Unlike last season, the latter part of Seoul Fashion Week was graced by men’s wear collections. Opened with the collection of MVIO, a national brand run on a creative director system, the fifth day of SFW featured top-end styles, wowing many fashion professionals. MVIO by Han Sang Hyuk was well-balanced between experimental and commercial and ran the gamut from classic suits to outdoor look, eliciting audience exclamations. Choi Bum Suk(GENERAL IDEA) and KO Tae Yong(BEYOND CLOSET) also drew much applause from the guests with their top-quality collections.
‘Asia Inspiration’ has become a key word of this season’s men’s clothing trend. Under the theme of ‘Asceticism’, Sheen Je Hee(JEHEE SHEEN) presented her impressive silhouette whose concept was borrowed from Buddhist monk’s robes, while Kim Sun Ho(GROUND WAVE), known for his oriental and futuristic style, used hanji(traditional Korean paper) to create his Zen-influenced collection.
Similar to women’s wear collections, the use of fashion films was one of the most salient features of this season’s men’s wear collections. Prior to their shows, designers released their themes through short footages, which made their collections more appealing. Choi Bum Suk introduced the St Tropez beaches, while Choi Chul Yong(CY CHOI) used a lookbook-type images to impress the audience.
While the shows in full swing, the Awoo doll auction was held at SETEC Hall 2 along with a clothes bazaar selling some donated fashion items of SFW designers. Through the auction show, which ended in great success, visitors could help the underprivileged via UNICEF and, at the same time, gain the one-of-a-kind Awoo doll.
Han Sang Hyuk / MVIOFrom a pink box draped with white cloth, a model in white suit walked out holding a hot pink clutch in his hand. The backdrop soon turned into a wall stuffed with green bottles, and a group of models in white suits appeared on the catwalk wearing sun caps as if they wanted to protect their faces from outer environment. Han Sang Hyuk, creative director of MVIO, featured this season his attractive collection, spanning from formal to casual. The ankle-length pants gave the show a cheerful vibe. The stripe patterns gradually turned into neon. The latter half of the show mainly featured casual look mixed with pastel colors, creating a bit younger, jauntier atmosphere. The classy match of accessories also caught the audience’s eye. And the flat clutch, which can hold iPad, and the shoes in complementary contrast with the clothes made the collection even more exciting.
Ji Il Geun / INSTANTOLOGYThe show began with patch-worked denim pants, white jackets and belts with buckle ornament often used for outdoor look. As the first look implied, this collection focused on utility aspects based on classic detailing. The knit matched with jaunty shorts maintained natural-looking rough-napped texture, while the box T-shirts and the dress shirts displayed a naturally time-worn look. The weighty oxford shoes matched with white socks were ideal for both classic and casual looks. The big backpack and mini-camera brought up the image of a traveler. The inspirational music also made a perfect harmony with his look.
Lee Ju Young / RESURRECTION BY JUYOUNGLee’s collection began with a footage showing the dynamic movements of two blonde-haired models. This season, Lee Ju Young presented a fascinatingly virile silhouette with such feminine materials as chiffon, completing a robust, yet soft, image of men. The shorts, which looked like women’s wide-pleat skirts, and the jackets and trench coats in various style hinted her collection now became much more flexible than before. Her characteristic, powerful DNA did not vanish, though. The colorful leopard series presented later in the show reminded the audience of the sexy, powerful qualities of Resurrection.
Kim Sun Ho / GROUND WAVEModels wearing acryl shoes, which evoked the image of geta(traditional Japanese footwear), slowly appeared on the runway. The color palette of black, grey and white exuded an oriental vibe, accented by hanji, bamboo, cotton and wool. The designer especially took pains to express ‘Asian Inspiration’ through his collection. The silhouette, on the other hand, gave off a modern and even futuristic aura. The hooded vest matched with long jackets looked futuristic and were one of the key items that can be used in various ways. In this collection, Kim proved himself as one of the leading designers in the country.
Choi Chul Yong / CY CHOIDesigner Choi Chul Yong opened his collection with a lookbook-type footage. It was strange to see a model hastily stride and another one walk too slowly, even showing an awkward turn. It’s all because the designer himself street-cast the models for this collection. Though some had as ideal proportions as professional models, most of them were very close to ‘real’, – fat belly and short legs. Cotton and tight-fit suits dominated his show, and, as a whole, the clothes were simple but had adorable, lively lines.
