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Seoul Fashion Week: Pushing boundaries of classic men’s fashion

Menswear is gaining momentum, slowly establishing its Korean identity

Dominic’s Way
Dominic’s Way
A week of fashion shows for the 2013 spring and summer season kicked off with menswear collections shown on Monday and Tuesday at Seoul Fashion Week. Although womenswear shows command center stage, men’s shows are gaining momentum, slowly establishing a distinctive Korean style.

“Menswear collections have evolved tremendously and established a Korean identity over the past years, which is still lacking in womenswear,” Elisa Pervinca Bellini, editor of Vogue Italy who has returned to SFW for the fifth year, said through her interpreter.

Black-and-white looks dominated the 2013 S/S menswear collections that appeared to favor practicality over flashiness. The majority of designers kept the overall hues on the runway under control, presenting sleek suits and their variations in achromatic colors. While foregoing bright colors and patterns, designers still pushed the boundaries of classic men’s fashion with distinct and unique concepts.

“I think a lot of pieces (of Lee Ju-young’s collection) can be worn by K-pop stars and featured on magazine covers,” said Panupong Rattanachot, director of public relations of Thai broadcast company Major Creation.

“Dominic’s Way was more unique. The designer (Song Hye-myung) had a very particular style. She could express the collection very well,” Rattanachot added. 
Caruso (Seoul Fashion Week)
Caruso (Seoul Fashion Week)

Song Hye-myung’s Dominic’s Way boasted a star-studded front row and runway featuring members of Super Junior, SHINee, MBLAQ, A-JAX and Noeul, proving the popularity of her brand among young, hot idols.

Song, who launched the brand in 2005, presented a striking and unique show under the theme “Street of Dark Soul,” featuring tattoos and skulls. White and grey hues, see-through satin, washed cotton and thin black leather created a lighthearted vibe for the spring and summer season. But the skull motif, tattoo prints and Swarovski crystal details added masculine splendor, transforming models into MTV hip-hop artists.

Lee Ju-young’s Resurrection mixed the freewheeling rock spirit with high fashion, starting the show with an eclectic mix of khaki, beige and camouflage patterns and working her way to black-and-white modern styles toward the end.

Choi Chul-yong’s Cy Choi turned the show venue into a techno club with heart-pounding techno music and a neon glowing gate, which gave off a futuristic image. The semi-formal looks also suggested good styling examples for men with their free and easy style represented in neat jackets worn over shirts and roll-up or cropped pants paired with rubber-sole shoes or flip-flops. Round-frame sunglasses completed the look, enhancing the futuristic vibe. Choi was one of the designers favored by buyers attending the show.

“The Cy Choi show was the one I liked the most. I bought some pieces last season, and I will buy some this season, too,” said Italo Lazzari from Italy.

Kim Seoryong’s eponymous collection was a wardrobe case of an intellectual city boy who loves classic style and is ready to leave for a vacation anytime. Keeping his distinctive classic style, Kim introduced bold and impressive styling presented with light flip-flops and thigh-revealing shorts.

Although the silhouettes remained plain, Kim used colors and patterns to lighten up his runway.

The perfect tailored suits could be seen at Chang Kwang-hyo’s collection Caruso. Unusual for his serious show, the opening of the show featured comedians from Madame Jeong, a popular segment on KBS 2’s “Gag Concert,” triggering loud laughter among the audience.

Chang also proved there are no boundaries for men’s style, matching a round-neck sweater with a pair of shorts and functional leggings. From suits to casual wear, all looks were worn with sneakers, creating a more relaxed urban attitude.

By Lee Woo-young  (
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Korea Herald daum