Although day 2 of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week just finished, the Concept Korea presentation was the most intriguing I’ve seen – yet. The idea behind Concept Korea, which began in the spring of 2010, is to bring together and further promote Korean designers in the U.S. market. Based on the sheer number of people squeezing and pushing through to get a closer look at the designs, Concept Korea has certainly piqued many people’s interests. (Sidenote: Taylor Momsen was spotted mingling about, attracting the press and fans alike.)
There were five of the top Korean designers who were featured for the Fall/Winter 2012 season: Doho by DO HO, Lie Sang Bong by Lie Sang Bong, Resurrection by Juyoung, Son Jung Wan by Son Jung Wan, and Steve J & Yoni P by Steve Jung and Yoni Pai. Tying them all together was the theme of “Ink Wash Painting”, an East Asian type of brush painting. What makes ink wash painting so special is the intense technique it requires. Even with a single theme driving Concept Korea together, each designer’s collection was innovative and highly unique. The abundance of textures, mixed materials, and modern cuts definitely showcased the rigorous techniques utilized to create these pieces. I can only imagine the number of drafts and revisions it took just to get the patternmaking correct.
Doho by DO HO:
Something about the beadwork made this collection extraordinary. From the necklaces to the shoes, some form of beading was used – whether as rows of sequins, clusters of round beads, or imitation embroidery. One look that was particularly striking was a head-to-toe green number. Although I doubt anyone would wear a midriff-bearing beaded top during the colder months, the cropped leather jacket had silver beadwork running down from the shoulders. The asymmetrical construction gave it that slight tough girl attitude.
Lie Sang Bong by Lie Sang Bong:
While the rest of the womenswear designers showed feminine and whimsical collections, Lie Sang Bong’s take on the ink wash painting theme was expressed through his use of different fabrications and textures to create depth. Dark and romantic. Even though he worked with a color palette consisting of blacks, greys, and some deep reds, his designs had layer upon layer of distinctiveness. Lots for the eye to take in. The construction of the jackets were exceptional – they were clean, crisp, and strict – making for interesting silhouettes.
Resurrection by Juyoung:
The only men’s designer in the room also provided an interesting take on mixing textures. A waffle knit knee-length coat featured a shearling collar, another puffer coat featured diagonally striped panels, and an army green anorak had leather sleeves. A look that was more conceptual featured a turtleneck sweater with some sort of fringed cover-up and suspenders that resembled backpack straps.
Son Jung Wan by Son Jung Wan:
This collection combined fabrications and materials so effortlessly. For instance, the gold and silver brocade with leather fringe and fur trim dress. The nearly-elbow length sleeves even had interesting floral appliqués. Another coat dress featured six different colored panels in six different fabrications. The dropped shoulder sleeves gave way to a bell-shaped opening that further transitioned into a puffed sleeve.
Steve J & Yoni P by Steve Jung and Yoni Pai:
Designers Steve Jung and Yoni Pai presented a fun Fall/Winter 2012 collection. Bright pops of yellows, oranges, and a dash of baby blue. Denim jackets were worn on top of a light, white midi dress as well as a graphic navy and yellow skirt. The use of shearling as a full jacket and short combination was a standout. It had brown silk patch pockets and silk trim. Alligator zip-up ankle boots completed the look.
Photos by Monique