Photography by Heehyun Oh
It was day four, and it rained… but that didn’t stop us, fashion people, from dressing properly.
As much as I’m a big fan of big clothes, it is not the easiest style to work with, because as you can imagine, it can easily make you look something like five pounds heavier.
Which is why it’s important to go with pieces designed by experts who design with the potential side effect in mind.
Enter J KOO Street, a new casual street wear line of J KOO.
The culottes and shirt/jacket combo is the best denim ensemble I’ve encountered lately not only in terms of style but the way they fit… and the comfort! They are perfect everyday pieces that can be styled in so many different ways that they’ve quickly become staples in my wardrobe. (No, this is NOT a sponsored post)
They are part hip-hop, part casual, part swag minus the usual pretentiousness that tends to come with street wear.
In the meantime, I shall be waiting impatiently for the online shop to open. Make sure to check for updates on Studiojkoo.com!
Denim shirt & culottes by JKOO Street, Black Ouzel Pumps by Jeffrey Campbell, Cropped black top by Forever21, Hat by New Era, Sunglasses by Celine, Bag by Chanel.
This bomber jacket is everything you need for a lazy afternoon: neon geometric patterns paired with pinstripes add a sporty touch while an asymmetrical wrap miniskirt with a zipper detail is most definitely entertaining. It’s a Friday afternoon pick-me-up; a coffee break, that fat piece of chocolate cake, a 3PM tea-time. Do it with caution though, these heels are deadly.
Her bralet & skirt, His shirt & shorts from J KOO S/S ’14. Her patent red pumps by Sergio Rossi, Sunglasses by Italia Independent, Leather bracelet by Miansai, Jewelry by Tomtom Jewelry. His black shoes by 1-900.
So this was Day 2 of New York Fashion Week and I pretty much walked out of our Upper West Side apartment in my most frequented black bra and not much else. If you follow me on Instagram, remember the post I made a few days before leaving for New York? About my anxiety towards things that could go wrong during Fashion Week? Guess what. It happened!
Funny thing is, it wasn’t one of the zillion things that crossed my mind- and of course, even with a wardrobe malfunction, Tomimito got to be creative! Thankfully however, it happened after we had left the venue… you know the one where gazillion photographers camp out.
Can you guess what? Yeah, the unthinkable, the unmentionable, the unimaginable happened… the zipper on my skirt broke. hahaha. Thank God for the clutch. Should have walked instead but you know, the heel situation. It’s fashion week after all though, when anything is possible and even the most ridiculous accidents are forgiven. Fashion… must… go on.
More outfit shots here in which I forgot to suck it in. Oops- but then again, there is a reason why I never succeeded in becoming a professional model, remember?
Both in JKOO from their S/S ’14 collection. See them here.
Her “Scandal” heels by Jeffrey Campbell, His creepers by 1-900. Her sunglasses by Celine. His by Warby Parker.
Why, you ask- why the madness, why the provocativeness, why the purple hair, why the dolls in shoes?
Well, my answer is actually, relatively simple: I dress the way I want, I wear the things I want according to my mood, occasion, the weather, or sometimes based on whatever is available. I mean, does it really matter after all?
It seems that Koreans are especially sensitive to what others do, and when it comes to fashion and style, they like to categorize those with a distinct style as “strange” or “weird” just because… they dress differently (or shall I include myself and call it “We”?).
It’s Fashion Week after all. Style often defines one’s taste, and sometimes even personality; it’s who I am or am not (which kind of depends) but most definitely it’s what makes me feel good, it’s what entertains me (and others too). You are free to call it scary or weird but don’t tell me, “I don’t understand this,” because I don’t need you to understand. I never expected anyone to understand in first place. If anything, just have fun with it- experimentation is the only way to develop and discover your own style. Without risk, there is no improvement.
If you haven’t known me long enough, you probably have no idea but I spent most of my life (think 90% of it) in school and office burying my head in books and paper. I always dreamed of the day I would be able to walk around in purple hair, in shoes that would scare the heck out of people, wearing designer clothes, getting attacked by a throng of photographers.
My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard.. and girls.