KO Tae Yong / BEYOND CLOSETUnder the theme, ‘Le Jardin Botanique’, designer KO Tae Yong, showing a tremendous advance each season, brought the audience to a summer-day arboretum. With the sound of nature filling the showroom, models in straw hats appeared on the runway to the rhythmical music. The highlight was safari look consisting of beige and khaki, which sometimes looked like an old school look when matched with Ko’s distinctive vintage sensibility. The camouflage patterns used for shirts, pants and scarves helped clarify the collection theme. The round-frame sunglasses and the canvas big bags were also the perfect match.
Sheen Je Hee / JEHEE SHEENA bare-foot model walked on the white-cobbled catwalk. Aptly named as ‘Life is Suffering’, Sheen’s collection effectively depicted the thorny path of life through the cobbled runway. The wide-leg pants and high-shoulder jackets evoked the image of the Buddhist monk’s robe, while the china-collar one-piece dresses left the audience in solemnity. Such light materials as thin linen and jersey created natural drapes on the body. The designer expressed a Sadhu(asceticist), who practices asceticism to be an ethically close-to-perfect man, through her clothes. To the audience, however, her collection was a powerful stimulant of material desires.
Choi Bum Suk / (GENERAL IDEA)Inspired by the boys on the St Tropez beach while on his summer vacation, Choi Bum Suk began his collection by showing the opening footage, which depicted a mob of boys enjoying themselves on the beach. Soon, dazzling neon outdoor jumpers and shorts were presented, followed by various shorts made of different materials – knit and cotton, for instance. Stripe, Gingham check and classic knitwear were the key items to delivering the comfort, romance and cheer of St Tropez. Particularly, the graphical stripe and the Gingham check were used in various ways. Diverse color palettes were especially eye-catching. The neon belts and shoes punctuated by acid colors made his look more vigorous.
Lee Bo Hyun / SUECOMMA BONNIEOutside the PT room, where the final rehearsal was in full swing, singer Kim Wan Sun’s ‘The clown is laughing at us,’ was drifting through the speakers. It was an interesting choice, and soon, Kim herself graced the opening of Lee Bo Hyun'[s collection. The models in mini-dresses, which brought up the image of the 60s courreges look, appeared on the runway wearing impressive shoes divided according to four different themes. The first was feminine sandals with flare detailing; the second, unisex-mood summer booty; the third, red carpet shoes with gold as their main color; and the last, glam shoes with a wonderful mix of exotic leather and neon straps.
Song Zio / SONGZIOThe opening of SONGZIO Collection was graced by Cha Seung Won, a famous star and Song’s long-time favorite model. The expertise and edgy sensibility of the designer remained strong after all those years when Cha successfully established himself as a recognized actor. The thick black linen suits soon gave way to china-collar and, then, classic suits, which were followed by high-top jackets and trench coats. The pants, on the other hand, mostly showed tight fitting except for a few cases. With a romantic song filling the air, singer Kim Hyun Joong in orange knit appeared on the catwalk. At first, the black tone seemed to turn into multi colors, but, after all, white suits was handed the baton. If using lighter materials for summer such as linen and jersey, the collection could be defined as having dignity and the most perfect type of virile beauty.
Lay Kuni / UNBOUNDED AWELay Kuni presented her extraordinary collection under the theme, ‘ELEPHANTAWE MAN’, an AWE-style reinterpretation of David Lynch’s <Elephant Man>. Round shoulder jackets with different length and perpendicular pants matched with linear patchwork looked both intimate and alien. The seemingly careless match of colors and prints were also unequaled. While most young designers usually have both strength and weakness, her collection was well-worth paying attention to thanks to her flawless expertise.
Han Dong Woo / IRONY PORN(O)Han Dong Woo’s collection, based upon his fashion philosophy, ‘Zeitgeist seen through the clothing and the concept of sexuality’, well displayed his insight into the sexuality of men and women. The show was dominated by transformed suits, matched with such accessories as silver glasses and fedoras, exuding a modern-boy look. Interestingly, the same clothes, when worn by men and, then, women, looked quite different. As a whole, his collection was fascinatingly thought-provoking in many ways.
Leigh Sang Hyun / LEIGHLeigh Sang Hyun’s classic-based collection was presented under the concept of ‘Layer.’ This season, he created his interesting collection through unbounded ideas and variations. His inspirational experiments included the different shirt details mixed one another and the trench coats layered beneath clean-cut vests. The anorak jumpers mix-matched with tailored jackets and the mix of classic suits and training pants’ detailing well deserved attention. Then, lots of layered items followed for more than ten minutes, but they never looked awkward or boring. Maybe it’s because of the designer’s rock-solid fundamentals.