By 9:00 p.m. on Friday evening, an unmarked alley in Euljiro, Seoul was full of children carrying silk bucket hats and patch-work bomber jackets, clingy knit slips and completely lax cargo pants. The trendy swarm had descended upon a two-story artwork gallery to rejoice Hyein Website positioning, the four-year-old cult Korean label that staged its first hometown presentation as a raucous home celebration. DJ Leevisa cued her subsequent monitor within the entrance room, whereas champagne and vodka poured forth freely from the concrete slab bar on the bottom ground. In a close-by nook, black cotton mock turtlenecks with the phrases “Hyein Website positioning” on the chest and “Prototype” on the collar offered like hotcakes.
Upstairs, the designer herself stood discreetly on the roof deck, wearing head-to-toe black and surrounded by associates who had arrived for the event: photographers like Cho Giseok and Dasom Han, who captured the evening completely for Vogue; fashions like Soyoung Kang, Ahreum Ahn, and Prim Patnasiri; DJs like Coucou Chloe, who had flown in from London to headline; stylists like Serian Heu and Hanyoung Website positioning, who collapsed onto bean bag chairs within the hookah bar room; and numerous gate-crashers, together with a number of abroad editors seeking to escape from the staid Vogue Week exhibits happening not 10 minutes away.
Since transferring her base again from Antwerp this yr, Website positioning has grow to be the reluctant speak of the city. Although recognized for her “powerful lady” picture—the vinyl biker pants and cut-out spandex tops, the garter belt bag designed to carry a pack of Marlboro Reds—Website positioning herself is kind of shy, therefore her place on the roof, faraway from these crowds of strangers. Jino Lee, the label’s co-director and fellow Royal Academy of High quality Arts grad, defined that he “offers with the technical facet of issues, so she will be able to focus extra on the artistic,” and by nature of getting a namesake model, Website positioning is made to be the face of it. “Folks assume I’m the actually robust, partying kind, however I truly spend a whole lot of time at house studying books, watching films,” she stated, laughing.
But it’s this component of want success that make a Hyein Website positioning piece so compelling. Previous seasons have been impressed by the qipao-clad sirens in Wong Kar Wai’s 2046 and Avenue Fighter’s Chun-Li (Fall 2017’s “Ultimate Boss”) and Park Chan-Wook’s vengeful ex-convict (Fall 2016’s “Girl Vengeance”); entering into certainly one of her silk cheongsams or a hiked-up sukeban skirt is like slipping into character. “I’m all the time captivated by the dangerous lady in films,” Website positioning added. “Possibly as a result of I’m not a nasty lady.” Small marvel that her followers embrace Rihanna, Bella Hadid, Simi and Haze. It’s extra startling to see the impression Website positioning has made in conservative Korea, the place developments are nonetheless adopted to the letter. Ladies are rising empowered to decorate for themselves, whether or not that be a curve-obscuring jumpsuit or a spandex crop high.
Equally transgressive is the truth that Hyein Website positioning is a unisex label, with items meant to be worn each by Lee and Website positioning. Ergo the oversize coats; the Belge menswear and army references beloved by artists like Kendrick Lamar and Khalid, who stopped by the Hyein Website positioning archive sale earlier than performing in Hannam-dong final week; and the equal swath of males in Euljiro, carrying the identical fantastically embroidered go well with coats as their feminine friends. Trying across the room, it was thrilling to see this viewpoint come throughout.
In throwing Seoul’s hottest occasion, Website positioning and Lee have staked their declare as the intense way forward for Korean style, round which the capital’s younger creatives are eagerly flocking. There’s a starvation right here—untapped potential—and Hyein Website positioning is tapping straight into its veins. Which leads us again to tonight’s Spring 2019 presentation. Referred to as White Noise, the gathering was impressed, Website positioning defined, “by Seoul youth now.” “We wish to present what’s on now on this sleepless metropolis,” she stated. “We do have abilities in Seoul however no place to get them collectively. These younger DJs, artists, designers, photographers turned our inspiration.” It’s exactly why Website positioning and Lee known as upon their very cool associates to every select a Spring look and put on it to the celebration: Their Hyein Website positioning fantasy had discovered real-world roots.
Simply after midnight, as Coucou Chloe picked up her mic earlier than a crush of children in matching bomber jackets, Website positioning and Lee regarded on proudly on the crowd they’d gathered. The bass picked up, extra vodka was poured, and a contented feeling settled over the room. “Lastly,” it appeared to say. “We’re getting someplace.”