Korean fashion is thriving right now. The country's designers are killing it, and they're starting to draw the attention of the global fashion press. What's more, the country is a huge fashion market in itself, and your average guy on the streets of Seoul is extremely stylish.
Seoul Fashion Week is hosted at the Zaha Hadid-designed Dongdaemun Design Plaza, a mind-bending reflective structure that looks something like a spaceship crossed with a potato. The street style outside the venue is nuts, with countless insane looks — not to mention tons of stylish children.
The FW17 installment of Seoul Fashion Week has just drawn to a close, so let's take a look at some of the best collections the week had to offer. Be sure to check out Kanghyuk's insane presentation of clothing crafted from car airbags while you're at it.
In a Nutshell: A tribute to British punk, complete with a Sex Pistols soundtrack and cut-and-paste graphics. Hearing punk in a city as clean and ordered as Seoul feels kinda strange, but that's just part of the fun of it. The brand's newly-unveiled Fila collab looked strong, too.
In a Nutshell: The name might sound Scandinavian, but Münn's show was all about British vibes. A bunch of Korean lads marched around the show space soundtracked by the Verve's Bittersweet Symphony, decked out in houndstooth, tweed and chunky knits. Kudos for avoiding the awkward white-models-in-Asia trend and going for an all-Korean lineup instead.
In a Nutshell: A stunning display of gender-queer peacocking. An onslaught of lace, velvet, and ruffles, made all the more spectacular by the fact it was so confidently worn by a troupe of guys. The pearl's hanging from so many of the pieces — especially the sunglasses — looked amazing. Strong stuff.
In a Nutshell: One for the ballers. An onslaught of silky suiting, plush leathers, leopard print, Fashion Coats (which are basically normal coats, but bigger and more expensive). Bonus points awarded for the Margiela tribute tee.
Kim Seo Ryong
In a Nutshell: Luxe-peacock vibes. It might be heavily focussed on tailoring, but there’s nothing boring about this. Suits were executed in leather, satin and wild patterns, with some incredible snake-patterned trucker jackets and blazers that are sure to drive brave dressers wild.
In a Nutshell: Kawaii streetwear. Pastel colors meet modern-day streetwear pieces, with some whacky patterns thrown in for good measure. If that wasn’t brash enough, there’s a whole lot of shaggy fabrics, too.
In a Nutshell: Streetwear meets acrobatic cuts. Garments were scissored into wacky shapes, with asymmetric cuts and topsy-turvy silhouettes. A strong show, but more than a few of the looks on show bore an uncanny resemblance to the stuff Y/Project showed a season or so ago.
In a Nutshell: A futuristic vision of utility gear. Huge cuts, insane styling, and barely-even-recognizable garments marked this brand out as one to watch. The sliced trousers, baggy tees and (relatively) restrained outerwear have got some pretty serious retail potential, though, so it’s not all avant-garde weirdness.
Inspired by Seoul? Check out our feature on the rise of Korea's nascent fashion industry.