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Suzy Menkes

Vogue International Editor Suzy Menkes is the best-known fashion journalist in the world. After 25 years commenting on fashion for the International Herald Tribune (rebranded recently as The International New York Times), Suzy Menkes now writes exclusively for Vogue online, covering fashion worldwide.

#SuzySFW: Is K-Pop Photobombing K-Fashion?

Seoul Fashion Week is fighting for the same magic formula as music, film and hi-tech

19 Октября 2015

Great idea to plant rows of flowers around the futuristic buildings in Seoul! Are you kidding?! These are LED blooms, in high tech South Korean style, blooming for fashion week
Great idea to plant rows of flowers around the futuristic buildings in Seoul! Are you kidding?! These are LED blooms, in high tech South Korean style, blooming for fashion week

What a battle for attention! The photographers were chasing three of the good girls from the band Apink, while a DJ threatened to get the audience on its feet with wild dance music. Behind him, strobe lights raked across a silhouette of Seoul by night, while on the catwalk the Andy & Debb show fought for attention. And there you have the dilemma for South Korean fashion. With music, movies and super-hi-tech already dynamic on the entire arts scene, how can Seoul Fashion Week reach the same K-Fash level?

And there you have the dilemma for South Korean fashion. With music, movies and super-hi-tech already dynamic on the entire arts scene, how can Seoul Fashion Week reach the same K-Fash level? After a weekend of shows staged in the futuristic DDP building — the landmark, Zaha Hadid-designed, Dongdaemun Design Plaza — I have seen a field of LED flowers, Darth Vader and Storm Troopers rampaging down the runway, and streamlined, sporty clothes - many of them for men. But I have not yet had that whoop of excitement that comes from reacting to a fashion moment. 

The extraordinary Zaha Hadid building - the DDP - is the home to Seoul Fashion Week and is a land mark in the South Korean city
The extraordinary Zaha Hadid building - the DDP - is the home to Seoul Fashion Week and is a land mark in the South Korean city


The shows have been energetic, streamlined, sometimes unisex. The clothes are colourful and (too) often striped. There is a focus on sportswear with hi-tech materials, offset by girly frills and the glitter of crystals. Does K-Fashion exist, in the way that I can identify the style of the music world, with its youthfest of cuteness? The K-Pop people have dyed hair, brightly coloured clothes, cute accessories and that slightly synthetic sense for everything, including the music. I have not yet found a fashion theme. But there have been some interesting clothes. Here is my report, so far. 

Andy and Debb 

из
How innocent and cute are Apink when HALF the girl band turned up at the Andy & Debb show at Seoul Fashion Week. They certainly stole the thunder with hordes of photographers running after them.

How innocent and cute are Apink when HALF the girl band turned up at the Andy & Debb show at Seoul Fashion Week. They certainly stole the thunder with hordes of photographers running after them.

What a battle for attention! On one side an intriguing pattern built into a sporty masculine shorts suit at the Andy & Debb show in Seoul. But the strong fashion line up was in competition with a fantastical sound and light show, as electric arrows moved

What a battle for attention! On one side an intriguing pattern built into a sporty masculine shorts suit at the Andy & Debb show in Seoul. But the strong fashion line up was in competition with a fantastical sound and light show, as electric arrows moved

Sporty but chic - and with colours soft - apart from South Korea’s favourite orange. From Andy & Debb’s Spring/Summer 2016 collection

Sporty but chic - and with colours soft - apart from South Korea’s favourite orange. From Andy & Debb’s Spring/Summer 2016 collection


Lucky Chouette

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Victoria from the f(x) Korean K-Pop girl band MUST have found something important to tweet as we wait for the Lucky Chouette show to start at Seoul Fashion Week.

Victoria from the f(x) Korean K-Pop girl band MUST have found something important to tweet as we wait for the Lucky Chouette show to start at Seoul Fashion Week.

Workwear for vacations - that was the message at Lucky Chouette, where the Spring/Summer 2016 collection was ’Bon Voyage’ or Happy Holiday. Designer Jae Hyun Kim offered a breezy look with denim worn in a sloppy but stylish way.

