CHARM'S Spring/Summer 2018 collection review.

Words Joie Reinstein , Photos Seoul Fashion Week


CHARM'S is one of the most coveted brands in the K-pop community and has been worn by idols in more music videos than one can count. Embodying the technicolor athletic street style that is ubiquitous with Korean pop culture, young people around the world will pay good coin just to have a sock or t-shirt with the brand’s famous logo. It should come as no surprise that at their SS18 show it was like the who’s who of Hallyu with several members of NCT, Key from Shinee and Sunny from Girls Generation all lining the front rows.

In almost cinematic fashion, a curtain opened with people silhouetted against red light. Models came down the runway donning a ready to wear collection that was edgy, playful and fashion forward: everything we come to love and expect from good Korean design. With only the slightest wink and nod to a bit of 60s and 70s styling, the main attraction of the collection was its fantastic take on asymmetry. Evolving from the ongoing unbalanced trend in Korea, they took this style to new heights by making garments that were half bombers and half blazers, half jackets and half dress coats, and sometimes just 2 different mismatching colors and fabrics sewn together. They also layered what looked like blazers repurposed into aprons over shorts and dress shirts which is a big general trend of Seoul Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2018.

The show became a little disjointed unfortunately when all the models left the runway and came back out wearing an entirely different collection: the collab between CHARM'S and Kappa. This is not to say that this collection wasn’t great in its own right, but the stylistic gap between the two collections was destabilizing. Opposed to the more fashion forward couture nature of part one, the second part emphasized the bread and butter of the brand which is far more commercial. This is surely a mutual beneficial collaboration between the two brands as Kappa can give itself a super trendy and credible comeback in the Asian market and CHARM'S ups the game by associating itself with one of the most famous names in streetwear. Although this collaboration had some more avant-garde interpretations of classic athletic wear, it might have had more impact had it been shown in the context of a pop-up or presentation. No worries though, as CHARM'S star power will continue to drive sales to new heights.