Beyond the Horizon is title of YUHAN WANG Spring Summer 2023 Collection.
The desire to up and leave, to escape, to fly, has been sensationalised since the beginning of time; to soar through the sky is to be free from the burdens of that which come from Earth.
For Yuhan Wang’s SS23 collection, the designer drew inspiration from Apsaras: ancient, ethereal, flying beings. “In Asian culture, we have beautiful and supernatural flying Apsaras and ethereal beings that inhabit the skies,” explains Yuhan. “They are mainly depicted as female spirits but in real life, we lose sight of the sparks of female aviators who displayed remarkable talent and bravery. I really want to make a collection to celebrate women’s independence, persistence, courage and coolness under pressure, especially under the tense international situation. Female aviators in history, from different cultural backgrounds, really opened wider and brighter doors for the women of the future.
Their spirits and desire for love and peace should be carried on and spread forever.” Delicate yet powerful, these creatures of the wind embody strength, elegance and fragility.
This season, Yuhan dove into the legacies of 3 prolific female pilots: Lee Ya-Ching (the first Chinese woman to be granted a civil aviation license in China), Hazel Ying Lee (an American pilot who, during WWII, flew for the Women Airforce Service Pilots) and Amelia Earhart (the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. “We tend to lose sight of female pilots and it’s only male aviators who are seen in this profession,” states the designer. “These women helped topple the negative stereotypes of women being incapable. I’m trying to create a collection that celebrates the persistence and courage of women as well as highlighting the pressures they face. The bravery of these women has inspired generations but they were still not given enough attention.”
Continuing the staple floral aesthetic of the brand, Yuhan reimagines classic aviator uniforms, marrying the silhouettes with her florid prints, whilst waterproof nylon is transformed into romantic, hand-drawn florals.
Parachute bags and helmets are refashioned using intricate lace, leather, brocade jacquard and silk organza, and a special tribute to Amelia Earhart’s red Lockhead Vega 5B airplane can be seen as a leather bag with a functioning rotatable propeller.
Other accessories include earrings and necklaces made using olive branches and doves, symbolising peace and unity, which also features as a hand-painted print on a selection of pieces in the collection.
As we reflect on the many feats and accomplishments of women throughout history, we too must remember that we have a long road ahead for gender equality to be achieved. It is not enough to merely accept the path that has been set, we must look Beyond the Horizon.
“Following the news of Queen Elizabeth’s passing, we would like to tribute the collection to her bravery, dedication, and devotion, she was loved and admired by the world. may you rest in peace.”
All images courtesy of Yuhan Wang
Stylist Matthew Josephs @Minititle
Casting Director Trevor Swain
Make-up Miranda Joyce @Streeters
Hair Anna Cofone using Oribe
Knits Elaine Lip
PR Agency Purple PR
Press release Meemee White
With special thanks to: My Mum, My Dad, My Sister Wei, Madeleine Østlie, Honglan Sun, Yanfen Wang, Yanya Cheng, Danni Zhao, Yuchen Yuan, Xiaona Sun, Jesse Lee, Nancy Oakley, Sarah Mower, British Fashion Council and everyone else who has provided invaluable support.