Oude Waag Shanghai Fall 2024 Collection

Just over a month ago, Megan Thee Stallion wore a look from Jingwei Yin’s spring 2024 collection for Oude Waag to the Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Gala. “I was very surprised and very inspired,” said Yin over the phone in the lead up to his fall show. “She gave more power to that outfit, and gave me a new dimension to explore different types of bodies.”

Yin is a designer beguiled by the human form. His sinuous, buoyant drapes and considered cuts are meant to both conceal and exalt a woman’s shape. “The Chinese market considers Oude Waag a sexy brand,” said the designer, “but in the Western market when you talk about sexiness, it’s more direct and very straightforward. My work is about showing the body in a very subtle way.” OudeWaag is sexy, surely, but its sensuality is nuanced and complex. It hinges less on uncovering the body and more on the tension with which Yin envelops it. This is a Chinese designer American buyers should pay close attention to.

Yin said that he was thinking of fireworks this season, of their paradoxical nature as a symbol of both unifying celebration and perilous weaponry. “It’s a reaction to the world, or to myself,” said Yin. “We have Chinese New Year in January, and it’s all about celebrations, but on the other hand, the market is unpredictable, as is the whole world at the moment.” Yin’s resolve, he said, was to bring “elegance and strength in the face of difficult times.”

That much he delivered in spades. What Yin can do with jersey around the body is in a class of its own in terms of gravity defiance—see a piece of black fabric fashioned in the front as a bodysuit and skirt and draped into a seamless cape in the back, or the way he swaddled the body with an overextended sleeve draped into a maxi wrap dress. But this season he stretched further, contrasting these wispy, slinky outbursts with explosive winding drapes in heavier metallic materials and shaggy touches of shearling. His tailored jackets remained razor sharp at the shoulders, but he ventured into new territory in his coats. The cocooning wrap silhouettes recalled both Cristóbal Balenciaga and Azzedine Alaïa in cut and spirit, but looked utterly contemporary in proportions and fabrications. 

Still, Yin is most impressive when he’s at his most subtle. A deceptively simple look appears to be a halter blouse styled over a skirt in the front, but turns out to be a single piece of fabric folded over itself and held together by a single seam in the back—equal parts magic trick and technical feat. This is where experience matters most. Shanghai Fashion Week is exciting for its young talents with extravagant ideas and magpie collections, but Yin provides focus and restraint. His counterparts should watch him closely.


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