Send to

On first day of Seoul Fashion Week, runways play up power of heritage, personality

Feb. 2, 2024 - 17:24 By Choi Si-young
Models wear creations for Julycolumn as part of the fall-winter 2024 collection showcased during Seoul Fashion Week at Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul on Thursday. (Yonhap)

Starting off the biannual Seoul Fashion Week on Thursday were runway shows that touched on the themes of reverence for heritage and personality.

Designer Park So-young, who goes by Sooy Park, delivered a powerful 24-minute catwalk that featured worn-out shirts and monotone suits, which the womenswear designer brought back to life, a reinterpretation of the old while reaching for aesthetic sophistication.

Oversized garments in muted tones and nuanced color palettes, rather than bold and vivid, underscored a lineup embodying timeless elegance.

“Keeping alive heritage is what I’ve been after as a designer. That’s what defines Julycolumn,” Park said of her label, whose fall-winter 2024 collection was showcased ahead of 14 others scheduled at Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul. Six additional collections are scheduled to be shown at SFactory, a hip neighborhood in Seong-su dong.

“Memories we have as children watching father go to work and mother do dishes are where it all begins. Those old clothes aren’t old if we reimagine them with today’s materials and, of course, fresh angles to weave them anew,” Park added.

A blend of the traditional and contemporary doesn’t sacrifice either but allows them to complement each other, Park noted, describing that each runway is a “narrative every participant sympathizes with by drawing on their experiences.”

The carefully selected audience of just under 300 guests watched the show’s finale by soprano Park Hye-sang, which was designed “to evoke a sense of nostalgia,” according to Park.

Models wear creations for Demoo Parkchoonmoo as part of the fall-winter 2024 collection showcased during Seoul Fashion Week at Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul on Thursday. (Seoul City)

Meanwhile, Park Choon-moo’s collection Demoo Parkchoonmoo transformed the runway into an avant-garde show where the atypical met the unexpected, a play on layered knitwear and ensembles of ludic patterns.

Orchestrated disarray was visualized in depth on the runway and Demoo’s signature black manifested in variations, embracing this time green and beige -- a testament to Park’s focus on clothes that “are stylish and sell.”

“What is stylish? It’s not either cute or pretty or handsome. It’s about personality, expressing yourself and inviting others to find in you the unexpected,” Park said. “And you have to feel comfortable when you really show yourself.”

The 69-year-old designer described black as the “comfort color” that is “modern, chic and everything else” because contrasting textures render black and its many shades unique.

Seoul Fashion Week shows run through Monday at DDP and SFactory, with trade shows also open to buyers from here and abroad.