R.Shemiste Fall/Winter 2017 collection review.
Words Joie Reinstein, Media Seoul Fashion Week
After several days of seeing Korean designers allude to ideas of protests and politics, R.Shemiste really drove the point home with this season’s fashion show. The show dramatically started with a two-minute-long montage of what appeared to be a protest in an Eastern European country. As the imagery continued, rainbow flags became more and more visible, hinting at the fact that the protest was one for LGBT/gay rights: a still relatively taboo subject in Korea. As the models made their way onto the runway, one knew the designer’s choice of video was anything but accidental. Outfits that epitomized the post-rebellion look were also adorned with oversized safety pins. If you haven’t followed the news of late, the humble safety pin has come to represent the concept of tolerance and protection. People wearing them send the message that they will protect and look out for their fellow humans. This kind of bravery though fashion is a fairly new concept in Korea, and it is commendable that R.Shemiste took such a stance.
The collection was a brilliant mashup of gangster, b-boy and pastoral (yep). Most interesting was the construction in which layers and pieces of fabric were frankensteined together making the wearers look like they did indeed just come from an intense protest where they camped out, got their clothes in a jumble in a skirmish and tried to assemble them back again as they ran away. Hence the ultimate feeling of post-rebellion. Aside from the safety pin, other interesting accessories were boots that looked like they were fabricated from newspaper (another allusion world affairs), and hats that cloaked model’s faces in darkness, making them look anonymous (necessary when going against authority!). Despite the deconstructed nature of the collection, it retained its chic with the choice of fabrics: a mix of suiting materials, ditzy florals and shiny satins. Elements such as ties and shorts were disproportionately big giving them an edgy look. The color palette was subdued with shades of wine, black, red and grey, thus relying more on patterns and stripes to do the talking.
The show closed with more protest imagery, bookending the collection nicely. We look forward to seeing how R.Shemiste continues to boldly embrace Korea’s new future.