Most boutique lingerie labels don’t change their signature styles much from one season to the next, so the notion of releasing a greatest hits collection doesn’t make much sense.
But that’s not the case for Yes Master, the esoteric UK label that just released a 10th anniversary assortment that recycles some of its most memorable prints and styles.
Called Smoke and Mirrors, the new lingerie and swimwear collection for SS15 gives the busy brand a chance to catch its breath and reflect, with deserved pride, on its unpredictable journey so far.
Yes Master is a kind of anti-brand that abhors trends and whose iconoclastic designs often seem like a rebuke to the inherent conservatism of the fashion world. As a result it’s had an up-and-down history, veering from wacky cult label to adored tastemaker — sometimes in a single year.
It’s been mostly up for the past couple of years, though, thanks to YM’s introduction of swimwear to its catalogue and some very savvy collaborations with retail partners. Once known for its high-concept artsy themes, Yes Master today is more widely associated with its pop-art digital prints for youth-oriented retailers like ModCloth, Urban Outfitters and Topshop.
The Smoke and Mirrors anniversary collection is like a guidebook to Yes Master‘s peculiar alchemy, as designer Igor Pacemski revisits many of his earlier inspirations: fairy tales, animals, the occult, and anything associated with the planetary cosmos.
Thus, a print of lunar phases from its Howling at the Moon collection gets a new treatment here, as does the bestselling Black Swan print from 2012, which marked YM’s pivot towards novelty graphics. And last season’s Game of Thrones-inspired dragon-scale print makes a welcome return in a new swimsuit.
According to Pacemski, the Smoke and Mirrors collection is all about “the transformative powers of the woman”, “mythical hybrid beings” and “the theory of chaos and its complexity behind the shape-shifting of smoke.” That’s a LOT to absorb, but thankfully you don’t have to share his headspace to appreciate his artistry.
The sultry new smoke print is the defining look in the new collection (it appears in the Alice in Wonderland range), while the Bird Woman style grouping (above) blends some feathered imagery from one of Yes Master‘s most memorable collections, the La Luna series from 2010.
And, perhaps as a marker to show how much Pacemski’s design flair has evolved in the past decade, Smoke and Mirrors even brings back the all-black Tinkerbell lingerie dress (below) — the first style piece released under the Yes Master brand 10 years ago.
Yes Master these days is a hard brand to keep track of, which is part of the fun. It’s doing goth-inspired highly textured swimsuits in its Darkside diffusion label, traditional Liberty print pajamas, and even these space-themed bed linens at the same time.
At this rate, it won’t have to wait 10 years for its next greatest hits package.
Here are some more images from Yes Master‘s stylish lookbook for SS15. This is the rare brand that can be found in premium boutiques and fast-fashion retailers, so shop around.