Concept Korea, funded by the Korean government, is an operation that is meant to catapult the very best of its domestic fashion into the global market. Now on its 12th season, designers Kang Dong Jun and Jang Hyeong Cheol were the latest selected to present their lines at New York Fashion Week: Men’s Spring Summer 2016.
Words Gissella Ramirez-Valle, Photos Soo Kei
DBYD, launched in 2009, is D.GNAK’s diffusion line. While DBYD is a street-wear brand with a more casual tone, it retains designer Kang Dong Jun’s distinguishing mainline characteristics of minimalism and avant-garde tailoring. The SS16 collection titled Loner tells the story of a reclusive daydreamer. The starry eyed rebels wore tropical pattern coordinates, white shirts with embroidered fauna motifs, and yellow statement sweatshirts that broke free from the mostly achromatic parade. Nods to utility wear were introduced with weatherproof wide rimmed hats, caps, and parkas.
Active Maestro continued Ordinary People's designer Jang Hyeong Cheol’s quest of merging classic forms with sportism. Fall trenches loosened up to become lounge robes, stripes thickened, hues became richer, and leg exposure was generous. Excellent craftsmanship was seen in the construction of sport jackets with delicate hardware and metallic detailing. Lowtop sneakers and sandals were matched up with the looks which didn’t compromise elegance.
Models from both shows sported simple makeup with thick filled in eyebrows, a Korean trademark. Overall, DBYD and Ordinary People’s showings were very reminiscent of what can be seen on the streets of Seoul, where formal and casual attire are regularly blended effortlessly. Designers Kang's and Jang's ability to translate these street-smart qualities into forward thinking runway collections definitely makes them worthy of international accolades.