What comes to your mind when you think of South Korea? Most of the time, people talk about their favourite beauty products, or pull out their Samsung phone. Korean fashion, however, is slightly more under the radar – you may not even know that Seoul, South Korea’s capital, has one of the most vibrant and innovative fashion weeks in Asia.
The trends started in Korea eventually end up staring down at us from the international catwalks. I saw heritage checks on the streets of Seoul long before the trend bubbled up on the catwalks of Milan or Paris. The oversized check coat I bought there last year is only making its debut in the European retail stores this winter, and the wide-leg trousers seen throughout Gangnam district for years are only just now becoming a commercial hit amongst Western women’s fashion.The world’s fashion eye is on Seoul, and the city is quietly paving its way to becoming the fifth most important fashion capital.
The Fashion Week Venue
Seoul Fashion Week shows are held twice a year at a world-class venue, Dongdaemun Design Plaza in central Seoul. The venue hosts exhibitions during the year, but during Fashion Week offers live casting, selfie zone, and an outdoor screen with live streaming of the shows. This attracts fashion enthusiasts and trend-setters to hang out in the area, even if they can’t make it to the shows. Those that can’t physically be there can also see live coverage of the the shows via the official homepage and app.
Trendevour’s take on the top trends at Seoul Fashion Week SS18
1. Genderless – Androgynous fashion has come in and out of fashion for eons, but we’ve only recently starting seeing the gender lines clearly blurring around menswear collections. This is especially true in Seoul: feminine details like ruffles, lace and high heels were the star details in menswear shows across the stage, giving the familiar silhouettes a fresh new feel. Designers are now showing that menswear is not about playing it safe anymore.
2. Artful mismatching – This Seoul Fashion Week saw combinations of opposing fabrics (like leather and silk) and 3D textures popping up everywhere. Sensible tailoring gets powered up by sportswear and casual elements; mixing & matching everything is definitely a trend for the adventurous to copy!
3.Asymmetry – Playful layering with different lengths brought a lot of impact this season. These looks featured diagonally cut designs with complex geometry and uneven hemlines to create visually interesting styles/designs that look anything but basic.
4.Destroyed/Deconstructed – Rethinking the typical adventure-seeking deconstructed feel, designers in Seoul paired deconstruction with perfect tailoring. Garments can appear unfinished or recycled, but these new silhouettes are remade in a much more simple and contemporary way; some worn back-to-front, or using methods such as splicing and twisting.
5.Supersize – Oversized has been the centre stage of trends on Seoul’s streets for a while now, but the trend is still going strong. Volume and oversized silhouettes continue to make their mark for an effortless look and feel; blazers and trench coats supercharge the looks with a bit of luxe.
Featured image by ©Izzy Schreiber
Want a taste of Korean fashion? Book that flight to Seoul and read my tips here on where to stay and what to eat (especially if you are a vegetarian)!