The theme of this season's Yang Li
show was "the dreamer." That wasn't an altogether surprising choice, given that Li, in his brief career, has consistently exhibited a, shall we say, poetic cast of mind. His modus operandi is to take streetwise looks and give them a lyrical spin, more or less subtly. This time out, the dreaminess was reflected in the clothes' languid tone, typical for Li, as well as in various surreal touches that made the collection feel more directional than has been the case up to now. One example: the bra-and-floor-length-full-skirt combo rendered in fur, which seemed to wink at Meret Oppenheim's legendary Dada piece, the fur teacup. This was not a practical look, to put it mildly. Elsewhere, the surreality came down to gestures, like the cloth swept to one side of an otherwise soigné little black dress, or comedic oversize belts on jackets and half-and-half skirts—one side knee-length and pleated, the other midcalf flowing wool. And so on. That was the women's collection, at any rate; there were also men's looks, which skewed more straightforward and retail-friendly, with lots of sharp calfskin, leather bombers, and good-looking slouchy pants. Which points out that Li himself, whatever his disposition, is not such a dreamer that he doesn't default to making wearable clothes: Even that most fanciful piece, the fur bra, reappeared in black over a turtleneck and looked pretty convincing thus styled. Some dreams do come true.