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[PROFILE] Jean Yu - Exciting Clothing / Lingerie Designer

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  • madchinaman
    Unmentionables You Want to Mention By JENNIFER TUNG http://www.nytimes.com/2004/12/05/fashion/05JEAN.html?oref=login&8nyh Since Rei Kawakubo showed her first
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 8, 2004
      Unmentionables You Want to Mention

      Since Rei Kawakubo showed her first collection of deconstructed
      clothes in Paris in 1981, the fashion establishment has regarded
      her, as founder of Comme des Garçons, as an avant-garde visionary,
      an artist whose sculptural approach to clothing defies all

      That opinion is shared by Jean Yu, the New York lingerie
      designer. "You see her impact and legacy everywhere," said Ms. Yu,
      36, an admirer since high school. "Rei's a modernist in the way that
      Coco Chanel and Madeleine Vionnet were."

      So two weeks ago Ms. Yu was virtually "tongue-tied" when Ms.
      Kawakubo offered her a space in Comme des Garçons' much-talked-about
      new London store, Dover Street Market. The raw six-story fashion
      bazaar (the company calls it a think tank) stands amid the luxury
      antiques and jewelry stores of Mayfair and houses an mix of radical
      designers, each hand-picked by Ms. Kawakubo. The roster includes
      Azzedine Alaïa; Hedi Slimane, selling his limited-edition furniture
      collection; and Levi's, in collaboration with Junya Watanabe.

      Ms. Yu's work was a definite fit, said Adrian Joffe, president of
      Comme des Garçons and Ms. Kawakubo's husband. "When we saw her
      samples in Tokyo, we simply loved them," he said over the phone last
      week. "We thought they were unlike anything else on the market, and
      we immediately said yes. We like things that are new and unusual,
      and her lingerie is so lovely."

      Those words capture Ms. Yu's spare, meticulously constructed
      designs, which make their point through architecture, not
      embellishment. The designer's cool aesthetic has earned her a high-
      profile clientele of photographers, artists and models who typically
      get things free but pay for her pieces.

      Free of lace, wires and padding, Ms. Yu's underthings are made from
      silk chiffon, charmeuse and georgette, often layered to vary
      transparency. "There should be no distinction between the lining and
      the outer fabric," said the designer, who began making lingerie two
      years ago to complement her body-skimming silk dresses. "That's
      almost a fetish for me." Other signature details are self-finished
      edges crisscrossing to form provocative triangles and grosgrain in
      place of elastic.

      But appearance is only half the equation. "Traditionally, sexy
      lingerie constricts and controls, but mine feels as close to nothing
      as possible," said Ms. Yu, sitting on a stool in her Crosby Street
      shop and studio, 37=1. Dressed in a black bomber jacket, jeans and
      boots, with slashes of fuchsia pencil under her eyes, she exuded a
      punk-grunge chic. "This glorifies the body as it is. It's smart
      sexy," as opposed to smutty.

      Ms. Yu was born in Korea, grew up in Los Angeles and studied at the
      Fashion Institute of Technology for five years. She clearly isn't
      interested in cheap thrills: her panties and bras start at $238.

      Her clients say they are happy to pay. "Jean makes spectacular
      little nothing pieces that are mysterious," said Ikram Goldman, who
      sells the designs in her Chicago store Ikram. "I don't even consider
      it lingerie. To me it's the first layer of clothes that you want to
      touch your body."

      The director Sofia Coppola, who wears Ms. Yu's made-to-measure
      pieces, echoed the sentiment. "It's so delicate and simple," she
      said. "It's very feminine, but not frilly.`

      Natalia Vodianova, the model, joked that she's spent enough money in
      Ms. Yu's shop to buy a small car. "Everything is well cut," she
      said. "She made a beautiful dress for me, and I'm saving it for a
      special occasion because it's almost too sexy."

      To Ms. Yu, that is high praise. "It's easy for New Yorkers to feel
      jaded," she said. "I've felt that way since I was 12."


      Born in Korea and raised in Southern California, Jean Yu moved to
      New York to study at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Five years
      ago, she started her sportswear collection, and two years ago, she
      created her signature line.


      This month of April, the cover of the Vogue magazine brings one
      pleasing surprise, is its cover. In her she appears the singer Gwen
      Stefani , vocalista of the group nonDoubt . They do not ask to me
      because, but America an icon of the fashion has become everything.
      Hata here all good, the surprise arrived when finding out to us that
      the dress that Lucia in the cover was not the latest of Chanel,
      neither Alexander McQueen, nor Gucci, nor Dolce Gabbana ... Gwen
      Stefani Lucia for the cover a dress of Jean Yu, a New York designer
      who still fights to become a name in the world of the fashion.

      They know what is that for a designer who not yet has obtained the
      consecration? To manage to dress the protagonist the cover of Vogue
      means generally a spectacular push for the race of any designer.

      Yu graduated in school FIT of New York and in spite of being at a
      great professional moment, still the telephone must answer she
      herself before the success that has supposed this cover.

      What seemed to him the cover? An excellent gift for its projection,
      although in spite of considering that Gwen Stefani is wonderful with
      the dress, Yu thinks that the pose is not indeed the best one.

      How it obtained that cover? The key we directly found it in Gwen
      Stefani, an authentic admirer of Jean Yu that put like condition for
      shooting for appearing with the dress that she chose.

      But who is Jean Yu? One is a designer born in bred Korea although in
      California. Their studies in the Technological Institute of the
      Fashion, forced it to be transferred to New York, city in which has
      established its own study.

      At the moment it has its own company/signature, to which it applies
      its particular knowledge on the textile technology. Pure lines,
      details in the construction, almost escultural conceptualidad and an
      interesting and innovating use of the cotton.

      Jean defines its style like Organic, without form

      but until they do not make contact with the enemy with the body. Its
      inspiration? The experimentation with weaves, coverall the cotton by
      its versatility and its naturalness and the silk, one of its great

      Art or fashion? Their work until the present time has confirmed it
      like an artist of the fashion, although their next collections are
      more near look accidental with the objective to create much more
      takeable clothes.

      Between its multiple reincarnations after its studies, the one that
      more existos has reported to him has been the Yujean line, although
      it defines the experience of Yujean like a logical transition
      between the student just licensed and atelier that she makes unique
      pieces, since Yujean has allowed him to explode plus its commercial

      At the moment its store in the Crosby street of New York, has become
      one of those paradises for the finders of tendencies, since in a as
      consumista city as the great apple, people with great spending power
      looks for the latest, the stranger.

      Its quotation? If you want to take a vestidito of Yu you will have
      rascarte a little the pocket since a modelito his moves generally
      between the 1,200 and 1,600 euros.

      For this season spring summer 2004, Yu brings more brightness,
      colors and printings. The rose and the yellow take the collection
      much more playing with neutral tones like the target or the black,
      since the designer sees in the game of resistances a evolution her
      designs, using the color of deliverada form.

      Its spectacular ascent in the world of the fashion has taken to open
      it two stores in New York, besides to obtain that their collections
      are sold in the recognized Barneys store. Now? After the cover of
      Vogue, the specialized press seems to indicate to Yu like one of the
      great promises of the New York fashion.

      Jean Yu
      37=1 Atelier
      37 Crosby Street
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