14 Great Looks From Seoul Fashion Week
Was your Instagram feed bursting at the seams last week with brazen and brilliant street style pictures? Of cool catwalk looks and postcard-style vistas? Welcome to Seoul Fashion Week! Even if you weren’t there, the increased spotlight on South Korea’s fashion hub over these past few years means you’ll certainly have known it was taking place – the surrounding concourse outside of the Dongdaemun Design Plaza, a sci-fi style building designed by the late Zaha Hadid, a stomping ground for street style snappers this past seven days, as well as anyone who cares about fashion and style. And in Seoul they do. A true fashion paradise for designers wanting to create and customers wanting to consume (outfits were incredible, colourful, and unapologetic), we spent the week watching the shows and soaking up the scene. Here, a rundown of the looks that stood out among the Spring/Summer 2009 season, meanwhile click back soon for the full report on Seoul Fashion Week.
MUNN Spring/Summer 2019 show in Seoul. Photos by Seoul Fashion Week.
Who: From the Samsung Art & Design Institute-trained designer Han Hyun-min
Why you may have heard of the brand: Munn was the Korean representative for industry accolade the International Woolmark Prize and made it into the finals in 2016. He has also collaborated on stage costumes for the K-pop phenomenon BTS – which is a very big deal (the band are currently on tour and breaking hearts across the world). And he also scooped numerous awards, including best new designer, at the week’s closing gala dinner.
The Look: A hybrid jacket that put the focus on a chopped-up torso centrepiece, almost as though it was a corset or bustier, as opposed to the asymmetric splicing that has been so prevalent elsewhere on the Seoul catwalks (those versions proving that the reign of Vetements is still in full swing in terms of reference points). This collection, however, was distinct in its own personality with pinstripe tailoring mixed in with blooms, head masks, and upside-down sportswear. The designer explained backstage he had been inspired by the film Ready Player One and Japanese graphics such as Gundam.
A.BELL Spring/Summer 2019 show in Seoul. Photos by Seoul Fashion Week.
Who: The design duo Choi Byoung-Doo and Park Uiji, based in Seoul since 2010.
Why you may have heard of the brand: The label has been certified as a “World Star Designer” by the South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy. And also have quite the way with a fluid silhouette.
The Look: Exit one. Among a trench and mac-based collection that explored the idea of sleeves as decoration as opposed to being for arms, it was the first languid white look out, all ethereal and elegant, that made an impact.
THE CENTAUR Spring/Summer 2019 show in Seoul. Photos by Seoul Fashion Week.
Who: Yeran Ji, a former fine art student who turned her attention to fashion in 2008 to launch the label.
Why you may know the brand: For its romantic and fantasy-based style.
The Look: The doodle-pint chain-fastening tuxedo. Fun, smart, and fresh, this look tapped into the pop colours on which Korean fashion has built a name, as well as the current mood for fashion rediscovering its historical past – in the chain fastening, the neat silhouette, the riff on the tuxedo, and overall move to something more smart, less street. Take note of the tuxedo with a chain. It’s going to be big.
JWL Spring/Summer 2019 show in Seoul. Photos by Seoul Fashion Week.
Who: Jaewoo Lee, a graduate of Parson’s New School for Design in New York following time at the Ewha Womans University.
Why you may know the brand: Lee has previously shown at London Fashion Week with the Fashion Scout initiative.
The Look: The shiny-peplum-topped trousers. Surprisingly not as complicated or intimidating to wear as one might imagine and an innovative move-on for trousers right now. Oversized capes, constructed from blouses, were also a point of interest among a collection that was largely controlled and serene, a palette of fresh green and blue stripes served up with the aforementioned winning trouser type.
DOZOH Spring/Summer 2019 show in Seoul. Photos by Seoul Fashion Week.
Who: Dongwook Jo.
Why you may know the brand: A regularly buzzed-about name, Dozoh has been on the Seoul fashion scene for the past five years – making an impact, by its own description, by reinterpreting pieces in a modern way.
The Look: A beige wrap shirt and long black skirt. Not too fussy, not too clinical, it just worked. It’s the sort of look an entire collection could be built around, boasting the promise of practical but interesting separates. Though among the rest of the offering here, it was all about hybrids and sports-shirt mash-ups, shirts hanging from shoulders, jackets falling off shoulders. The better idea, as this look proved, however, is to simply wear your clothes.
YCH Spring/Summer 2019 show in Seoul. Photos by Seoul Fashion Week.
Who: From the designer Yoon Choon-ho.
Why you may know the brand: For looks that have something of Rihanna stage appeal about them.
The Look: In keeping with the international collections’ penchant for a Mary Poppins or beekeeper hat this Spring/Summer 2019 season, YCH popped a few on its catwalk, too. But added to that with a slouchy Y/Project feel for denim and ruching, a mash-up that very much worked among a collection that had plenty of selling and real-life appeal.
FAN YOUNG Spring/Summer 2019 show in Seoul. Photos by Seoul Fashion Week.
Who: Design duo Yang Young-hwan and Kang Song-hee.
Why you may know the brand: It’s a new label from Vanon Studio.
