Seoul Fashion Week Box #4: The Power of White
Korean womenswear has not the same intensity of menswear. Indeed, while almost male collections are noteworthy the same cannot be said for female ones; an evidence of it can be found for instance on the decreasing affluence at War Memorial of Korea – main location of the Seoul Fashion Week together with the futuristic multipurpose space Xi Gallery – during days of womenswear compared to menswear ones. Yet – other then the machist feature of the Korean society – there may be also a sociological explanation to it, since in the coupling game the “bird” seems to be the man, and this phenomenon can be easily understood when actors, singers, TV celebrities (almost men) attending the fashion shows are welcomed by the girls with cries and hysterias comparable to the early Beatles concerts in 60s. Nevertheless, in Korean womenswear – aside a majority of a little bit old fashioned brand – there are a couple of outstanding and cutting edge designers. Here below our favorite trio, all of them sharing their passion for white.
Let’s start with Im Seonoc a poliedric artist who does’nt make just fashion to sell; in her resume many experiences as theatrical and ballet costume (among them the Montreal Dance Festival), crockery design for the Italian brand Guzzini and cooperation for the LEEUM Museum in Seol, just to mention a few. Yet, it was memorable one of her previous show at SFW named “Create Your Funeral Party”, a theatre piece more than a catwalk. Im Seonoc’s philosophy is not an ordinary one that follows season’s trends, on the contrary she aims to look towards the future with an industrial mindset, thinking in terms of upgrades rather than the cycle of using and discarding. Since 2011 Im Seonoc launched a new brand called PartpArts and for the SS2013 – with the inspiration theme “Fish Woman” – she offers a truly cutting edge collection featured but laser cuts and almost seamless. Obviously her totemic color is white, with rare insertion of black and beige. Über alles!
At the same level the creations of Park Choon Moo, whose shows are always characterized by a huge amount of poetry and messages provided sound clear enough (unforgettable her show in 2008 named “Angels & Devils” that it could be presented once again today with the same success). As Im Seonoc, Park Choon Moo is a white adoring, adding black and sometimes a small dose of electric blue. Her fabrics – on which often the designer puts her customize touch – are incomparable and noticeable for light weight as well as for the way as they drives the move. For SS2013 collection Park Choon Moo was inspired by the theme of transcendence, that is revisiting the essence of traditional Korean fashion, reinventing its traditional and timeless uniformity, emanating a sense of freedom and peacefulness (a constant in her work). Safety & security!
Almost white the Kaal E Suktae creations too, a modern contemporary brand that pursues structural avant-gard with a structural analysis on clothing, chic and elegant tailoring; in few words a fashion architect. It is not a coincidence that the theme of SS2013 is “White Boy”, in the meaning of a “mannish style” women wardrobe where couture and crafted minimalism co-live. Other than the ubiquitous white, in Kaal E Suktae works we find various colors insertions (blue navy, orange, pink, red and emerald green) with a geometrical patchwork play composed by different fabrics both natural (silk, cotton, linen, organza) or artificial (nylon), without forgetting the leather. If we would just to find a limit to the present collection is maybe to have reppeated a little bit patterns of SS2012 one’s.
– Gabriele Gattozzi
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