Tag Archive for Menswear

Seoul Fashion Week Spring 2015: the studio k

SFW S/S 2015: the studio k

Now only if someone would explain what “Studio K” means, or where in the world it’s located, at least.. really hoping it’s not in Garosugil or somewhere in Gangnam where the designer Hong, Hye Jin’s office is located because that’d immediately take all the fun and fantasy out of it. Hence I digress…

A border, whether it divides countries, or two different types of elements such as the land and the water, plays a critical role in a world that mainly deals with things of visual nature as that’s what makes layering and interaction possible.

Hong applied this idea to her spring collection by using loads of graphics and layers to recreate the division, layers and interactive interface that occur as a result of border’s existence. Not that it’s a rather serious topic to be dealt with particularly for fashion which is often considered shallow and fleeting, it’s undeniably an interesting thought to play with, especially for those living in a country that suffers from a painful division of the land, and also one that is surrounded by the sea. But why does any of that matter when results are exuberant and just straight out pretty like this (this includes boys’ stuff)? Isn’t that how our lives are? We all in a way live a life that is contradicting; by distracting ourselves with things that are lightweight and superficially exciting, we try to turn away and forget about the not-so-great part of our lives, which in the end (unfortunately and ironically) turns out to be most important. In that sense, why don’t we just  start lusting after model turned actress Lee, Sung Gyung’s plump lips? The real question perhaps should be, “How in the world is that possible for a Korean?”

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Photo by Justin Shin, Fashion photographer Seoul Korea

Seoul Fashion Week Spring 2015: RESURRECTION

SFW S/S 2015: ResurrectionMasculinity can mean different things- or can it?

While the rest of Korea is drowning in 90′s pop culture (myself not-so-secretly included), it’s become apparent that what’s considered sexy for men has changed a lot over the years. Actually, I’m not so sure about the rest of the world but at least for me, there is a very high correlation between masculinity and sexual attractiveness, and for Resurrection’s spring collection through which designer Lee, Ju-young attempted to show both casual and masculine sides of menswear via industrial mood. As expected however, the so-called “masculinity” often felt more imposed than natural.

As many of us like to point out while watching female singers perform in their most provocative clothes, sexy isn’t about showing more skin, but it comes from within, which I’m sure can be achieved in fashion, too, without having to use skin as a major part of the collection. And obviously, with an incorporation of aggressive accessorizing, things can get quite complicated especially for menswear- the route which Lee decided to take anyway. Thankfully, it turned out not as disastrous but I’m fervently praying that no one else besides the model below attempts it at home.

While the mesh could have been skipped (note: this is purely a personal opinion, I’m just tired of them), graphic print and vertical stripes paired with leather pants (or faux, can’t tell) were cool, an ensemble in which even a use of the leather harness became forgivable. A high-end street wear that’s more luxurious and glamorous than it should be, perhaps. But either way, that’s what sets Resurrection apart from the rest of the menswear. Kudos for being adventurous especially for Korean menswear, Ms. Lee!

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Photos by Justin Shin, Korea Fashion Photographer

Seoul Fashion Week Spring 2015: Ordinary People

SFW S/S 2015: Ordinary People

This spring, “Ordinary People” go on a trip in polka dots, daisy dukes, coolest capris and sleeveless chambray button-downs. Don’t you just wish the guys you randomly come across on a trip to Europe looked like this? Now that would be the most romantic thing ever. In all seriousness though, even after so many seasons and encounters, I must say “no” to those short-shorts after all, as the mind refuses to accept them as appropriate  men’s attire. Sorry, guys. But don’t fret yet, the good news is that the designer Hyeong Cheol Chang may have come up with the cleanest looking capris, and to make things even better, he also offers what looks best with them such as the oversized sleeveless button-downs and a loosely fitted motorcycle jacket made with knitted fabric that looks Chanel. It looks especially awesome when paired with the crisp white round-neck t-shirt that looks perfectly opaque making it most appropriate for the occasion. This look, indeed, shall be what men should be wearing this spring. Capris never looked so hot- do it, and do it now.

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Perfection.

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This, guys. Yes, this is what I’m talking about.

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Khakis are always a nice idea.

