Seoul Fashion Week closes with all eyes on budding local designers
Published : Oct 26, 2016 - 16:26
Updated : Oct 26, 2016 - 16:26
From the latest floral design trends for next year’s spring fashion to the daringly dark “Suicide Squad” inspired collection, HERA Seoul Fashion Week unveiled the latest collections from some of the country’s best up-and-coming designers.

Held from Oct. 17 to 22 at Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Seoul Fashion Week showcased 41 designer brands and six global companies, while the “Generation Next Seoul,” SFW’s trade show, included more than 100 designer brands and young designers, as well as group fashion shows by 21 participating brands.

One of the first brands kicking off this season’s Seoul Fashion Week was Beyond Closet by 35-year-old Ko Tae-yong.

Titled “Mix Rounge,” the brand’s latest collection sought to capture the different fashion and lifestyles of Seoul‘s youth. 

A view of the “Big Park” fashion collection that was shown on Oct. 18 during 2017 S/S HERA Seoul Fashion Week held at Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul (Yonhap)

Through seemingly paradoxical pairings, such as distressed jeans accompanied by a sport coat, the line aimed to create a space for dialogue around some of the most important issues, including politics, gender and socioeconomic status, facing the young generation today.

Attending the show were some of the biggest names in K-pop, including boy band Block B’s Park Kyung, rapper Loco, girl group Spica’s Kim Bo-hyung and 2AM’s lead vocalist Jo Kwon.

“(Compared to other fashion weeks) I like Seoul because of the mix and match of high fashion and vintage designs,” said Michaela Duff, a 21-year-old aspiring designer from Canada. “I am especially interested in street fashion.”

“It seems like there are more people attending than before,” said Choi Heung-bin, a 19-year-old college student. “I would like to see Korean designers continuing to grow into their own style and color.”

In an effort to further propel local budding designers, this year’s fashion week also featured the Naver Designer Window -- part of Naver’s “Project Flower” -- aiming to support small-sized burgeoning businessmen and creators. 

A view of the crowd at 2017 S/S HERA Seoul Fashion Week, which was held at Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul from Oct. 17 to 22 (Seoul Fashion week)

The show celebrated the talents of three up-and-coming designers. Designer Park Eun-bit kicked off the show with a special performance by the Universal Ballet, in a collection that was inspired by Giselle, emphasizing innocence, yet a sensual feminine look.

Designer Vicky Pyo, who has amassed a following of local girl group performers with her young, unique designs that pay homage to the 1980s, followed with her VVV collection.

The Naver Design Window show concluded with Jeon Sai-mi of SAIMI JEON and her “Playboy in the ’70s,” featuring a wide variety of shirt dresses and posh linen summer robes. 

A scene from the “Yohanix” collection at the 2017 S/S HERA Seoul Fashion Week (Yonhap)

Another designer that turned heads last week with his gothic vision was Kim Tae-geun of Yohanix. Inspired by the “dark side” of fashion, Kim unveiled his edgy and youthful “Suicide Squad” inspired collection. Featuring pale, white-face-painted jokers and baseball bat-swinging Harley Quinn models, Kim’s dramatic tribute showcased an array of black denim and leather items as well as printed tees, metals and studs as far as the eye could see.

The Miss Gee Collection by veteran designer Gee Chun-hee closed out last week’s fashion festivities, showing off her signature pantsuit series and cat-eye sunglasses, bringing back some nostalgia-drawing influences of high-fashion trends from the ‘50s to ‘70s and further elevating her reputation as the “Queen of Elegance.”

Meanwhile 10 designers have been selected for next year‘s “10 Souls of Seoul,” a year-long project that promotes the selected local designers overseas. They are: “Blindness” by Shin Kyu-yong; “Moohong” by Kim Moo-hong; “Tiiki” by Kim Young-kyun; “D. Gnak” by Kang Dong-jin; “Munn” by Han Hyun-min; “Vlades” by Choi Moo-yeol; “Kaal E.Suktae” by Lee Suk-tae; “Heich Es Heich” by Han Sang-hyuk; “Nohke” by Jung Mi-sun; and “Resurrection” by Lee Ju-young.

A scene from the “Naver Designer Window” fashion show at 2017 S/S HERA Seoul Fashion Week (Yonhap)

So who are the names vying for a bid at next year’s Seoul Fashion Week design line-up?

Thus far the nominated designs and designers include: “Blindness” by Shin Kyu-yong; “Moohong” by Kim Moo-hong; “Tiiki” by Kim Young-kyun; “D. Gnak” by Kang Dong-jin; “Munn” by Han Hyun-min; “Vlades” by Choi Moo-yeol; “Kaal E.Suktae” by Lee Suk-tae; “Heich Es Heich” by Han Sang-hyuk; “Nohke” by Jung Mi-sun; and “Resurrection” by Lee Ju-young.

By Julie Jackson and Kim Yu-young
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