Striped zipper vest, Red striped blazer, Dog (yes, that’s a dog named Hyung: read about it here) print tunic/dress from J KOO, Leather jacket from J KOO’s F/W ’14 collection, Faux leather pants by Work Custom Jeans, Sunglasses by Celine, Jeffrey Campbell Icy Doll in marble, Silver clutch by Calvin Klein
I’ve mentioned this before in another post but what fashion has been doing to me is just madness itself. I’m learning about things that I never really bothered to know, things that were important enough to change the way I see the world forever but never paid enough attention to, things that would have never mattered to me, if not for fashion.
See, although I excelled in what interested me, I was quite a terrible student when in came to subjects that I didn’t find intriguing, such as Physics, Economics, Calculus, and History… yes- how can I forget those dreaded exams and reading assignments that seemed perpetually pointless- because they were not happening in the days I was living in; because they were archaic things that happened what seemed like eons ago- but ultimately because they didn’t seem to be affecting my life at the time as nothing mattered unless it was happening TO ME.
Oh, how selfish were those days. and it wasn’t graduate school, friends, church, or anything that brought me back into History 101- it was fashion; it just had to be the most unexpected place out of all.
We live in a world that finds pleasure in seeking our own comfort and benefit, basically going after ‘what’s in it for me’- we feel uncomfortable learning about what a difficult life people on the other side of the world lead, even people living next door go through on a daily basis isn’t much of our concern. When we care so little about others’ well-being who live in the same era, it’s hard to imagine how much we can possibly care about what happened in the past, say 70 years ago. My apologies if I’m the only ignorant one here, but I knew about World War II, but I didn’t realize how catastrophic the event actually was, that it basically turned the entire world into hell; that some people, kids, and babies died in worse ways than ever can be imagined, and that was after being treated worse than any of the animals that end up on our dinner table.
A war, while there may be many “official” reasons, is something that begins with greed, often followed by imperialism which allows for a false idea that one group of people is superior than the other, which gives them an “excuse” to exploit and destroy other groups. What good does a war bring to the human race? Economic revitalization for some, or how about industrial revolution- yes, why not- but what about all those who quietly disappear from the face of earth, and those who become injured and scarred for life both mentally and physically? What about those criminals who happily take it as an opportunity to be animals? Will they ever receive the punishment that they deserve? (because according to history, not many have; even those who did receive some kind of penalty didn’t quite get it the way they should have)
Where is love? What about hope?
My heart broke while researching who Lee Miller was (who was the inspiration behind the collection), which led me to further my research on World War II and the horrifying events that followed all over the world. I felt sick to my stomach after reading in details what happened at the concentration camps and in Nanking, China. Perhaps this is the type of reaction the designer duo wanted from the audience, or whoever that came across their new collection: to become educated and promote what is truly important.
Along with works of photographer, model, and muse, Lee Miller, “World War II Military and Morse Code” became a conceptual framework for the the duo’s fall offerings. Using varying types of wool, felt, and cotton, J KOO’s new offering not only depicts the dark side of war but the bright side that comes with a hope for the future by adding a splash of bright neons along with a typography that says “Peace.” Perfected with their expertise in traditional British tailoring with a touch of modern sensibility, the brand seems to be slowly shifting its focus towards what they do best: Menswear (and influence from it) featuring modern, clear, minimal silhouettes with expert tailoring and fine details.
I actually sported a version of this jacket during fashion week, and it turned out to be the best decision ever.
Photos by Justin Shin, fashion photographer Seoul Korea
I must admit, as with many of you, biggest concern that I had when I decided to color my hair was how much of a restriction it would create in regards to selecting a wardrobe, especially when it came to color selections.
Surprisingly though, I was relieved to soon realize that freedom still existed even when my hair became purple. As you have seen, I’ve worn tan, blue, green, black, burgundy, and now orange. I wasn’t an art student for long enough to master the color wheel nor the Pantone color schemes but fortunately, these outfits somehow seemed to work. This change was a huge one for me at least, which required a bit more than a skilled hair stylist… it was an attempt at boldly stepping out of my comfort zone, and my way of showing the world that regret should be feared more than failure. I promise to be more courageous and decisive in the coming year for a future that is brighter and (even) more exciting.
Now this skirt is one amazing piece both aesthetically and functionally, its double layer design allows for active movement while the soft wool material keeps you warm.
The rich reddish orange hue of the cropped jacket in over-sized fit is perfect for those days when you are seeking change, something fresh to replace the same old black jacket that you’ve been mindlessly reaching out to on cooler days.