SFW S/S 2015: Ordinary People SFW S/S 2015: Ordinary People

But do refrain from tight pants if you have thick thighs- No hate though, soccer is an attractive sport. Just be aware of your body and what looks best on it, fair enough?

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Photos by Justin Shin, Fashion Photographer Seoul Korea

Seoul Fashion Week Spring 2015: ROLIAT

SFW S/S 2015: ROLIAT

Please tell me I’m not the only one who was confused and a bit uncomfortable to find out that the theme of Roliat’s spring collection was “Boudoir”? Because you know, the first thing that came to mind was an image of a woman sitting on a fancy bed in her prettiest piece of lingerie, thanks to my first exposure to the word being Boudoir Photography, not the French word itself which means a lady’s bedroom… hence the pajama-themed collection which makes everyday attire look boring. If loungewear looked this good, why bother changing every morning? But then again, when this is what you change into, it may be a different story… While the show effectively conveyed the message of comfort and fantasy of a bedroom as intended, when it comes to practicality, the idea is there albeit conflicting. Perhaps a piece from each look paired with something more outdoorsy is a nice option if you don’t intend on mimicking Beyonce  (#iwokeuplikethis).

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Seoul Fashion Week Spring 2015: PUSH BUTTON

SFW S/S 2015: PUSH BUTTON

So apparently I’m either prophetic or secretly possess some kind of superpower that allows me to see people’s past without having studied it. A close source tells me that the designer of the uberpopular brand, Push Button, used to be a stylist. And not only that, he was a model too. Although I only got the first half right, I must say I was pretty shocked to find out. And on that note, I cautiously assume he never quite received full training in fashion design (not that it matters when your stuff is good) as I’m unable to locate such info anywhere on the cyberspace. But really, who cares. If anything, aren’t we all tired of seeing institutionalized people making same stuff over and over? For one, I’ve recently become a huge fan of the self-trained French designer, Jacquemus, well, because he’s the most creative, artistic individual I’ve come across recently (albeit only in cyberspace, unfortunately- I’m sure he’s a nice guy in person too). But if I had to be completely honest, the reason why I began considering Park more of a stylist than a fashion designer is I always felt like his collection was missing that certain “something” even after being almost always particularly entertaining and memorable. It turns out the looks are “made” to look good with exceptional accessorizing and styling. The question was, ‘If he were to show each look with no accessories at all, or minimal styling work involved, would it still be interesting?’ The answer, at least this time around, was no, because as you can see, what really completes the look is not the dress nor the layered bra, but the matching headband, jeweled cat eye sunglasses and big, big hoop earrings. But what is there to complain when the collection looks awesome and maybe even covetable?

With the iconic painter Frieda Kahlo as an inspiration, Park pushes the button yet again through his own world of wit and glamour where vintage and future meet- which sometimes turns out to be a bit awkward yet strangely in a good way. That must be a talent.

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Photo by Justin Shin, Fashion Photographer Seoul Korea

Seoul Fashion Week Spring 2015: CRES. E. DIM.

SFW S/S 2015: CRES. E DIM.

One great thing about having experienced a not-so-memorable past collection is that there is something to look forward to in the next season. And this season, Cres. E. Dim., comes on strong with a collection filled with engaging pieces that not only prove that he’s a qualified designer but that he can embrace and reinterprete “norm core” in his own, unique way using elements found in Korean school uniforms from the 70′s. There were jerseys, mesh sweaters, trench-inspired sport coats, culottes and even bucket hats to add to the list. While it is uncertain whether he meant the band or the artist when he mentioned Yves Klein Blue as part of inspiration, this sporty yet relaxed approach to casual wear sure seems to be working for the brand.

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Photo by Justin Shin, Fashion Photographer Seoul Korea

Seoul Fashion Week Spring 2015: J KOO

SFW S/S 2015: J KOO

You know it’s a good show when you start anticipating the next look. Quite simply, what sets a good collection apart from those that are average is one that which presents something new in every single look yet mindfully follows the theme by placing main elements of the collection in each look. It should be clear what the designer is trying to convey, and it should be illustrated in the pieces that are made with the highest quality and finish. We have all done some type of presentation in school that required nothing but the best in us because the presentation, in a way, represented who we were- it was a chance to show them what we were capable of. A fashion show isn’t much different- only that an event in this scale should consist of results that offer a lot more at a much higher level.

