Despite its macabre inspiration, the designer’s third collection for spring 11 is his most accessible yet
W ith a background in innovative pattern cutting, Eugene Lin’s emphasis is on technical designs, high-quality fabrics and intellectual themes, rather than embellishment of any sort.
“It’s for patricians,” says Lin, summing up the understated, high-flying women he says are his typical customer.
For spring 11, his third commercial collection under his eponymous label, Lin has drawn inspiration from a medical condition known as the vanishing twin syndrome - whereby an embryonic twin aborts and is absorbed into the other developing foetus.
In real terms, this translates into technically ambitious subversions of traditional pieces, such as trousers with unusually placed waistbands, or dresses with twists of fabric and draping that is intended to look like muscle.
“It’s quite macabre, I know, but I like to find beauty in things like that. Even if people don’t buy into the concept, the design still works,” says Lin.
The spring 11 collection was still in toile form when Drapers visited Lin’s studio, and the number of pieces and the prices were yet to be finalised, but it promised to be more commercial than his 2010 output.
For autumn 10 Lin produced The Gordian Knot, a 20-piece collection featuring a knot of fabric in every item, and dominated by low-backed, high-necked tops and dresses in clinging silk viscose or wool and cashmere jersey.
“They were not plus-size friendly,” Lin says.
The spring 11 collection will feature more flattering open necklines and easy-to-care-for fabrics, such as silk jersey. It will also feature more pattern than his previous work.
Wholesale prices are also a notch more accessible. Where prices for The Gordian Knot collection started at £110 for a top, rising to £495 for a coat, Lin is aiming for a spring 11 entry price of £80. He is also planning to increase the minimum order from two to three pieces.
Eugene Lin’s five existing UK stockists report good sell-through so far.
Sub Couture in London’s Notting Hill, Stuff in Ealing, C See in Cobham,
Surrey, and etailer Glam-net have all taken the brand on, alongside Palette in Islington, north London, which has backed Lin from the start.
The store sold about 10 pieces from his spring 10 collection at full price and a further five or six in Sale at 25% off. “It was my second best-selling brand in this category [behind Avsh Alom Gur],” says owner Marco Ellis, who is to host a one-off press day for Eugene Lin’s spring 11 collection on September 1.
Eugene Lin 020 7790 2089
Number of UK stockists
Number of pieces in autumn 10 collection
Projected wholesale entry price point for spring 11