On 20 February 2015, the MA Fashion Design students of Central Saint Martins presented their graduate collections to the world. One of those collections texturally toyed with antiquity and modernity. That collection was concocted by Shenzhen-native, Yushan Li. In part one of a two-part series, PETRIe contributor Jamal George-Sharpe speaks with Yushan Li to find out more.

Full Look Yushan Li

Ribbon from Harvey Nichols

Jamal George-Sharpe: Hi Yushan, first could you begin by telling me a little about your background?

Yushan Li: I’m from Shenzhen China, my BA and MA [were] both done at Central Saint Martins. I have found design so interesting and inspiring since high school.

The years of CSM life feel like a rebirth to me. All of your rules get broken and then set up in an entirely new way.

JGS: Tell us about your training, how did CSM hone your craft?

YL: The years of CSM life feel like a rebirth to me. All of your rules get broken [and] then set up in an entirely new way.

JGS: What industry experience did you gain during your time there?

YL: I had my work experience at Alexander McQueen in 2011-12 as a Studio and Design Assistant, John Galliano in 2012 and Mary Katrantzou in 2010. It trained me a lot on team working, which I think is very essential in this industry.

JGS: What has been your biggest surprise since graduating?

YL: It hasn’t happened yet. But I’m looking forward to it, whether it’s good or not.

Work life is always the priority.

JGS: What ongoing help does the school offer, post-graduation?

YL: I think it helps with finding the real position for you within the industry - whether or not you want to stay in this industry.

JGS: How do you balance work life and home life?

YL: Work life is always the priority. I work harder in the weekdays to keep the weekend a bit more relaxed.

When my families are all together, I feel the power of love.

JGS: And your most influential moment in your life to date?

YL: When my families are all together, I feel the power of love.

JGS: What motivates you?

YL: My passions. It is always my passions that motivate me the most.

JGS: Favourite artists?

YL: Louise Bourgeois, Kazuo Ōno, Pina Bausch, Japanese singer Ua (Kaori Hasegawa) and Sainkho Namtchylak, a Tuvan throat singer.

JGS: Personal hero/inspiration?

YL: Louise Wilson.

In Conversation With Yuhan Li (Part 2)

Laces Out A Yushan Li Special -->

Words: Jamal George-Sharpe

Photography: Bror Ivefeldt

Stylist: Zadrian Smith

Model: Genevieve @ Storm Models

Make-Up: Angela Hamilton Daley using MAC Cosmetics

Hair: FUMI using Bumble & Bumble

Photographer's Assistants: David Spence & Jennifer Lo

Stylist's Assistant: Jamal George-Sharpe

Hair Stylist's Assistant: Nana Fushimi