Workwear for vacations - that was the message at Lucky Chouette, where the Spring/Summer 2016 collection was ’Bon Voyage’ or Happy Holiday. Designer Jae Hyun Kim offered a breezy look with denim worn in a sloppy but stylish way.

Another ’denim’ look, because it looked like light blue cotton and silk, showed the easy way with flesh at the Lucky Chouette show in Seoul fashion week.

Another ’denim’ look, because it looked like light blue cotton and silk, showed the easy way with flesh at the Lucky Chouette show in Seoul fashion week.


Heich es heich

Costume director for Korean TV series
Costume director for Korean TV series "Goong" and "Boys Over Flowers", which were a pan-Asian hit - the work of Sanghyuk Han sounded exciting. And so it was when "Mr Heich" (Mr. H in English) showed at Seoul Fashion Week. At

Beyond closet

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The gardener’s straw hat ( and flowers in the bag) were key elements at the

The gardener’s straw hat ( and flowers in the bag) were key elements at the "Norm-antic" menswear show by Ko, Tae Yong of Beyond Closet. Women models also had the hats and pretty patterns.

Dense pattern was a strong part of the story for Spring/Summer 2016 from Beyond Closet - on more formal tailored jackets or summer vacation clothes. But designer Ko Tae Yong did not take his ideas much beyond surface interest.

Dense pattern was a strong part of the story for Spring/Summer 2016 from Beyond Closet - on more formal tailored jackets or summer vacation clothes. But designer Ko Tae Yong did not take his ideas much beyond surface interest.

"I’m a romantic - but not romantic -normantic" were the words written on the backs of jackets at the Seoul Fashion Week show from Ko Tae Yong’s Beyond Closet collection. Translated, I guess it meant: disregard the flowers as a backdrop and in ba


Pushbutton

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Here is the pop icon version of the chiffon top and frilly trousers at the Pushbutton shoe. The pastel shades with a touch of yellow gave a feeling of sweet summer days in LA - should Rihannah and Paris Hilton, two of the designer’s fans, be looking for a

Here is the pop icon version of the chiffon top and frilly trousers at the Pushbutton shoe. The pastel shades with a touch of yellow gave a feeling of sweet summer days in LA - should Rihannah and Paris Hilton, two of the designer’s fans, be looking for a

Pushbutton - summer clothes, light fabrics and pretty girl/boy looks - but not much more.

Pushbutton - summer clothes, light fabrics and pretty girl/boy looks - but not much more.


Surreal but nice

из
The show was named ’Surreal but Nice’ - but I would have re-branded the South Korean label: ’Nautical but Nice’. There were naval ideas everywhere from tailored blazers through ink-blue striped trousers to sailor caps marked with the word ’Survival’.

The show was named ’Surreal but Nice’ - but I would have re-branded the South Korean label: ’Nautical but Nice’. There were naval ideas everywhere from tailored blazers through ink-blue striped trousers to sailor caps marked with the word ’Survival’.

Join the navy - in blue and white striped trousers. But whether design duo Suhyoung Lee and Eun Kyoung Lee sink or swim in fashion will depend on their ability to give more depth to their Surreal But Nice brand, shown in Seoul Fashion Week.

Join the navy - in blue and white striped trousers. But whether design duo Suhyoung Lee and Eun Kyoung Lee sink or swim in fashion will depend on their ability to give more depth to their Surreal But Nice brand, shown in Seoul Fashion Week.

The Surreal But Nice show with its many naval references at Seoul Fashion Week in South Korea.

The Surreal But Nice show with its many naval references at Seoul Fashion Week in South Korea.


Munsoo Kwon

Call them ’K-Pop’ colours - neon pink, green, yellow, blue stripes - or by South Korea’s traditional name ’Saek-dong’. Those vivid shades illuminated a sporty menswear collection from Munson Kwon at Seoul Fashion Week. But there was more than met the dazz
Call them ’K-Pop’ colours - neon pink, green, yellow, blue stripes - or by South Korea’s traditional name ’Saek-dong’. Those vivid shades illuminated a sporty menswear collection from Munson Kwon at Seoul Fashion Week. But there was more than met the dazz

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