(images via wwd)
so. after first presenting his work regularly at new york fashion week (see s/s 2011, a/w 2011, s/s 2012), then skipping a season, we found designer kuho jung had apparently taken the time to travel across the ocean, cropping up for the s/s 2013 season at paris fashion week, where he, and his hexa label, have stayed (apparently forever, it really doesn’t get any more renowned than this), now bringing out the a/w 2013 collection.
the designer is korean by birth, and there’s always been something i’ve loved about the asian fashion aesthetic, which usually tends to involve a lot of black and complexly draped, overlapping fabrics that with a stroke could turn into some kind of serious mess, but in careful hands not only don’t, but also elevate into something amazing that we all of us gape at and shriek that we probably shouldn’t like…but love it. or, well, that was my impression of hexa, at least at first.
however, if things were all good times and delicious strawberry-blueberry lemonade back at nyfw, i can’t help but feel mr. jung has descended into firmly commercial territory with the paris move (which i suppose makes sense, this was a bold move and all of that), with his current range reminding me faaar more than i’d like to be reminded of junya watanabe’s foray into the active sportswear aesthetic for the s/s 2013 season.
to be sure, there were still things to love, and foremost amongst those for me was the lovely delicate sheet music print that adorned several of the tops, while i also liked those lean, cropped trousers and some of their rather minimalist, tailored outerwear pieces: the blazers, jackets, and overcoats, most of which, cut in navy and black, had a bit of a menswear aura about them. they were fantastic and could easily transcend the season. but…on the other hand, couldn’t i get a hand grenade print t-shirt at just about any juniors’ high street shop?
so that’s where opt stands, at least. are you ready to hear there critics? there aren’t many of them–trying something new and all of that–but here we go nevertheless. according to fashionising, “(g)renade motifs in a collection about love?…Kuho Jung knows how to break a theme down into something philosophically manageable while still injecting it with a lightness and sense of humour. The meaning here seems two-fold, that love itself is a kind of outburst, an explosion of emotion; and that war begets resistance, necessitates survival, is the yin to love’s yang. Thinking on those lines, the missiles and arms blueprints and the contrasts of bright and dark somehow fall into place.”
and quoting the design as offering that “(n)owadays, you have to fight for everything you want…You are the new resistance of this time,” now fashion put on their analysis hat by offering that “(y)ou might want to handle this woman with care, if the silicone silhouette of a grenade bonded onto a bright yellow sweater is any indication. A shimmery ‘quilting’ of lozenges reveals itself on closer inspection to be tightly packed sequins worked in volume. A print of missile diagrams breaks the formality of a white silk shirt, a pair of leggings becomes a tonal missile silo. And who wants to clump around in the urban battlefield with unwieldy block wedges.”
“Jung’s shoe,” they trailed on, “of the season featured a cut at the ball of the foot to allow greater freedom, reminiscent of a tank track. Leather patches across a coat remind of military uniforms. Nothing too literal came to break the impression of crisp shapes made for effortless dressing. An impression of urban sophistication comes off these tailored flowing silhouettes which are stopped at the brink of austerity by a warming cream tone instead of white and flashes of yellow, raspberry red looks. The drop-crotch pants might have been the least likable element in this, and they too will no doubt have their fans.”
then, finally, there was wwd, briefly stating that “Kuho Jung took cues from the meanings of “resistance and love,” as he put it, which translated into a lineup of drop-crotch leggings and dresses that were zipped in the back by a double string to emphasize the concept of bondage. More straightforward and fresh were Kuho’s series of straight-cut minidresses in black and mustard, while other styles mixed surface elements such as reliefs and tone-on-tone patches to give the otherwise minimalist silhouettes a welcome twist.” so there you go. make up your own mind. you are free.
(watch the full fashion show video here)