titled The Trials, the latest seasonal offering pays homage to female legal figures around the world such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Dame Rose Heilbron, Sandra Day O’Connor and Brenda Hale.

Utilising their prowess and infallible knowledge, these women have shaped history through their practice. Now, Wang carefully navigates the legal scene by intertwining her hyper-feminine aesthetic with powerful silhouettes and structural garments. Onlookers are met with a series of frivolous businesswomen, all clad head-to-toe in lacy, deconstructed forms.

For example, High Court judges’ civil robes have been reinterpreted into ethereal cloaks with strong shoulders, whereas animal prints make an appearance on cotton poplin shirts with oversized collars. Accompanied by wide-leg wool trousers or worn merely belted, the collection combines sophistication with undeniable preppy style.

Traditional courtroom attire is further subverted through saccharine minutiae and detailing. With the arrival of rose-printed satin viscose crafted into a shirt and pleated skirt combo, the ensemble marks a new direction for Wang. Having previously looked to strong, independent women as inspiration for collections – such as autumn-winter 2022 – the latest offering demonstrates a new sense of maturity and refinement. Settling into her design aesthetic as the years go on, Wang continues to grow and hone her craft.

In particular, this evolution is showcased through playful cuts and volumes. Cotton lace midi dresses feature scooped necklines and are embellished with a multitude of ribbons to add further feminine allure. Meanwhile, repurposed lace off-cuts from previous seasons have been used to craft skirt suits, mini dresses, frayed two-piece sets and floor-length gowns.

Darker tones of wool tweed later arrive in the form of puritanical dresses and off-the-shoulder frocks. Maintaining an emphasis on sustainability, cloaks are showcased in eco-leather – fitted with lace Edwardian-inspired collars. As the collection continues, models wearing avant-garde tops made from legal pages and documents saunter down the runway – walking with purpose and pride.

Perhaps Wang’s best collection yet, the AW24 presentation exemplified Wang’s relentless growth and development. Honouring incredible businesswomen, Wang continues to design for a more equitable, honourable future.

by Sophie Richardson