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2021 FW Seoul Fashion Week delivers hope, courage in pandemic times

Online runway shows featured artworks and national treasures at museums

Peggy Gou performs in the finale at MMCA Seoul. (Seoul Fashion Week)
Peggy Gou performs in the finale at MMCA Seoul. (Seoul Fashion Week)

The 2021 fall-winter Seoul Fashion Week offered courage and hope to global audience members as the pandemic continued to present a challenge.

South Korea’s largest fashion week, which kicked off March 22 and attracted thousands of views for each runway show, ended Sunday with the noon finale by Berlin-based Korean DJ Peggy Gou, which was prerecorded at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea.

A total of 43 designer brands showcased their collections at museums alongside artworks and national treasures. 

Models wear PARTsPARTs clothing at MMCA Seoul. (Seoul Fashion Week)
Models wear PARTsPARTs clothing at MMCA Seoul. (Seoul Fashion Week)

The last runway show, by PARTsPARTs, was unveiled at 7 p.m. on Saturday in collaboration with Korean avant-garde artist Lee Seung-taek. The fashion brand, which aims to be zero waste, showed a collection themed “samadhi of prajna,” meaning “serenity of transcendent wisdom” and conveying hope of returning to a tranquil, serene daily life.

Fashion brand Greedilous, established by Designer Park Youn-hee, encouraged audience members to love each other and support each other’s dreams during the pandemic with its “The Dream Pony” collection. Its message: “Our dream is the future.” The show took place at the National Museum of Korea and was streamed Thursday.

Greedilous presents its new collection at the National Museum of Korea. (Seoul Fashion Week)
Greedilous presents its new collection at the National Museum of Korea. (Seoul Fashion Week)

A total of 43 brands took part in the fashion show. They comprised 26 established designer brands, including the KwakHyunJoo Collection, aimoms, PARTsPARTs and Saint Millwill, which showed their works under the Seoul Collection category; and 17 rookie brands in Generation Next. These included Notknowing, October 31 and rinjeon. Seoul attractions like the Oil Tank Culture Park and Seonyudo Park also provided runways, along with national museums. 

Seokwoon Yoon, the Korean fashion label inspired by a wide-ranging mix of historical and modern-art references, presented a unique runway performance at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea, in line with the exhibition “MMCA Hyundai Motor Series 2020: Haegue Yang - O2 & H2O,” which presents Korea’s renowned installation artist Yang Hae-gue’s works.

Seokwoon Yoon presents its new collection at MMCA Seoul. (Seoul Fashion Week)
Seokwoon Yoon presents its new collection at MMCA Seoul. (Seoul Fashion Week)

The 2021 fall-winter Seoul Fashion Week is the second virtual fashion show after the spring-summer 2021 collections last year. This year’s event moved beyond its usual main venue, Dongdaemun Design Plaza, where the country’s largest fashion week has been hosted for the last seven years.

“The recorded runway shows are really fabulous and creative compared to some perfunctory on-site fashion stages,” a viewer wrote in a comment in Korean.

“The online fashion shows have popularized fashion shows, which were exclusively enjoyed by the fashion circles before the pandemic time. The digital fashion shows are at the transition, which will develop much further over time,” said Choi Chul-yong, a professor at the department of textile art and fashion design at Hongik University. “It is a great opportunity for the Korean fashion market to expand its presence globally taking advantage of going digital at the pandemic times when many global fashion labels are still focusing on the offline space.”

More than 100 foreign buyers, mostly from Asia and the Middle East, registered for Tradeshow, according to Seoul Metropolitan Government, the organizer of the show. The online B2B business matching runs through March 30, which will include other Korean fashion brands that did not participate in the 2021 fall-winter Seoul Fashion Week.

By ParkYuna (yunapark@heraldcorp.com)
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