Troa skirts the cutting edge

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Troa skirts the cutting edge

Troa Cho, a Korean fashion designer who has been pioneering haute couture since 1963, has passed the baton for her company’s control to her son, Han Song.
Mr. Song joined the Troa Cho studio after graduating from New York University as political science major in 1993. To Troa Cho’s highly elegant, luxuriously feminine collection, he added his interpretation of modern design.
In 1997, he launched his own haute couture line also called “Han Song.”
Highly experimental and futuristic, often with Gothic overtones, his collection was undisputably avant-garde. Decorative yet controlled, each piece demonstrated calculated precision and was a sculpted piece of art. He has since earned the reputation of being Korea’s Alexander McQueen.
Mr. Song’s creative energy, which is often on the cutting edge, may have something to do with his unfulfilled desires. “If I had returned home immediately after winning a prize in a New York music festival, I might have been an electric guitarist in a rock band,” says the designer. “Still, if time allows, I want to play the guitar again on stage.”
The new Troa ready-to-wear collection first appeared in the China Fashion Week in Beijing in November and in the 2003/2004 Fall and Winter Seoul Collection Week last month.
A decade into the business, Mr. Song believes his future is in Paris.
“I want to work in Paris, the serious fashion world, where most established designers fulfill their dreams,” he says.
Mr. Song travels to France several times each year to research fashion and make connections. He plans to make his official Paris debut this July during the haute couture collection week.
He believes that a market exists in France for modern haute couture collections created by rising new designers. “It will be difficult to challenge the existing global fashion business structure. But people are always looking for something new, different and unique,” Mr. Song says confidently.
Just like the handful of young French designers who are trying create a position between traditional French haute couture and pret-a-porter, he aspires to create his modern line as “approachable and wearable.”
So what suggestions does he have for his new followers?
“Strive for a monotone line made entirely of silk lining materials,” he says. “Your clothes will have sculptural details, but will feel like you aren’t wearing anything at all.”

by Ines Cho
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