In the 2006 Seoul Collection, femme fits all
Both groups will have plenty to live off of when the 2006 Spring-Summer Seoul Collection kicks off at the Seoul Trade Exhibition Center, in southwest Seoul. The event runs from tomorrow through 25.
The collection, which is part of a drive to make fashion an official Korean export, has had its high and low points since it first ran in 2000. Organized by four government bodies ― Korea Fashion Association, Seoul Fashion Design Center, the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy and the Seoul Metropolitan Government ― this year it will feature 46 fashion shows staged by 49 designers. The designers are either independent or belong to one of three private associations: Seoul Fashion Artists Association (SFAA), Korea Fashion Designers Association (KFDA) and New Wave in Seoul (NWS).
Seoul Collection has also added new players, in the category of “national brands.” In the Korean fashion industry, national brands (commercial brands created by a domestic corporation) are not usually considered part of the real fashion world. Major fashion brands, both imported and domestically-produced, have therefore held their own shows one at a time.
“Many big-name brands [in overseas markets] ― Prada is a good example ― are the equivalent of Korean national brands, and they’re a part of major fashion collections,” said Shin Hee-jin, an organizer of Seoul Collection. “We’re aiming to include Korean national brands in Seoul Collection.”
Le Coq Sportif and Bon, to give two examples, are national brands that will be included for the first time in the Seoul Collection.
The show also gives a tip of the hat to metrosexuals, young men who adopt gay style despite being straight. A total of 14 men’s fashion designers, by far the most since Seoul Collection started, will be on show.
In another good sign for the collection, high-profile designers who had previously skipped the event are once again planning to participate. The feminine but powerful designs of Park Choon-moo, for instance, will hit the runway, and the hanbok [traditional Korean dress] designer Lee Young-hee is back home after opening the Lee Young Hee Korea Museum in New York last year.
According to a sneak preview submitted by the designers, the plan is to leap back to the fashion eras of 1960s and ’80s mostly using basic colors, white, beige and black and emphasizing feminine lines. Designers like Song Zio and Andy & Debb will arrange their designs around matador and resort themes, while Hong Eun-ju from the Paris-based Enzuvan says her look will have a light, soft and feminine angle, fit for a balmy resort.
Seoul Collection doesn’t just show off careers ― sometimes it launches them. The talk this year is of a joint show by Lee Hae-seung and Song Hye-myeong, and the brand “M” by Son Seong-geun, both on Nov. 23.
by Ines Cho
Seoul Collection runs from Nov. 16 to 25 at the Seoul Trade Exhibition Center (SETEC). Tickets for the shows are available through www.ticketpark.com. A ticket to one show costs 7,000 won ($6.50), and a daily ticket 25,000 won or 30,000 won depending on the schedule. Tickets for the shows between Nov. 22 and 25 must be purchased through the SFAA office at (02) 514-8667. SETEC is located at Hagyeoul station on line No. 3. For more information, visit the Web site www.seoulcollection.or.kr.