The toughest collection to write about is one that is neither really bad or excellent. It’s those that fall somewhere between the dichotomy but so lukewarm that they basically elicit no emotions. Such tend to be ones that are designed by people who are more business-minded than art or design-driven.
Despite having reached the mega popular status among the young population in Korea with its “dog tee”, coined after the brand’s signature t-shirts and sweatshirt series with a dog embroidery which varies in type and size, Beyond Closet has yet to present a collection that truly captivates. Maybe it’s just that I haven’t quite figured out why anyone should pay extra for a sweatshirt that can easily be found at a much cheaper price just about anywhere in Seoul. It’s just a sweatshirt with a logo after all.
It’s somewhat obvious that the theme is “School Gang” with the props and styling signaling the setting; however the clothes themselves were more reminiscent of the 90′s Korean Pop style, especially with the slightly oversized fit, colorful stripes and embroideries which was definitely fun, but not as exciting as when the K-pop group Winner opened the show.
I guess the biggest issue here is that the collection was predictable, and with all the hypes and popularity the brand has garnered over the past year, people want to see something refreshing and creative from Ko, not the same old style especially the “Dog” thing being repeated the same way over and over- perhaps a reinterpretation of his signature style would be nice, like how Kye has successfully made the rope pattern her signature style. Also, it would have been great to see the “it girl” of the moment, Sungkyung Lee, in a school girl uniform-inspired outfit instead of the baggy pajama-like pieces that basically added nothing to the show- rather than making her stand out as the only female model, they made her look bigger and inconspicuous. Seriously, any of you digging what she’s wearing?
It’s awesome to see emerging K-pop stars on the runway, especially when they have over a million followings all around the world- it’s definitely a smart move from a marketing stand point; however, as a fan of Korean men’s fashion, I would like to see Ko become a bit more daring and bold in his designs, to experiment and innovate. On that note, expectations shall remain high for his next collection. As for now, what’s certain is that beyond closet, there are dog tees… and lots of them at that.
Photos by Justin Shin, Fashion photographer seoul Korea