Concept Korea is an international program that advocates for Korea’s fashion essence around the globe and helps domestic labels expand into markets overseas. The two womenswear designers featured this afternoon were Yohanix by Tae-keun Kim and Jarret by Ji-yeon Lee.
The Yohanix presentation displayed looks packed with dozens of fabrics, reflecting the dozens of hopes within each of us that we are so afraid to pursue. The program read, “We dreamed to be the one./ The actor, the biker, the rock star…/Fear of failure narrowed us./…But one can be many.” The first models that emerged were dressed head-to-toe in shadow black in combinations of lambskin, cashmere wool and waxed cotton. Their makeup was minimal, besides a bold red lip, and their hair was center-parted with loose waves. Black beanies, booties and shades added to the edgy vibe, while gold-beaded flowers and stars provided a feminine flair.
The music transitioned from intense instrumentals to hard hitting rap and the color pallet shifted towards army khaki and mud grey. Patterns of florals and plaids appeared on pants and jackets alike, in shades of carmine and midnight-blue. Everything from skirts and jumpers, to sweatshirts and blouses took the stage, with various sequinning and embroidery patterns. Even more fabrics were added to the mix as the show progressed, including carbon-coated cotton, mouton, wool mix—even tweed and suede. They all worked together in perfect harmony, creating the essence of the individual we all aspire to be: one who fearlessly pursues each and every one of their dreams.
The Jarret collection was entitled “In Blood,” and was made up of a carefully crafted cross-pollination of womenswear and menswear pieces. The models looked almost like vampires as they conquered the runway in black wool and red fur. Colors of burnt henna, cool blue and blue sapphire were then added to the mix. To paraphrase the program excerpt, “Although colour in blood is lost/…Although dream is not what you see in sleep/He gently flows in my heart.” It set a poignant tone for the extravagant interpretation of masculine and feminine elements. Between extra-long tassels, ankle frills, plastic 2-D hair bows and “JARRET” armbands, these garments were all about the details.
Hair was flat ironed, eyes were drawn with winged black liner, and lips were bold and blood red. Blazers and pants were presented in abstract prints, lace, and tulle to provide a thought-provoking touch to unique silhouettes. The label’s manner of transforming Korean costumes provides an unusual aesthetic that keeps us thoroughly intrigued.
*Photos by Kathleen O’Neill