Tag Archive for Kaal.Esuktae

Seoul Fashion Week Spring 2015: KAAL E.SUKTAE

SFW S/S 2015: KAAL E.SUKTAE

What distinguishes humans from animals is that we are able to think critically and analytically. Such freedom of intelligence is what allows us to have our own interpretation of various elements of life- or heaven, in this case: Kaal’s latest offering is a carefully assembled assortment of his depiction of Seraphim, six-winged angels that appear in the Book of Isaiah. Developed around his signature ‘structural avant-garde’ concept, these particular angels make the most futuristic and mysterious sacred beings ever, especially when teamed up with a beatboxer, Terry Im, better known as KRNFX as the finalist of Canada’s Got Talent. As if the collection itself wasn’t intense enough, the show got even more dramatic towards the end when the audience got to meet the beatboxer in person who turned out to be the sole source of background music from beginning to the end.

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Photos by Justin Shin, fashion photographer in Seoul, Korea

Seoul Fashion Week Fall 2014: KAAL E.SUKTAE

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A designer who persistently pursues structural avant-garde, Lee presented striking pieces inspired by 90′s grunge reborn as oversized jackets and trousers. Also present were wide-brim hats which stood somewhere between a cowboy hat and a Gaht, a traditional Korean hat that used to be worn by men along with Hanbok back in Chosun dynasty.

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Personal favorite #1. These pants… are everything.

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Personal favorite #2. the print… the silhouette. the hair. the makeup. the way that jacket fits so loosely yet perfectly. the way those pants move. ugh.

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Photos by Justin Shin, Fashion Photographer SEOUL KOREA

Seoul Fashion Week Spring 2014: KAAL E.Suktae

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For consumers or buyers, what it really comes down to is whether this particular piece is worth the money, if there is absolute certainty that it has to be this particular designer brand; Does the brand have its own color unique enough to stand on its own? That is one major question a buyer or consumer contemplates when it comes to purchasing a designer clothing piece.

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As a popular brand among major shops all around the world such as I.T. and Opening Ceremony, KAAL ESukTae presented another masterpiece for the next season, which was both strikingly creative and perfectly executed.

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This is not to say that they are only for inspiration- they are totally wearable too, you just need to get used to the architectural awesomeness that Lee specializes in. His clothes fit a bit differently than others and that’s a good thing. (Read more here)

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Basing the theme around a bible verse in which a cornerstone is “rejected,” Lee proceeds to materialize the idea onto the collection in a way probably nobody else has ever imagined. Come on, who thinks of turning a bible verse into designer fashion?

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That’s the genius behind Lee, he takes fashion seriously, by combining his faith and passion in a non-cheesy or tacky way, and the result is always extraordinarily remarkable, with pieces that should probably be considered art pieces than fashion (as I’ve mentioned before).

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The keyword that always comes up in his collection is structural avant garde, and this time was no exception, with surprising silhouettes and forms created with pointed shoulders and sleeves and layering of unusual shapes.

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Now, if overalls were made by an architect…

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Don’t you just love how unexpected these pants are? If you were like me, as you were scrolling down, you were like, ‘Oh, that’s an unexpectedly ultra feminine top…ok.. WHAT?’ Yeah, that’s right, following those super feminine sleeves are the super mannish pants because without a distinctive artistic touch, it wouldn’t be KAAL.

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I have a feeling this cropped bomber jacket is going to be a big hit. I mean, bomber jackets are so 2012 anyway… we needed something new, like an upgraded version of it, and this is IT!

30 33 35 36 39Check out Kaal Esuktae F/W 2013 collection & S/S 2013 collectionour interview with the designer.

Seoul Fashion Week Fall 2013: KAAL E.SUKTAE

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A black-based collection with pops of green, camel and red, Lee’s F/W 13 collection is chic and elegant which is enhanced by muted yet luxurious use of materials such as  leather, wool, cotton, organza, silk, and mesh. His signature “structural analysis” and focus on fine details while flirting with various silhouettes and shapes carry on. As usual, inspiration comes from everyday things, this time being Honey bees. While it isn’t something that can be seen with a naked eye (You really have to be observant and be informed beforehand to actually see it in the collection),   finished with 90′s styling complete with fabric and color mixing and matching in over-sized silhouette, Lee has succeeded in wowing the audience yet again.

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Something new is discovered every time I see his pieces, as if looking at an art piece. You know that feeling when you randomly come across the same painting that you had seen somewhere else before. That’s exactly how I feel towards KAAL. In that sense, perhaps it is more like art than clothes if his collection had to be categorized. I consider fashion art anyway, but some are more commercial while some lean more towards being artistic. The uneven collar is an example of the way Lee adds his signature feature to the look, which is subtle yet distinctive with a significant attention to detail.

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Lee’s designs are such that require deeper observation to fully enjoy, as they come with intense details and exquisite tailoring.

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They make us become curious, that which isn’t quite satisfied by looking at pictures or watching the show. We want to see them in person, touch them, put them on.  It seems that interaction is key to KAAL, and in that sense, I would cautiously call his pieces “Wearable Art.”

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I wonder if the outer layer of this coat/jacket is fully attached or detachable.

