Seoul is not only a street style haven, it’s one of the most genuinely enthusiastic cities when it comes to fashion. And this past week, its Autumn/Winter 2019 collections have been in full swing – and no doubt blowing up your Instagram accounts. It’s for good reason – check out our highlights below for some of the best looks and best collections of the week.
From left to right: Minjukim Fall/Winter 2019 show in Seoul, The Gang Fall/Winter 2019 show in Seoul and KYE Fall/Winter 2019 show in Seoul. Photos: Courtesy of Seoul Fashion Week.
Designer Kim Min Ju is, self-confessedly, known for her “cute” collections. One could put her in a similar bracket to the Simone Rochas and Molly Goddards of this world. But, in a collection that was overall tougher and a little darker than last season, the designer opened the week to seriously strong effect: combining the soft – for quilted bedding and pretty embroidery – with the intimidating – glossy blacks and rivets – to illustrate her point, further underlined by bunnies and bison as a recurring motif. A consistent and cool collection, hers is a name that is deserving of recognition – and in this offering, it’s hard to pick just one standout look.
Ever since Balenciaga brought back the puffa jacket, it’s been ubiquitous as an all-enveloping kind of clothing situation. But at The Gang, designed by Coco J. Lee and Crayon Lee, such a one-track take on said item was remedied to sassy new effect: the puffa sleevelet/bolero – which made for the opening show look, worn with a little puffball dress. Tick.
Ghosts, fringing, denim, scarf prints, and Americana western accents all featured at Kye, the eponymous brand from Kye Han Hee. The result was a fun, polished, and coherent offering full of instant wardrobe appeal – calling to mind the kind of youthful charm we saw from Luella Bartley and Katie Hillier in their very first Marc by Marc Jacobs days. This look is probably the best in illustrating all of that.
From left to right: LIE Fall/Winter 2019 show in Seoul, MAXXIJ Fall/Winter 2019 show in Seoul and D-ANTIDOTE Fall/Winter 2019 show in Seoul. Photos: Courtesy of Seoul Fashion Week.
Depending on who you speak to, collections at Seoul Fashion Week can be deemed a little too lengthy (and could do with an edit) and a little too familiar. A counter-argument to that, however, is that there is always at least one great look – at least! – in every collection. And the exciting thing is that you never know quite when it’s going to crop up. At Lie, designer Lee Chung Chung’s trophy looks came by way of chunky-knit jumpers teamed with cord and patchwork trousers that felt perfectly in-keeping with fashion’s new “real clothes” mood, as heralded by Hedi Slimane at Celine.
“My concept is about extra-terrestrials but a bit twisted, extra human,” explained designer Lee Jae Hyung backstage after his show. The London College of Fashion-trained designer – and buzzed about name on the Seoul scene – brought a new mood to outerwear, adding a femininity and primness to it, certainly on the womenswear front, expertly illustrated in this natty little bubble skirt and blouson jacket look.
Park Hwan Sung of D-Antidote is one of Seoul’s big names – a lengthy line of celebrities and K-Pop stars awaited him backstage. It’s no wonder – his collections have finesse, feel authentic, and burst with energy, especially this latest one which was inspired by Michael Jordan and basketball. Slam dunk, he did.
From left to right: Münn Fall/Winter 2019 show in Seoul, Youser Fall/Winter 2019 show in Seoul and MOHO Fall/Winter 2019 show in Seoul. Photos: Courtesy of Seoul Fashion Week.
Last season Munn scooped the Best New Designer prize at Seoul Fashion Week’s closing gala – and there’s no doubt it’s had an impact on his business. This collection was awesome and elegant, inspired by traditional Korean dress meets modernity, which brought a new layer of sophistication to the designer’s repertoire. There’s something about him and this brand, something that makes us think he’ll very well be heading to Paris soon, beyond just the rails of the Parisian department store Galeries Lafayette, where he’s currently stocked in the Beijing branch.
Hybrid clothes are something of a thing in Seoul – as they have been across the international scene for some time. A nice new twist to that story, though, came by way of Youser, from designer Kim Moo Yeol, which added a crafty and folkloric edge here.
For editorial extravagance and something of a style spectacular, look no further than Moho. Smoke billowed out onto the catwalk space as Lee Kyu Ho, who had formerly shown with the incubator for young talent Generation Next, showcased a collection that called into question the role of animals in our lives, our wardrobes. In leather and fur we wear them, are they part of us? Questions aside, suitable fashion designer names for comparison and context would be Craig Green and Rick Owens.