As the year comes to a close, I’m profoundly thankful for all the amazing people I’ve met this year including all the talented, hard working fashion designers, photographers, models and such.
(above with model Sora Choi, winner of Korea’s Next Top Model Cycle 3)
With Fashion Designer Jae Keun Hwang, winner of Project Runway Korea All Stars. Read our interview with the designer here.
Wishing everyone a warm and stylish 2014 filled with love, dream, and happiness. Thank you, both new and existing readers, for sticking with us and we hope to be able to continue to provide you with informative and entertaining content in the coming year.
Jacket & Skirt by JKOO, Shoes by Jeffrey Campbell, Sunglasses by Quay Eyewear, Bag by Chanel
For those who ‘create’, inspiration comes from everywhere- and music is a field that is indisputably one that is most closely related to fashion; therefore, it’s not all that strange that JKOO’s Spring/Summer 2014 collection was inspired by hip hop music, more specifically “Critical Beatdown” by the legendary rap group Ultramagnetic MCs- one of the finest, classic rap albums from the mid- to late-’80s’, aka hip hop’s golden age:
Well I’m the equalizer, known to be graphic
I clear static, breakin up traffic
Move, while I enter the groove
I’m on top, and happy to prove
To wack MC’s who claim to be better than
No Way I’m frankly more clever than
All of you, each and every one, my son
Pay close attention
I take your brain to another dimension
Hold it, mold it, shape it
You got a knife, yes I wanna scrape it
Continuing to woo us with mannish elements appropriately mixed with massive use of prints in loose and sometimes boxy silhouette appropriate for any occasion, exquisite tailoring serves its purpose rightfully so yet again for JKOO’s Spring/Summer collection.
Surprising was the unexpected introduction of Mens’ line, which consisted of whopping 30% of the collection- which actually comes as no surprise after all, as both Choi Jinwoo and Koo Yeonjoo majored in menswear during their Central Saint Martins days.
Through continuous research and study, JKOO is a brand that seeks longevity than short term success, which is reflected in their collection season after season- these are pieces that you wear today and years later and not feel out of style, even good enough to sport 10-20 years later and still feel great doing so. As with many European design houses that have been part of the fashion industry for generations, JKOO hopes to build a brand that is here to stay, not one that gains instantaneous attention and disappears.
It’s undoubtedly entertaining and inspiring to witness firsthand what rigorously trained menswear designers do with 80′s funky hip hop using their dog aka Hyung (as in “bro” in Korean) as a motif using bold colors such as pink, yellow, green with a touch of metallics for womenswear (which can be tacky if not used properly, by the way- which is exactly why they are so genius for making them look classy and sexy at the same time). It’s street-wear-meets-high-fashion executed with the type of craftsmanship only found in finest menswear.
Photos by Justin Shin, fashion photographer Seoul Korea
You know… I’ve been meaning to write about this… like forever. It’s not that it bothers me, I’m totally indifferent but just have to get it off my chest so that I stop ruminating… about now.
I’m absolutely obsessed over my gym at the moment and ever since I got my membership there, I’ve been training myself to take a shower afterwards… because after 30 minutes of Spinning (Korean style which has many aerobics elements incorporated) and 60 minutes of weight training, there is no way I’m walking out of that place without having washed myself… because I not only become completely soaked wet but I actually look like I just went swimming.
Now I am not a big sauna person and the main reason why I have always been sort of against the idea of public shower is that I just can’t convince myself to be naked in front of others. Is that weird?
But these Korean ladies… they not only are bold with getting naked but they walk around the locker room like it’s their living room…with nothing on which actually makes ME uncomfortable.
And then when it comes to wearing bikinis, these same women are the most conservative, I mean, you’d rarely see Korean women in bikinis at a swimming pool without a cover-up. When a K-Pop girl group wear a cropped top or short shorts, they immediately get bashed for being “scandalous,” “disgraceful,” etc. Just consider what 2NE1′s CL had to endure recently, people calling her shorts “underwear,” and such.
I don’t know, I guess being naked around other women is a norm here but showing too much skin to men or in public (besides public showers)… is considered a crime?
Oh well, that was just me brain farting… It’s definitely fun being a Korean American in Seoul. I feel like a Caucasian woman living in a Korean body.
Top from J KOO 2013 S/S Collection, Leather skirt from Old Navy, Justin’s Boston Red Socks Snapback, Jeffrey Campbell Devandra wedges.