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yuhan wang FW22: Venus in Furs

By Press Club



Picture: yuhan wang, Women FW22 Collection, courtesy of the brand

When you think of a goddess, what comes to mind? Benevolence, omnipotence, perfection - a goddess is thought of as untouchable and without fault, but Yuhan Wang wants to change our perception.

For AW22, Yuhan Wang is challenging the idea of perfection and instead looks to shine a light on the dangers that can come with the incessant need to keep up appearances and always look flawless. Yuhan wants to celebrate the beauty of imperfection in juxtaposition to the increasing amount of women opting to have surgical and non-surgical face alterations.

“I feel like when Roman mythology first created Venus it stood for beauty, love, the victory of females. Now it’s just become a symbol for women. I just feel like the meaning behind it has been changed throughout the years. Who is Venus in 2022? It’s not only about one type of woman. The collection name Venus in Furs comes from the book by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, which I was quite interested in because the writer made a very interesting, complicated discussion about the power dynamic between males and females and if women’s powers come from men. I feel like nowadays most of the rules have been geared by men so we had to follow what the men propose and women have to define their behaviour by that, which I don’t think is right.”

An excerpt from Venus in Furs (1870): Watch out, I have a large, very large fur, with which I could cover you up entirely, and I have a mind to catch you in it as in a net.

“For me, the idea of ‘fur’ relates to the different furs we put, and have, on our body - whether that’s clothing or hair - there’s beauty in the diversity of these different furs. It’s not about just one type. For me, the power comes from the diversity. We should be proud to be ourselves.

Picture: yuhan wang, Women FW22 Collection, courtesy of the brand

Yuhan also cites getting inspiration from Mosuo women, a small matriarchal society living in South West China. “Their societal structure is that women are the bosses and it’s like a Kingdom of women. It’s very unique as it’s in Asia which is very traditional and a male dominated society.”

For centuries, femininity and felinity have been closely linked. In Thomas M. Earl’s Pets of the Household, he writes “The cat has been called the ‘perfect pet,’ and not without justice. Pussy has always had her friends and her foes; her ardent admirers and her extreme detestors. Faults she has, no doubt, but the lack of an affectionate regard for the person who befriends her is not, as has been alleged, one of them.” The cat motif is seen in a handful of pieces in the collection in the form of a hand-painted watercolour pattern printed on satin as well as on a parakeet green knitwear three piece ensemble made up of a cropped long-sleeved jumper, cropped sweater vest and mini shorts. “Women are like cats,” says Yuhan. “Sometimes we can be very cute but sometimes we can bite.”

Alongside the addition of knitwear, Yuhan also features her classic floral jacquards and delicate lace pieces.

All cotton used is recycled whilst the faux leather has been sourced by a local supplier and reused and the 3D printed buttons, modelled after statues of Greek goddesses, ears, noses, eyes and hair pieces have been created using corn plastic, made from polyactic acid (PLA) - an alternative to plastic.

For Yuhan, softness is an important element to bring into her work whilst marrying it with the underlying message of female strength and empowerment. This can be seen this season through Yuhan’s interpretation of lace, where the pattern of lace has been printed on faux leather jackets and then laser cut to create a cut-out effect. Continuing the theme of asymmetry, on one side of the jacket the lace print begins to dissipate, referencing Yuhan’s desire to do away with the need for perfection.

Yuhan Wang