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Photos by Joy Chen, Creative Director

Written by Tiffany Hue, Editor-in-Chief

Chinese-born and New Zealand-raised designer Claudia Li first brought her creativity to New York City in 2015 under her eponymous fashion label. Having previously studied at prestigious design institutions Central Saint Martins and Parsons School of Design, Li’s collections are daring, to say the least. What makes her clothing stand out from others is her focus on hand-woven embroidery that lauds a piece like no other, and her F/W ‘22 collection: Once Upon A Time is bringing the same energy and more. 


On a naturally lit runway in SoHo’s own Spring Studios, floral-inspired prints textured with faux fur and knit scarves decorated the runway with more than what meets the eye. Lee also dared to elasticize the impact of color by pairing contrasting notes together. While the show opened with extravagant patterns of matted puff pink flowers reminiscent of cherry blossoms, the middle of the show brought solid pieces that are bound to be a wardrobe staple this fall. Handwoven tassel bags complimented floral looks on stage as models looked ready for their next adventure out in the delicate wild. Paired with a rambunctious classical-inspired techno soundtrack came bold pinks, navy blues, and sharp yellows that were textured with knots and tassels upon maxi dresses and knit sweaters.

Oversized bowties were added to simple tops to accentuate the silhouette of the body, and hoods similar to that of Little Red Riding Hood were structured from mesh fabrics that created a sophisticated shape against the neck. Together, these pieces created a fairytale-inspired world with iconic accents from things we knew and loved from our childhoods, and elevated them to true grace and elegance. 


From lightweight pieces that fly with every step you take to heavier knits that will keep you bundled up against harsh autumn winds, Li has done it all. Dominating the runway were not only the models up on stage, but also the special guests invited to the show that exhibited Li’s pieces in real time. Amongst the many audience members of the show were musician Japanese Breakfast, fashion influencers Ashley aka “bestdressed” and Taylor Hage, and influencers Lauren Wolfe, Asia Monet Ray, Kate Bartlett, Mika Benabs, founder of Fashion Bomb Daily Claire Sulmers, and founder of Mess In A Bottle Kalilah Wright.


No matter where you are in the world, Claudia Li’s whimsical F/W ‘22 collection: Once Upon A Time is sure to make you feel like you’re living a fairytale every day of your life.

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