It's been a while since Korean designer Juun J garnered such a thundering round of applause at the end of his show as he did today for his spring summer 2015 show. But hot on the heels of last season's turn for the realistic, the summer cemented his progression, and fully recaptured the attention of his audience through a collection titled "Oxford".
The designer's signature play on volume, delivered in softer fabrics, fell naturally, giving an impression of looseness rather than rigid volumes. In turn, that made the garments feel more incarnate and less like a runway pipe dream. In losing the caricatural aspects of his work, what comes to mind is that he is making it "real" - if one were to think of this like a voguing competition. Lumping what he does with streetwear would be doing the pieces, and his work, a disservice. Rather, this is street tailoring where elements drawn from the classical Oxfordian outfits - it was hard to miss the reference when the oversized sweater collar detail appeared as an opener - are put to the test of magnification, emerging both idealized in their crisp palette of white, grey, dark blue, and the ubiquitous condiment of menswear, black. A lick of metallization passed by, not entirely needed but not unwelcome either. But while all this brainiac splicing and remodeling went on up to, from the waist down, his wide legged trousers felt perhaps a little like a cop-out. More engaging were his carrot shapes, and when he brought the legs in closer, the double-breasted suits sucker-punched with their formidable grace.
Concurrent to the evolution of menswear, Juun.J is in the ideal position to lead the way creatively, as he continues to reexamine the founding notions of tailoring and transcribes them into their future-proof incarnation, a subtle mélange between radical challenge and inherited grandeur. Hot on the heels of his capsule with Josh Luke, the finale of loose, oversize jerseys printed with paper-cutting inspired motifs, designed in collaboration with London artist Rob Ryan, and wide shorts felt like an easing back into the asphalt sports courts of the street, rounding out the discourse on blended boundaries between classical suits and sports.