Korean fashion has long been known as cheap, fast and trendy. But can the scene ride the hallyu wave to become a fashion leader that hones homegrown talent? Here are four of the country’s rising designers that are leading the way.
The duo Shin Kyu-yong and Park Ji-sun are creating quite the buzz with their avant-garde label that strays from gender norms (pictured below left). They were shortlisted for the prestigious LVMH Prize in 2017 and won Best Designer at Seoul Fashion Week this year. Expect large puffer jackets, cascading ruffles, lots of pearl detailing and a bit of punk rock meets military. Available at blindnessstudio.com; B1F Seongam Building, 876-6 Dokok-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Designer Han Hyun-min is known for his wool and selvage suiting, for which he combines contemporary formal pieces with streetwear. His most recent collection is primarily menswear, highlighted by restructured trench coats, oversized blazers and wide trousers. If you’re looking for a contemporary take on mascu-feminine dandy pieces, MÜNN is the brand to shop for. Available at munnseoul.kr and the showroom: 3F, 34 Apgujeong-ro 10-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Yoon Chun-ho exemplifies high-femme couture with her label YCH. She plays with silhouettes inspired by high-society fashion of the past. One of the most striking pieces from her FW18 collection is a cascading white floral cape and dress the gives off regal vibes. Yoon brings out the strength in the women she intends to dress. There is a modern elegance mixed with a rebellious attitude. Available at Seoul’s Galleria Department Store and Lotte Department Store Avenuel (World Tower Branch)
4. Kim Seo-Ryong
Primarily focusing on menswear, Kim Seo-ryong adds a bit of rock‘n’roll and sumptuous femininity to traditional men’s suits, which he pairs with billowing V-neck tops and sheer shirts for added sex appeal. His womenswear pieces are an extension of his menswear with a bit of hard-femme, soft-butch vibes. Kim isn’t afraid to give his suits a bit more pizazz by using electric-coloured sequins, snake print or lustrous fabrics. Showroom: 35 Dosan-daero 25-gil, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Cathay Pacific flies to Seoul from Hong Kong 42 times a week