It’s next to impossible for the bright and bold faux-fur collection by the Royal College of Art alumna Linyun Yu to go unnoticed! Not only did she catch the eye of Fashion Crossover London as part of the Graduate Talent Programme, but her work is also featured in the September issue of Harper’s Bazaar UK. The Chinese womenswear designer sees her work more as an art piece, and tackles the scientific topic of conformity with her graduate collection ‘Lean’. Never thought faux-fur could be the answer to all our sustainable needs, think again, discover how Linyun Yu implements green fashion throughout her outstanding collection!
Your Graduate collection ‘LEAN’ is inspired by psychology and behavioural characteristics, what lead you to these scientific sources of inspiration?
I define myself as a social investigator within the world of fashion. I aim to collaborate with the different areas such as information experience and exhibitions and in doing so revealing, analysing and taking a satirical point of view on the current situation. The social phenomenon of conformity caught my eye when looking at psychology as the main driver behind certain displays of behaviour. Through imitation and psychological analysis, it can be correctly intuitively represented in visual presentation and fashion.
"I define myself as a social investigator within the world of fashion"
The bold shapes and colours used in your collection stand out, as was the main source of inspiration behind these silhouettes?
The office is the main area where conformity is in place, with my silhouette I started from a typical work uniform. I did a performance art experiment, where I let a group of people in suit perform confirmative behaviour, as they gradually grouped, they were lost in uniformity, all acting and thinking as one, as well as showing hostility to outer influences, going so far as attacking the minority and foreign opinions. I analysed the different states of the suit during the conformity performance phases and deconstructed the shape to come to my final shape.
Your collection and ethos bring sustainability to the forefront, what made you chose a more ethical approach for using fur in your garments?
I don’t design things, I design systems, with my final work leaning more on the side of functional artwork, rather than garments. In my systematic approach, my designs don’t limit themselves to merely carrying a function, they double up as a carrier of information, which can provide benefits in long-term. ‘LEAN’ is designed to remind people of independent thinking, and is a practical exploration of experiences designs independent thinking when it comes to topics such as sustainability, something discussed thoroughly within the fashion industry. My artificial fur is grouped by biodegradable yarns, with a low cost yet efficient energy input, this way sustainability is tackled both environmentally and economically.
"In my systematic approach, my designs don’t limit themselves to merely carrying a function, they double up as a carrier of information, which can provide benefits in long-term"
You collection highlights the cunning use of textures and unique materials, why did this bare such an importance?
The finishing of my textiles dominated my collection, as they provide the best expression for my sustainable goals. Visually, people can immediately see my fur is one, artificial and two, made up of groups of natural yarn rather than real fur fibre. In addition to that, every piece in my collection is mono-material based, meaning it can easily be recycled at the end-of-life phases opposed to multi-material based garments.
You have just graduated from a masters course in Knitwear at the Royal College of Art, what else can we expect from your and your label in the future?
I would like to keep my work in line with the performance style approach in the future. I would love to have my work worn by celebrities, featured in magazines and galleries. However, this shouldn’t be instead of maintaining an environmentally-friendly, sustainable and ethical approach.
"However, this shouldn’t be instead of maintaining an environmentally-friendly, sustainable and ethical approach"
Discover Linyun Yu's full collection
Words by Lupe Baeyens