Architecture and Fashion: Yue Shi’s Architecture-Inspired Bags

August 22, 2023



Shan Arcega

Art comes out in many different forms.

In fashion, you wear the art. In architecture, you live in it. They’re two different forms that sound different, but fashion and architecture are more similar than people think. In essence, the designers need to apply many technicalities. Geometry, design principles, structure techniques, and color and material trends. Together, these elements create forms that suit the user.

At the same time, they create a whole new breed of art that’s highly distinctive and gives a louder statement than usual. Luxury handbag designer, Yue Shi combines both through bags that double as art pieces. Yue Shi is a designer based in Australia and was born in China. In the later years, Yue Shi spent most of his formative years in the Philippines before pursuing his art studies in sculpting. While in the United States (US), he pursued digital computer software and eventually relocated to Australia with his wife. YS. atelier started off like how many other creative pursuits begin–because of the need for a creative outlet and to explore and express a love for art.

Sculpting Architecture into Fashion

This bag is inspired by classic architecture. The vaulted ceiling and archway capture form while preserving the leather’s texture and character.
A visit to Kiyomizu Dera in Kyoto inspires the Temple Mini Bag’s design.

Related read: A Marriage Between Home and Fashion: Ito Kish and Rajo Laurel Champion Filipino Roots in Recent Collaboration

The Archway bag in patent black leather, chrome PVC panels, and metallic threads.

“Leathercraft became my chosen medium, as it allows me to merge artistic expression with functionality, a principle that has always guided my artistic endeavors.” Yue Shi explains. In the pursuit of this art, Yue Shi combined his eye for design with his digital skills. YS. atelier opened in 2018. Ever since then, he has been crafting bags with designs that constantly evolve. From striking mythical creatures and powerful animals to distinct architecture, YS. atelier bags are already enduring sculptures that allow its wearer to express themselves further.

“The diverse array of designs I offer is a direct reflection of my personal interests and the sources of my inspiration.” Yue Shi says, “Each design is carefully crafted to encapsulate cultural values, adding a layer of meaning to the aesthetic.”

Inspired by Architecture

This year, Yue Shi incorporates architectural elements into his work. In new bags, there are features like arches, doorways, stained glass windows, and vaulted ceilings. Architecture has always been an interest of Yue Shi’s, turning it into one of his most prominent themes for his bags. Living in Sydney also fuels this love for architecture as the city constantly exposes him to a wide array of classic architecture that the city beautifully preserves.

Gothic architecture inspires Arch vr.2. The reflective panel captures the surrounding’s changing lights.
The Mini Coliseum bag’s 16cm cylindrical shape can fit an iPhone and other small items.

“The intricate details and captivating forms of these buildings never fail to draw me in. Leather bags are typically associated with qualities like softness and suppleness. Transforming them into pieces that incorporate geometric shapes and distinctive structures presents a challenge that I wholeheartedly embrace.”

Of course, architects also play a role in inspiring these projects. For Yue Shi, Japanese architect and Pritzker prize winner Kazuyo Sejima is an architect he admires for the inviting and gentle aesthetics she includes in her architecture.

Yue Shi’s bags source authentic leather primarily from Italy and are handcrafted in Yue Shi’s studio in Australia. Depending on the design, completion can take up to 18 hours or weeks. Nevertheless, these bags are statement pieces for even the next generations.

Photos courtesy of Yue Shi

Download this month's BLUPRINT magazine digital copy from:
Subscribe via [email protected]