Having only been around for seven years, Seoul fashion week is one of those international gems that are constantly looked past because of its relative young age, however, this isn’t to say that Seoul’s fashion scene is juvenile in any way. This past week, audiences were treated to some of the strongest collections yet since the launch of SFW back in 2011. All of the trends that ruled European and American runways were expertly redesigned and recreated with distinct South Korean flavour, making the clothing familiar, yet completely new if one isn’t familiar with what Seoul is all about.
Inspired by director Park Chan Wook’s film The Handmaiden, Hyun-Minh Han’s spring collection for Münn was without a doubt the most cohesive, linear, and polished of the bunch at SFW. With key inspirations taken from traditional Korean craftsmanship and modern sensibility, Hyun’s collection creates a linear progression of looks which work just as well as the way they’re styled on the runway, as they would be pulled apart. The collection takes noticeable 60’s and 70’s silhouettes and smartly adds hints of today’s must have trends. For instance, one of trends that’s easiest to spot is Victorian revival, which is evident in the ruffles and oversized cuffs on a few outfits throughout the collection. Another easily spotted trend in Münn’s collection is the mismatch magpie look, with pattern mixing, texture mixing, and added metallics; just like the pioneers of the trend, Prada. One feature that’s separated Münn and many of the other collections during Seoul fashion week is their complete integration of coed runways and collections. This opens the doors for truly androgynous looks and trends may very well spread to the fashion capitals in due time.
In terms of substance, Münn really has a lot to offer the global fashion industry. One can tell the pieces are expertly made to not only appeal to the market in South Korea, but also appeal to any would be shoppers around the world. Some of the best looks from the collection include a printed shirt dress paired with black loafers and a knee high socks, and embroidered black men’s coat, a powder grey shirt dress with tasseled sleeves, a long men’s denim coat paired with deep burgundy trousers and an emerald lace tank top, an emerald green lace gown worn under a naval military inspired coat, an emerald green silk mini dress, and an orange and black coat worn over a silky python patterned dress and knee high socks.
Founded by 3 top Korean male models, 87MM has thrived by taking advantage of South Korea’s growing luxury street style inspired market. This season, it seems the brand has moved away from the initial flash and gimmicks of urban street wear and refined their look. Allowing for their spring collection to take subtle elements from urban trends pioneered by brands like Vetements and Gosha Rubchinsky and infusing them with classic and elegantly designed menswear. The collection itself seems to be loosely inspired by menswear silhouettes that were prominent during the 1970s and 1940s, however, the clothing doesn’t obsess over its inspiration enough to truly put a date on the collection. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This ambiguity in timelines, mixed with modern men’s essentials actually allows the collection to look extremely wearable and effortless, without fear of looking to costumey. Which for most men, is extremely important. One interesting aspect that set 87MM‘s collection apart from other menswear collections this season is the incorporation of subtle femininity in a few of the looks. Some looks came paired with silk head scarves tied around the model’s heads, while other outfits were cinched tightly at the waist to create a softer silhouette.
With it’s modern ease of wear, 87MM‘s spring collection is an overall win in terms of style and design. The best looks from the collection are a black hip length kimono worn with grey shorts, a pair of navy – windowpane plaid trousers worn with a grey sweatshirt tucked in at its cinched waist, a beige trench coat worn over striped shorts and a white tank top, and a white duvet coat worn over an orange tank top and camo trousers.
Conceived in 2013, BLINDNESS website claims the brand aims to offer collections which are heavily based on contemporary art and youth culture. Which in today’s fashion industry is a perfect selling point for new designers. This season BLINDNESS presented a wonderfully unisex collection heavily based in womenswear trends. The collection, which perfectly personifies today’s use of androgyny in the fashion industry, demanded attention from audiences at Seoul fashion week. With wisps of women’s fashion, the collection tells a story of a man who isn’t afraid of a little softness in his wardrobe. His sleeves are puffed a la Jacquemus and his silhouettes are soft and flouncy. BLINDNESS seems to truly understand the need need for gender neutral clothing in today’s global market.
Among the various shows during Seoul Fashion Week, BLINDNESS’ show isn’t the most easily digestible in terms of menswear. But what it does do is take the shock of gender neutral clothing away from fashion. Just like Alessandro Michele stunning take on Gucci, BLINDNESS’ best looks in incorporate the best of women’s trends. Some of which include a soft pink coat held together by a black harness, a hooded mesh top paired with an embroidered black tank top and split leg pants, a ruffled collar and sleeve shirt in blush pink paired with beige shorts, a gingham patterned shirt paired with a long studded black belt and a cropped black trousers, and a striped ruffle shirt paired with a black harness and pearl accented trousers.
Being the oldest brand on this list in no way means it’s the most traditional. Designer Seung Gun Park’s latest collection for Pushbutton proves just that. With a refined taste for blending the delicacy of ultra feminine design and youthful streetwear, Pushbutton paints the picture of a perfectly on trend fashion blogger. With clothing resembling everything from Balenciaga to Gucci and even Dior, Pushbutton seem to be to the go to brand for any trained and true trend spotter. The collection is a spot on example of how traditional silhouettes can be turned on their heads by adding simple modern touches; an A-line skirt paired with a broad shouldered Henley, or a menswear inspired blazer and mini-skirt combo are all perfect examples that come to mind when looking at Pushbutton’s ss17 collection. However, there is one thing about the collection that may put off more traditional buyers. Those looking for continuity within a collection may be slightly off put by Pushbutton, since the entire collection seems to be a bit of a mish-mash of what’s hot and trendy in fashion, rather than having a singular direction. This, however shouldn’t deter buyers from purchasing looks from the collection, the mix and match cacophony of outfits seems to really work here, rather than undermine.
Although there is a lot to choose from here, there are some tried and true winners throughout the collection. A grey off the shoulder pinstriped dress, a navy blue and white striped skirt suit, an embroidered grey pullover paired with a beautiful forest green skirt, an oversized men’s Henley paired with cuffed jeans, and a white double breasted blazer tucked into a lipstick red – tuxedo striped trouser, all come to mind.