By: Laura Foster of Southern Femme
One of the many things I love about fashion is the designer’s ability to bring their unique twist to even the simplest of garments. A black pump isn’t like every other black pump when it has a red sole. In the same way that a black hat isn’t just any old black hat when paired with Lee Suk Tae collection for Opening Ceremony and his line Kaal E. Suktae at the Concept Korea Show. There is nothing quite like the Concept Korea show. Comprised of four designers, Concept Korea is celebrating its ninth season this February. From the first flash of light illuminating the runway to the final walk, every second is packed with energy. All the while remaining unique to every designer showing.
While every designer was amazing, by far my favorite was Kaal E. Suktae by Lee Suk Tae. Inspired by 1990’s fashion, the collection translates ‘Grunge’ into modern and new structural silhouettes. From the inspired grunge, his collection emerged with precise and clean cuts, trending colors in charcoal gray, and a signature pattern that was very avant-garde. Suk Tae’s modern and new structural silhouettes also drew inspiration from street fashion that walks the fine line of dark edgy fierceness. His top coats drew much of the audience’s attention as they were complemented with lots of high-low skirts, ruffles and straight dresses. The 90’s trademark large chunky booties remerged giving the line a quirky and chic feel rather than dark and mystical. For me, the extremely wide brimmed gaucho hat (think Poltergeist) encapsulates this collection perfectly. It’s our second shot at the 90’s style, and hopefully this time we’ll be more stylish.
Personal style is a lifelong journey. Years come and go, you get older, different things influence you, and you change. This is just a fact of life. I say all these things to preface this story. When I was younger (junior high/ high school), my style went through what I lovingly referrer to as my Avril Lavigne ‘It’s Complicated’ phase. This phase included, but is not limited to unbelievable amounts of black eyeliner, a sufficient amount of black garments, etc. essential all the things a teen needs to actively suggest that no one knows their struggle blah blah blah. Also included in this style phase, was one beloved Emily the Strange black jacket complete with cat ears attached to the hood and cat mittens attached to each other by a string that ran from sleeve to sleeve.
I was reminded of this cat jacket at NYFW of all places. Crammed between a wall of photographers and the front row of the Skingraft show (If googled, add the word ‘design’ after Skingraft), I saw outfit after outfit come down the runway sporting cat/animal ears of some sort attached to hoods, caps, sweaters, or really just because. Born in 2006, Skingraft began as an experiment in performance art-inspired fashion and now produces ready-to-wear collections for men and women along with ornate one-of-a-kind pieces for the runway and stage. “The idea of drastic climate change and an inevitable return to a dystopian survivalist future” was the inspiration at Skingraft, according to the show notes. The FW14 collection had a dark and urban vibe. Heavily featuring black, army green, metallics (gold), navy, with occasional splashes of an almost black-brown complete in an array of fabrics such as leather, fur, army canvas, and wool. Set against the pale backdrop and even paler models, Skingraft’s collection had a very somber and stoic feel. It was striking in a “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” sort of way.
The Art Institutes FW14 show was wonderful and always a great opportunity to see the new emerging designers from one of the best institutions! Here are a few of my favorite looks from the various designers at the show:
Designer: Lauren Barisic
Designer: Anna Charest (One of Women’s Wear Daily’s favorite designers from the show! )
Designer: Christopher Maracha (One of Women’s Wear Daily’s favorite designers from the show! )
Designer: Joshuan Aponte. I love the way the pink cape moved down the runway. While there are very few opportunities in life to wear a cape like this, should I ever decide to get over my fear of horseback riding this cape is definitely coming with me!
**All stock photos credited to Women’s Wear Daily.