Yueqi Qi Shanghai Fall 2022

Yueqi Qi has spent several collections thinking about love. This season, she’s focused on revenge—not that the two have to be mutually exclusive. Her fall 2022 lookbook, titled Growing Flowers by Candlelight, is staged as a murder mystery inspired by Murder on the Orient Express. The models stand tall in headpieces and arresting garments that mix couture technique with streetwear. Black lilies—the flower of vengeance—are a recurring motif throughout the collection. Each wears a metal headpiece, obscuring their face. Qi wants you to think about who the killer is (if you’ve watched or read Murder on the Orient Express, you already know). “When everyone is guilty nobody is guilty. I thought about hatred because it’s strongly related to love,” Qi says over Zoom from Shanghai.

Qi, a Central Saint Martins graduate who interned at Chanel, is often inspired by Chinese folklore as well as her own personal history. That pedigree means she can combine visually arresting beadwork with gravity defying shapes and avant-garde proportions. “My experience working in Paris, and interning in Chanel for a long time, I was thinking about all that craftsmanship is so remarkable,” she says. “I’m telling my story by putting the handicraft first.” Alongside the headpieces—which customers can buy—is a silver cut-out dress that looks like trimming of very heavy and expensive tinsel, and a fuzzy magenta sweater with extra long sleeves and a jagged slit on the side. It makes it look like the wearer was stabbed, albeit elegantly.

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