The Look: A long whimsical pleated skirt beneath a tech cagoule. Inspired by genetically modified animals and plants, the duo presented a collection underpinned with deconstruction themes, pockets, and tassels in neon. Clothes became decoration, as has been a trending design motif the whole week, with jackets as backpacks and the usual not-sleeve sleeves, with some pinstripe mixed in.
THE GANG Spring/Summer 2019 show in Seoul. Photos by Seoul Fashion Week.
Who: Sisters Crayon Lee and Coco.J Lee.
Why you may know the brand: Formerly known as KIOK and under the design direction of Kang Kiok, The Gang is a relaunched version of this long-established label, now run by Kiok’s two daughters.
The Look: The best-dressed kids in town. An ode to the idea of the family portrait, this collection wasn’t biased when it came to age. Out first came a man holding a baby (not a real one), followed by two young girls dressed in their denim and tulle overlaid looks – looking as cool and directional as the adults. It’s perhaps not a surprise. Because street style, kids’ street style, is massive at Seoul Fashion Week. Upon entering the concourse of the DDP show venue, not only is it wall-to-wall teens and try-hards hanging out for pictures, it’s little children, striking a pose, change of outfit at the ready, drawing in the cooing crowds. If Y/Project did a kidswear line, this – The Gang’s Spring/Summer 2019 layered and denim looks – is surely what it would look like.
MINJUKIM Spring/Summer 2019 show in Seoul. Photos by Seoul Fashion Week.
Who: The eponymous brand from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp-trained Min Jukim. She also studied fashion design at the Samsung Art & Design Institute in Seoul.
Why you may know the brand: A semi-finalist for the LVMH Prize in 2014, winner of the H&M Design Award in 2013, she’s also shown at London Fashion Week with the Fashion Scout Ones To Watch initiative.
The Look: This gothic ribbon-strewn gown. At a quick glance, Seoul fashion can be categorised into a handful of camps: streetwear and sportswear aka street style, high-fashion, and hybrid riffs and pretty feminine pieces. Jukim falls into the latter: a pastel palette, frills and gingham, and picnic-themed, this was a collection that tapped into the cute culture for which Korea is so well-known. Floral swimming caps and sequin flowers, it was super wearable and super pretty for girly pieces that didn’t ever actually wander into saccharine territory.
D'ANTIDOTE Spring/Summer 2019 show in Seoul. Photos by Seoul Fashion Week.
Who: Central Saint Martins MA graduate Park Hwan-sung. The designer held stints at Alexander McQueen, Tom Ford, and Burberry too.
Why you may know the brand: See above. Plus regular collaborations with Italian sportswear brand FILA and his signature SEOULONDON slogan.
The Look: Orange skirt, orange jumper, orange eye make-up. Oh, and a sports shirt worn over the top just like a poncho. This was one of the slickest and most professional collections of the week, the standard of execution exacting. It’s perhaps not a surprise given the FILA collab, but it shows just how much that makes a difference in terms of creating a collection that feels truly whole as a fully-fledged offering. And Mr D-Antidote is clearly one popular guy, his front row lined with all the most famous K-pop stars and rappers right now. He high-fived them all at the end of the show.
NOHANT Spring/Summer 2019 show in Seoul. Photos by Seoul Fashion Week.
Who: Designer Noah Nan
Why you may know the brand: For its preppy unisex aesthetic which is apparently a favourite of the acting crowd.
The Look: The pocket-belt coat at the end. In fact, there were two of them, one black, one toothpaste green. It took a while for this collection to warm up before we got to these last great looks that felt fresh, sharp and new – as well as wearable.
ORDINARY PEOPLE Spring/Summer 2019 show in Seoul. Photos by Seoul Fashion Week.
Who: Jang Hyeong-cheol
Why you may know the brand: Launched in 2011, Ordinary People showed in New York in 2015 as part of the “Concept Korea” initiative. Jang Hyeong-cheol is also one of the youngest designers to have shown at Seoul Fashion Week, originally joining the line-up in 2013.
The Look: A cropped Adidas top, shirt, and denim combination. There were actually plenty more looks to love in this well-polished and fully-formed offering which played into boxy shoulders, jewel shades, and cycling shorts for boys and girls. Image-wise, the pictures don’t, in fact, quite do it justice.
UL:KIN Spring/Summer 2019 show in Seoul. Photos by Seoul Fashion Week.
Who: Lee Seong-dong, a buzzed about Seoul name right now.
Why you may have heard of the brand: The brand takes inspiration from the work of artists, evident in this season’s collection with some seriously cool painted bags on the accessories front.
The Look: Aside from the hoodie that turned into a trench (which totally worked, just a hoodie at the head and shoulders and then into the coat below), a very literal representation and indication of fashion’s new mood for tailoring and real clothes, the colour palette here had a retro mood in pink and blue. It was this chain-print and inflated-sleeve pink number that got fashion editors’ fingers tapping.
MAXXI J Spring/Summer 2019 show in Seoul. Photos by Seoul Fashion Week.
Who: Lee Jae Hyung
Why you may have heard of the brand: The designer is a London College of Fashion graduate, having launched his label in 2014 and then making his debut at Seoul Fashion Week in 2017.
The Look: Orange lips and high-octane shine. One imagines this would do pretty well among the wardrobes of many a music artist, the ruched skirt almost cling-film in its demi-transparent design, shirt peeking through. The windbreaker jacket got a glamorous upgrade here too.