Youjia Jin SS18 London Fashion Week
'We don't just store clothes in a cloakroom - we store memories and emotions', says Chinese designer Youjia Jin, who delivered her SS18 collection in thoroughly fresh form. Freemason's hall has been a handsome home to London Fashion Scout for many years - and for Jin's 'Fashion Performance' this Art Deco building revealed yet another layer of intimacy.
In every public building there is a cloakroom and Freemason's is something to behold. It was fascinating to see in intimate detail these film-set worthy wooden corridors where all manner of clothes once hung in gorgeous grandeur.
Jin put together an international team of dancers and models for this collection to change the way we think about clothing. With the task of celebrating all that is cool yet classic in the city of London, Jin used her signature modern take on tailoring in varying shades of grey whilst employing all natural fabrics - silks, wools, and cottons.
The collection had an undercurrent of the pursuit of freedom combined with a touch of the British stiff upper lip - like the smart, neat clothes had a playfulness just aching to get out.
The set was dark and very gently spot lit, as if a door was opening into a secret world. Models and dancers became the embodiment of the clothes, acting out the stories of the lives they were a part of.
Jin's message of an environment like a cloakroom holding its own history is a beautiful one; the lives that have unfolded there, the emotions witnessed, all the nostalgia they contain – that, combined with the unique curation of the performance was like lighting an imaginative spark and watching it explode.