That’s the type of question that come to mind when I see his collection. And because I know how amazing his clothes feel when worn (Read our interview with the designer), I feel even more intrigued and excited for our next interview session.

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Do you see the tigers too? or is it just me.

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Is that inner layer part of the dress or the jacket?

EST27It’s official. Too many unanswered questions, and my inquisitive mind won’t rest until we meet again. For now, observation and investigation shall ensue.

For those interested in purchase, you can find his collection all over the world at Opening Ceremony (UK & US), Joyce (HK), Luisa Via Roma (Italy), and more. See here for a full list of shops.

See KAAL E.SUKTAE S/S 2013.

Read about our interview with the designer.

Kaal.E.Suktae: Filling the Void

Where do I start…

I should advise you in advance that I’m going to be biased with this post but for right reasons (!).

I had the pleasure and honor of meeting the top Korean womenswear designer, Lee Suk Tae, at his showroom in Gangnam. I tried to stay cool but man, was it difficult to keep myself calm the entire time I was there.
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My first encounter with his collection was through another fashion designer I met at the Fall/Winter 2012 Seoul Fashion Week earlier this year who was one of his apprentices who kindly directed me to the KAAL website which has videos of past collections.

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A few months passed and I was finally able to see KAAL up close and personal… and that’s all it took to fall head over heels in love with the brand, and my curiosity about the designer continued to grow. You can only imagine how stoked I was to be able to meet him in person.

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I shall start by saying how great of a person he is. Well, I’ve mentioned earlier in the post that I’m going to be biased but what I really meant is that I feel a little different about meeting Mr. Lee which I think is due to the fact that he didn’t hesitate even for a minute to share his personal life with us which we greatly appreciated and found extremely encounraging. Let me just say that besides his incredible designing talent and aesthetic discernment, he’s got to be one of the most unbelievably kind and down to earth people I’ve met.
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So let’s talk fashion, shall we?

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 With white as the main color for the season, Lee seeks structural transformation through modern minimalism inspired by masculinity.

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Same dress worn by model Choi, Sora at Seoul Fashion Week. It felt amazing on. Love how the color combination and pattern is reminiscent of Hanbok, a traditional Korean costume.

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What drew me to this brand in first place was Lee’s mastery of structure and eye for detail like none other. Trained in Korea and Paris, I personally think that his pieces are a proper representation of his educational background, as I see both Paris and Korea in them. He does an excellent job of incorporating traditional aspects of Korean costume into pieces that are partly haute couture and partly parisian chic.

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Thought this would make a perfect dress for a Christmas party- definitely a unique take on a party look yet elegant, cute, unique, stylish, and gorgeous all at the same time. Perhaps this is what peplum will look like next Spring, further developed and evolved from the original?

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When asked why he got into womenswear instead of menswear, Lee humbly answered, “Honestly, I have a hard time designing womenswear because I don’t have a complete understanding of the female body. Because I’m not a woman, it often is difficult for me to find out what it would feel like to actually put the pieces on, but at the same time, I enjoy the process very much. I’ve always been the type to take the rough road than the easier one because I like challenging myself. While menswear would’ve been much easier for me, womenswear gives me a lot more freedom and options.”
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I couldn’t believe he said such a thing, because my initial impression was that he was in womenswear business simply because that’s where his passion was- obviously because he’s just so amazing at what he does. I definitely didn’t expect to hear that he specifically chose womenswear for those rather “strategic” reasons… Can we say natural born talent? I don’t know, how creative and artistically talented do you have to be to be able to voluntarily choose a subcategory (fashion design being the main category)? Many times,  some of us average folks have no choice but to go with what we are given, if you know what I mean.

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Ultra cute shorts that I literally squeezed myself into. Maybe that’s how everything should fit. I’m just not familiar with super tight things, that’s all- though, I did feel ridiculously skinny in them. Is it time to reconsider a complete wardrobe overhaul?

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How cute are those pockets peeking out like that… and that print which doesn’t continue in the back which makes it even more awesome. Amaze. Oh, I should mention about now that he’s very much into Super Man and Gundam. Do you see it?

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Don’t think I can put this outfit on again by myself, this was actually a work of a designing staff at the showroom who literally put her hands inside the shorts to pull the shirt and of course zip up the shorts because it was just an impossible task to be completed on my own.

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What KAAL is known for: impeccable details. and more details.

KE BLKAs an established fashion designer in Korea who has successfully gone global (Check out his collection at Opening Ceremony), when asked if he could give an advice to aspiring fashion designers, Lee left a short yet powerful statement as follows:

“Fashion designer as a job may look glamorous on the outside, but as with any other jobs, there is a dark side to it that many do not see. There will be times when you will be disappointed and discouraged, as well as those in which you will be under extreme pressure and stress due to the unique characteristic of the job which requires to you be continuously creative and detail-oriented. Even if so, don’t ever be discouraged. Finish the race no matter what. Determination and hard work along with patience will result in rewards that are unimaginable. Enjoy the moment while being thankful for being able to do what you want. Then one day, you will receive the respect you deserve.”

“옷은 공간이다.”- 디자이너 이석태

Outfits provided by KAAL E.SUKTAE, Shoes by Jeffrey Campbell