SFW S/S 2015: J KOO

J KOO is a brand that knows what’s up. And I mean it- are they not only the most well-trained and prepared duo, but they are one of the few designer brands that shows during Seoul Fashion Week that have mastered the basics of fashion design. What that means is that they have the ability to cover from A to Z with their very own “kick” added, all the while keeping them “cool” and practical enough to lure fashion fans from all over the world. The pieces are not only one of a kind, but with wit and quality that you’d expect from a luxury designer brand- but more important, they are trendsetting while also being timeless and sometimes even free from circumstantial factors. These are clothes you want to go out in, party in, meet cute boys and girls in, pray in, and to sleep in. I know, because I’ve experienced them firsthand.

SFW S/S 2015: J KOO

It isn’t difficult to conclude that tennis is rather a fashionable sport, and it really got me curious when the designer told me that they were inspired by tennis wear from the 1920′s to 1930′s which looked something like this and this. While it’s not the first time high fashion has played tennis, compared to Jean Paul Gaultier’s luxurious take, J KOO presents younger, casual variations with mini fringes, pleats and their signature “undone” edges. Having a menswear background for the duo gives them a competitive advantage by allowing them to experiment with womenswear while creating everything with top notch tailoring. It may seem common sense, but at the end of the day, what truly matters is whether fashion designers know how to design. If you are wondering why I’m saying such a thing, try seeing 200 shows a season. You can kind of start giving brands grades, trust me.

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Photo by Justin Shin, fashion photographer Seoul, Korea

Seoul Fashion Week Spring 2015: MOOHONG

SFW S/S 2015: MOOHONG

A designer who is on a constant search for harmonies and collisions that emerge when contrasting elements are met, Moohong Kim of designer label, Moohong, seeks communication between fashion and humanity in his spring collection through a simultaneous study of ethnic codes and modern street aesthetics. With emphasis on cultural diversity, the collection is a daring attempt at effortless utility chic in variants of monotone that gets more interesting when movement is added. While it was undoubtedly one of the more refreshing shows, whether intended of not, spirit of Antwerp Six could be felt but with a Korean touch (Ann Demeulmeester and Haider Ackermann in particular come to mind; and Alexander Wang when boxers started showing up- but then again, that’s not a patented or copyrighted idea).

As Korean fashion continues to seek its place on the global fashion map, it seems imperative to first figure out what is quintessentially Korean; that which cannot be replaced, one that which makes it covetable by not just average consumers who seek lower priced fast fashion, but fashion forward consumers who are looking for a luxurious alternative that’s fresh, classic and timeless.

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Photo by Justin Shin, Fashion Photographer Seoul, Korea

Seoul Fashion Week Spring 2015: Beyond Closet

SFW S/S 2015: Beyond Closet

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.

SFW S/S 2015: Beyond Closet

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.

SFW S/S 2015: Beyond Closet

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.

SFW S/S 2015: Beyond Closet

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?

SFW S/S 2015: Beyond Closet

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.

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Photos by Justin Shin, Fashion photographer seoul Korea

Seoul Fashion Week Spring 2015: MUNSOO KWON

SFW S/S 2015: MUNSOO KWON

Dropped crotch and super tight trousers and shorts are not necessarily something I’d dress my boyfriends in; however if you’ve got the height and the legs to pull them off, look no further. These are just a few of Munsoo Kwon’s specialties, who has quickly risen to a celebrity designer status in a few years he’s been showing at Seoul Fashion Week.

SFW S/S 2015: MUNSOO KWON

Inspired by a kite flying over Han River, Kwon’s spring collection is a visual reflection of a collective state of things found at the river on a typical day in Seoul.

It’s the direly needed 15 minute walk at a park; it’s a family time on a sunny saturday; it’s the trees and flowers blooming in a concrete jungle; it’s where hustle and bustle meets tranquility.

Even in the most hectic moments, there needs to be a time to breathe, to unwind and reflect. This collection is about a place where people go to do just that: a place of rest, to recharge and be inspired.

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Photos by Justin Shin, fashion Photographer Seoul Korea