(Runway Photos by Dan Lecca)
Since 2010, The Concept Korea Program Has Brought Rising Design Stars From South Korea Into The New York City Spotlight, Providing A Global Stage For The Country’s Tremendous Talents.
From K-Pop to K-Beauty, there is no denying the cultural influence of South Korea over the past decade. Most recently, South Korean fashion designers have taken the industry by storm, creating a K-Fashion phenomenon that has quickly placed Seoul on the international fashion map.
Concept Korea is a collaborative project to promote Korean fashion designers and assist them in their attempts to break into the U.S. fashion market. Concept Korea is organized by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Korea and the Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA). Concept Korea began in the spring of 2010, and this W/W 2017 season marks the organization’s fifteenth time showing at New York Fashion Week.
Concept Korea returned to New York on February 10th, 2017 to show Fall/Winter 2017 collections at Skylight Clarkson Square, marking its fifteenth season showing at New York Fashion Week. Hosted by the Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA), this season’s showcase represented the best of women’s Seoul-based fashion and included designers: GREEDILOUS by Younhee Park, KIMMY J by Heejin Kim and YOHANIX by Yohan Kim.
The GREEDILOUS F/W17 collection referenced a 1930’s Salvador Dali painting “The Persistence of Memory,” through the use abstract objects and rhythmic patterns. Such surrealist nods to inference and nuanced awareness reminded the designer, Younhee Park, of the investigative works of Sherlock Holmes; Using the movies’ background history and mood, she completed her collection using classic checked prints and Greedilous’s unique style, perfecting the collection with a feminine, casual silhouette.
Since 2009, designer Younhee Park has captured the authenticity of haute couture but with an eye on sustainability. Describing the look as ‘futuristic modernity’, Park creates a feminine look with masculine undertones that manages to be both classic and directional. GREEDILOUS has grown into a global brand loved by celebrities and influencers worldwide. The brand has participated in Paris’s Who’s Next, Seoul’s Generation Next and NYC’s Capsule and Coterie tradeshows. Most notably, the designer was nominated for the 2014/2015 International Woolmark Prize. http://greedilous.com/
KIMMY. J’s FW/17 collection titled, “Dumpster Disposal Squad” was inspired by garbage collectors who pick up trash from door to door. The title uses Dumpster, to reference landfills, and Disposal Squads, to reference the collectors, personifying them as superheroes. The collection uses fun, energetic color palettes reminiscent of plastic, metal, and vinyl, juxtaposed against achromatic colors you find in refuse. Silhouettes include reinterpreted uniform shapes and feature details found in public goods.
Designer Heejin Kim majored in integrated design in Yonsei University. Originally expressing her creativity through furniture design, Kim felt her artistic imagination was stifled, and 2013 launched KIMMY J. and aims to develop a witty collection for urban lifestyle using her structural design aesthetic. KIMMY J. has previously shown in Seoul, New York and Paris Fashion Weeks. http://www.kimmyj.com
YOHANIX’s collection, FIRST AID, drew inspiration from the opposition of emotional and monetary value. Citing the comparison of the monetary value of flowers to an expensive watch, it is clear that over time the watch will outlast the flowers, and in today’s world that is often the only thing that people consider.
However, the designer treasures the emotions that come from buying someone flowers, the happy face of a person that receive flowers, the smile on your face when you buy yourself flowers, and the memories of the subtle fragrance of flowers that you received from someone special… The YOHANIX runway demonstrated that there are things that cannot be valued with a price tag, and maybe, a flower is the just the remedy that the world needs.
The Korea-born designer, Yohan Kim, graduated from London College of Fashion in 2007. While pursuing his BA he worked as the designer for Michiko Koshino’s womenswear and haute couture lines. Following graduation, Yohan moved to Paris where worked for Balmain Paris, later opening his own design studio in Beijing. YOHANIX expresses serious and humorous sensibility through the use of various fabrics, leather blends, couture-style detailing. With powerful trims and structured cuttings, he aims to create ‘street carpet’ that makes whoever wears the collection feel like a heroine in the street. YOHANIX has shown collections in Shanghai, Seoul, Milan and Paris. http://yohanix.com