>> After a mini spree at Opening Ceremony in Soho today, having bought two pieces from two Korean labels that have just come in as part of their "OC goes to Korea" trip, I walked around Soho on a gloriously sunny day on a "I want to move to NYC" high. It's partly the feel-good glows of disgustingly indulgent shopping (having not shopped in a while) and partly to do with the yumminess of Vanessa's Dumplings in my tum. Then I mentally chided myself for my memory lapse. Opening Ceremony HAS of course landed in London and with their permanent store opening up in October, the Korean labels that I had just bought from will indeed be heading their way across the Atlantic. They've chosen well and have already got a few pieces from Low Classic, which I wrote about as well as the established Steve J and Yoni P.
Two labels that I've yet to write about and are worth peeking at when they do finally make it to London or onto the online store definitely show an edgier side to Korean fashion that doesn't purely play the referential game, which my initial impression of Seoul Fashion Week seems to suggest.
Kaal E. Suktae is the brand of Lee Suk Tae and has actually been in operation since 1997, as established as people such as Lie Sang Bong except he's been hidden far far away in Seoul Fashion Week and as much as it seems that way, I don't actually meticulously go through EVERY collection in the world. The A/W 12-3 collection gets something spot on though in a way that previous Kaal E. Suktae collections don't. His focus on geometric-led strict tailoring and structural analysis has softened and relaxed with the injection of slouchy jackets and tops that are contrasted with sleek trousers and coats. The collection is centred around convey speed and light though colour blocking, prints and holographic textures. The tie dye light print on a loose turtle-necked sweater with PVC panelling reminds me of lurid goalie jerseys from the 1980s or for a more recent sporting reference, cycling jerseys from the Tour de France. Actually that sportswear vibe is the positive permutation in this collection that appropriately refreshes what Suk Tae has always done well, which is directional tailoring. Primary colours are also given an update in the hands of Suk Tae as he turns red to maroon, blue to a shade of royal or teal and green to emerald and with used with black, white and grey, it's a moodier take on the core trio of colours. I oohed and aahed over every piece in Opening Ceremony as they had conveniently picked out the best pieces. The aforementioned printed sweater was what got me but it'll be even more dangerous if the collection crosses the ocean.
pushButton is a brand that I knew from Pixie Market who was one of their first known international stockist but it was great to see practically a whole rail of pieces from what is another decidedly offbeat collection where candy pink, teddy bear faux fur in camo formation, digital prints of cityscapes and cone-bra motifs come together and make sense. The designer behind pushButton Seunggun Park broke the mould of Korean fashion back in 2003 by seeking art-fashion collaborations and creating showpieces that are quirky without sacrificing wearability. At Opening Ceremony, pushButton pieces sat alongside Jeremy Scott and that's a good way of summing up the sort of aesthetic niche that pushButton occupies. For A/W 12-3 Park sings the tune of Forever Young as he tries to bottle up youth in a clothing bottle. That apparently means plenty of pink, faux fur, tube tops in rubber, vinyl and PVC so I'm thinking Park's vision of youth revolves around watching old Deee Lite and Shampoo (the band) videos. That's a good thing when the clothes also happen to be contemporary-level priced. I'll be wondering whether I have the gall to pull off the Baby-Spice-gone-weird-n-slutty cone-bra baby pink PVC crop top and matching skirt with boob cut-outs. That's the outfit on the left right at the bottom, if you want to add your two cents/pennies.