Through a short yet memorable run-in at a party a few weeks ago, Justin and I were invited to designer Lee Jae Ho’s showroom located near Garosugil last week. As a menswear designer, Lee not only strives to provide the most stylish garments possible but also ensures that each piece comes with a surprise or two consisting of functionality, options for variation, and use of unusual fabrics or materials. With 2013 Spring and Summer being his third collection, his interest lies in challenging rules and standards- he believes that a consumer is entitled to styling freedom, that is, to style a garment any way he wants to produce a result that satisfies his desire and needs at any given moment- for which his job is to offer them an option to wear it in more than one ordinary way, hence a jacket that has detachable sleeves that also looks completely different when zipped all the way up (that’s three-in-one).
Having spent many years at a large Korean corporation in their sports wear subsidiaries, Lee’s strength lies in incorporating sporty and practical elements to his design, such as using thin synthetic material such as nylon or polyester found in windbreakers on the sleeves of rather formal winter coats to prevent staining. While it doesn’t sound all that appealing, Lee makes it work, and does so impeccably. His pieces are not only aesthetically pleasing, but completely wearable while serving functional purposes which makes it all that more attractive to men whose priority tend to be on all of the above plus affordability, making them very hard-to-please shoppers. However, as you will see below, Lee’s been quite successful in that department, as his collections have been spotted on some of the most popular Korean pop stars and actors including Yoochun, Junsu, Jaejoong (유천, 준수, 재중) from the K-pop group JYJ (ex-TVXQs 동방신기), Hyun-joong Kim (김현중), Geun-suk Jang (장근석), Kim Bum (김범), Gwang-hee from ZEA (제국의 아이들의 광희), Actor Jun-ki Lee (이준기), C N Blue, Lee Joon from MBLAQ (이준), etc.
Junsu & Jae-Joong from JYJ in vests by jayho Homme D’esprit
Jang, Geun-suk and Kim, Bum in jackets by jayho Homme D’esprit
Lee, Jun-ki and Hwang, Gwang-hee in jayho Homme D’esprit
Just realized that the jacket I’m wearing in below photos was recently worn by Lee Joon from MBLAQ. Totally cool how different yet nice it looks depending on how it’s worn.
At his showroom where the magic happens.
In jayho Homme D’esprit printed T-shirt and jacket (same one worn by Lee Joon in above photo), Uniqlo black jeans, Jeffrey Campbell Teramo Spike sneakers in burgundy and silver, New Era hat, Calvin Klein silver clutch. Designer Lee head to toe in jayho Homme D’esprit, boots custom made by a famous shoemaker who produces handmade shoes for all YG artists ie Big Bang, 2NE1, etc.
He said he designs clothes based on his own needs. Because he feels that he’s skinnier than he should be, he places a focus on covering what he perceives as a flaw, hence the loose chest area (I personally think he looks perfectly fine). I also noticed that his jackets tend to have sleeves that are longer than usual, making them ideal for women as well.
As you can see, I truly, genuinely fell in love with his pieces. This T-shirt and jacket are pure perfection. What’s even more awesome is how affordable they are, this amazing jacket with leather sleeves can be had for less than $300.
It’s all in the details after all- details are what differentiates designer products from mass produced fast fashion.
I’m usually not all that crazy about boxy t-shirts, but this particular piece complete with mix of prints, materials, and a long tail in the back that makes it versatile enough to be mistakenly seen as a high-low dress couldn’t be more ideal for someone like me who wants function, style, uniqueness all in one.
Designer emphasized that it excites him to see how differently his pieces can be styled by different people who put them on. I told him that we are on the same page, because I enjoy experimenting with menswear and absolutely love layering which is another strength of his.
With this shirt, he attempts to give an illusion of layering when it really is just a button down that’s extra long with an adjustable drop waist.
Printed leggings are a fun experimentation he did for the 2013 S/S collection, some of which were meant to be layered under shorts.
It’s actually kind of hard to believe that all these pieces are menswear. I suggested that he start making them unisex, not that I wouldn’t buy them otherwise but I think more women need to consider his collection, because they are just simply too good to pass up on.
From Lee’s Spring/Summer 2013 show at Seoul Fashion Week held last month.
You can find jayho Homme D’esprit at following concept shops in Seoul:
A.Land on Garosugil, Myeong-Dong, and Hong-Dae, Flow at Cheong-Dam, Lab5 at Noon Square in Myeong-Dong, and Siecle on Garosugil
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