Ready-to-Wear has been taken to the next level thanks to the Korean fashion industry, which begins to provide a “buy as you see” option to the public.
Driven by a market perspective, the fashion industry in Korea is spearheaded by the youth and their demands. Catering to those needs, the Seoul Fashion Week saw unique fashions that not only appeared on the runway but were already available to be bought in the showroom. Pieces centered around easy to wear pieces rather than avant-garde designs, and the event was seen by many designers. International buyers found themselves flocking to the Seoul Fashion Week in order to better understand the growing market. Many see the rise of potential in terms of consumers and designers, but also claim that the brands are still quite young and need to make an impression.
However the impression that was left is that Korean fashion caters to the people and street wear is what the people want. Immediately the theme of the show was established as garnering a strong social media presence. Each piece in many different shows emphasized on hash tags and slogans strewn across jackets and pants, but the statement of the week can be summarized to Moo Yeol Choi’s slogan “High Fashion is Dead”. The event is grand but caters around street style photographers and the public’s attention on K-pop stars attending the shows. The bi-annual Seoul Fashion Week isn’t just about the fashion, but is about the entire experience. Much of the interest and commotion with the growing talent within the South Korean Fashion Week is thanks to the direction of the executive director: Kuho Jung. According to insiders like Kathleen Kye, Jung is the main reason behind the transformation of Fashion Week stating, “Now with well-respected press and buyers coming to the shows, it feels like a much bigger thing”. Jung was formerly the creative director of Samsung’s fashion division and has now overseen two seasons for the event.
Seoul’s Fashion Week took place in the Dongdaemun Design Plaza, which hosted about 41 of the shows of the event. The Plaza was designed by the legendary Zaha Hadid (who passed away this week) and is the largest nonconforming piece of architecture in the world. In order to get into the building for any of the shows, attendees are emailed a picture of the special barcode that is scanned to allow entry. With the global nature of fashion, it would be unwise to not keep eyes peeled for the progress of design and fashion in other countries.