It’s always Fashion Week somewhere. But who’s the most entertaining and refreshing-as-the-results-of-a-good-10-Step-K-Beauty-skincare-routine of them all? If you guessed Seoul Fashion Week, you’re correct... and have taste! Let us further explain: SFW Fall 2019 just wrapped over the weekend, and we were there. The proof is in our painful jet lag, but our substantial bags under the eyes are no more: The gift bags provided to the front-row were perma-packed with a variety of skin-saving sheet masks, with ingredients ranging from placenta to snail mucin. Oh!
There was lots of kaleidoscopic variety too when it came to the collections, from sleek to zany to so much more, which we’ll get to. But first, we must shout out the stunning venue where it all goes down AKA the Zaha Hadid-conceived Dongdaemun Design Plaza. It’s a no-filter-needed futuristically majestic backdrop for street style photographers and selfies. You haven’t seen street style until you’ve seen Seoul street style, by the way. Although the K-Pop stars attracted a psychotic slew of paparazzi, it was the designer-clad kids who were the true street style stars, rocking the likes of OFF-WHITE and Louis Vuitton x Supreme, and posing it up in front of the sea of photographers. The kids in Seoul are more than alright in the fashion department, and they seemed to be having fun, which makes us feel a bit less badly about enthusiastically taking several photos.
But we’re mostly here to fill you in on the shows that resulted in the most severe head-turning.
MÜNN, just like every season, was one of the strongest and surrealist of shows. Excellence is to be expected from the award-winning designer who’s behind the dark, dramatic duds, Hyun-min Han, who, impressive-as-the-Dongdaemun-Design-Plaza fun fact, has designed stage costumes for K-Pop royalty, BTS. Moody models stormed down the runway in goth-y glam, lunatically-styled looks as what sounded like an intense goth-opera soundtrack blasted, all of which gave ghost-story vibes.
Similar to MÜNN’s Spring 2019 collection, the ‘80s-drenched sportswear and streetwear emphasis was back, but this time, in a more elevated way. In other words, goodbye graphics and logos, well hello there massive proportions/massive volumes and fantastic tailoring. Droopy bucket hats and creepy-chic lace face-concealing shrouds were artfully aplenty at the shadowy showing. There were a whole ‘lotta lace-incorporated looks, actually, including lace gloves on both male and female models. The long, witchy skirts, the array of bold blazer options and especially the outerwear were all killer and would fit nicely on a rack at OAK. For those whose style icon is Lydia Deetz, much of this witchy collection is for you. There were some lighter, luminous moments, too, like the white tulle gently ruched over a wide-shouldered, traffic-cone orange blazer X a pinstripe satin gown combo. The slouchy, satin duster with hot pink floral pants over a lurex turtleneck paired with a black bucket hat = also great. The show seemingly left many with a haunted-in-a-good-way lasting impression, with attendees slowly and quietly exiting in a trance-like state.
You can often tell what to expect before shows even begin by simply observing the front-row, and YOUSER’s was very Below 14th Street club kid. In terms of their clientele (the hippest of the hip) and their perpetually bananas shows, they’re basically Seoul’s Opening Ceremony. Fog machines and a chaotic soundtrack did their acid trip-like thing for their millennials-gone-wild Fall 2019 show, as wildly styled neon puffer jackets, plaid blazers, fleece jackets, leather trench coats paired with Matrix-y sunnies, chokers, scarves, eyes-veiling-via-fringed big bucket hats, and big, punk AF bags with their chains dragging down the catwalk. Highlights include the goth cowboy number and the checkered-camel split trench. The blending of clashing fabrics screamed maximalist, and it really, really worked. Somehow, so did the finale’s blasting of opera music, as the models stomped down the runway. Someone get Jaden Smith on the phone, ASAP. He’d love him some YOUSER.
Meanwhile, other Opening Ceremony-ish, very popular and very wearable Seoul brands that showed included The Gang, Big Park, and the only international brand that showed at SFW (and perhaps the most coveted invite of the week), COTWEILLER.
We were left borderline breathless at BESFXXK, who, per usual, presented a maniacal, perplexing collection. Designers Bona Kim and Jae Hyuk Lim are no strangers to causing an esoteric scene down the runway, and for FW 19, they presented a collection of playful, wonky, crazily colorful and quirky looks. Face-veiling was a major trend this season, and BESFXXK’s dramatic masking method of choice was the most creative, going full-on Cousin Itt with the models’ locks.
Meanwhile, we immediately felt Frank Gehry vibes from the kooky architectural effect of the designs. It was a thrilling spectacle that’s a struggle to describe. The trippiest looks gave Daphne Guinness-goes-to-a-Bushwick-warehouse vibes, while the “tamer” looks felt like something Rihanna would wear while giving a Ted Talk.
While BESFXXK’s show boasted a similar energy to a Jeremy Scott show, Seoul streetwear brand royalty D-ANTIDOTE’s show felt like the environs of a celeb-filled LA Lakers game. D-ANTIDOTE are anything but subtle, and they always throw an unapologetically in-your-face spectacle like no other. For Fall 2019, the inspiration was the Michael Jordan-starring movie, ‘Space Jam.’ You didn’t have to read any show notes to know this, because they played the very-1996 movie soundtrack as models in metallic, galactic-punk basketball player looks held, yep, basketballs whilst swagger-pumping down the runway.
We could see TLC circa the super early aughts clad and killing it in these numbers. Actually, the name of TLC’s iconic album, Crazy Sexy Cool, immaculately sums up the best of SFW. Keep your eyes open on the crazy, sexy, cool Seoul Fashion Week, and we’ll take care of the much needed (because, jet lag) shut-eye.