In anticipation of Seoul Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016, MUTZINE will be looking back at the prominent runway trends from the past five years. Last year at SFW Spring/Summer 2015, designers were inspired by art and athletics while breathing new life to outdated fashion trends. See how trends have changed in the past five years by reading our previous coverage of SS11, SS12, SS13, and SS14.
Words Cathy Wang, Photos Seoul Fashion Week, Graphics Sam Cello
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM
While fashion is considered an art in its own right, the runway shows this season were like a mobile art gallery featuring the works of prominent and famous artists. With nods to the modern and Renaissance periods, designers put a spin into familiar images to create wearable pieces of art.
Surrealist artist René Magritte influenced a handful of shows. Kwakhyunjoo Collection drew influence from Magritte’s famous Golconda and The False Mirror to create a fun, but slightly unsettling print featuring umbrellas and eyes. This print was then used on matching sets for both men and women. Carnet du Style drew inspiration from Magritte’s The Treachery of Images, using a similar pipe motif as a print. Youser mimicked the famous text that accompanies the pipe image by printing “c’est ne pas une style,” or “it is not a style” in French, on garments. Besides referencing Magritte, Youser also referenced modern and surrealist art as a whole, placing absurd images on garments that harken back to the works of Salvador Dalí. Yohanix took elements of cubist art to create faces and portraits, akin to Picasso’s art, on dresses.
While other designers opted for modern art inspirations, Steve J & Yoni P printed Sandro Botticelli’s famous Renaissance painting, Primavera, onto t-shirts and sweaters. Recently the manipulation of classic Greek and Roman art has been a prominent practice for streetwear brands. They added a modern twist to Botticelli’s classic by layering blue stripes across the image that were reminiscent of Donald Judd’s architectural installations.
One word often used to describe Korean fashion is sporty, which refers to its fun yet relaxed sense. This season, designers took sporty quite literally and transformed athletic mesh from workout clothing into couture. Evening dresses, sweaters, and coats contained some mesh element. Mesh in 2015 was the new sheer of 2012 – both showed skin while retaining a level of modesty.
Known for a futuristic mix of fabrics and color-blocking, KAAL E.SUKTAE incorporated mesh screens into his designs this season. J Apostrophe also opted to use mesh as a highlight and detail by tucking it under opaque shirts. Doii created a mesh trench coat with an solid panel down the center so properly button the coat up. For men, Byungmun Seo used mesh for the sleeves of a structured coat and also created mesh snapbacks (modeled by Korean variety star Sam Otswiri).
Other designers decided to bare it all by constructing dresses, sweaters, and skirts completely out of mesh. Cres. E Dim. layered a navy mesh sweater over a cropped tank for a trendy, street style look. Carnet du Style similarly created a cropped mesh sweater that was subsequently worn over a bandeau, tube top. Jinteok for Francoise and Big Park decided to bare it all by styling their mesh garments on the bare body. Big Park utilized patches to cover up any scandalous body parts while Jinteok for Francoise used a finer mesh.
Historically, culottes refer to the britches that men wore in the 19th century where the thigh area was loose while the calf section was skintight. Over time, culottes transformed into wide-legged pants that allowed women to ride bikes while maintaining the illusion of wearing a full skirt. Culottes made a resurgence at the European fashion weeks in 2014 and the re-emerging trend showed no signs of slowing down.
PartspARTs IMSEONOC, Nineteen Eighty, and Youser all presented traditional and simple culottes in neutral colors, making them easy to style and mix with other pieces. These culottes are all cut right below the knee and give the effect of a wide, voluminous skirt, when in fact they are comfortable pants. The modern culotte pant is not reserved exclusively for women. Cy Choi created an iteration for men, featuring a gold trim and a front pleat.
Breaking away from the norm, mosca and pushBUTTON opted for printed culottes paired with basic tops to let the pants do all the talking. mosca stuck with a more traditional length for culottes, while pushBUTTON created ankle-length culottes with ruffles to add extra drama. BEETLEBEETLE offered culottes with a printed side panel and S=YZ brought back the metallic trend from 2012 with gold, embossed culottes. kiok also put a unique twist on the trend by showing shredded, ripped denim in a culotte shape.
Pinstripes fall in and out of fashion quickly and often. As womenswear began to tailor men’s classic suit shapes for feminine figures, pinstripes migrated from suits to dresses, skirts, and coats for women. Nonetheless, pinstripes still appear in menswear but now in more casual pieces like t shirts and sweatshirts instead of a traditional three-piece suit.
Kimseoryong, known for his stylish and tailored suits, commonly presents pinstripes in his collections. This season, he showed a more relaxed pinstripe set featuring wide-legged pants. This relaxed sensibility for men was also shown at 87MM, which is better known for streetwear fashion. An oversized pinstripe trench coat, styled with platform Nike sandals was one of the highlights of the show. beyondcloset used pinstripes for a sweatshirt, making the formal pattern much more casual.
For the women, MUNN appropriated the men’s wide, oversized pant and styled it with a simple white t shirt and denim jacket for an easy daytime look. TheKam inverted the pinstripe colors and created pants that were tapered at the ankle, creating a more fitted look for women. Paul & Alice deconstructed the pinstripe suit into a playful jumpsuit for women. A colorful print was place on top of the pinstripes to lighten its up. Youser took pinstripes in a more activewear direction by creating a unisex sweatsuit.