Designer wins trophy with edgy men’s wear

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Designer wins trophy with edgy men’s wear


Jung Moon-seok, 26, is on a mission to create men’s clothes that are intricate in detail but practical at the same time. Mr. Jung, who won second place in the men’s clothing division at the 2006 China Cup International Fashion Design Contest, is far from having his head in the clouds. “I want my clothes to be constructed in a way that is experimental but also feasible for everyday wear,” the designer says.
A recent graduate from Esmod Seoul, a branch school of Esmod Paris that has produced a number of influential Korean designers including Jung Wook-jun, Mr. Jung entered the design contest this March and won the silver trophy against 25 other designers competing for the men’s wear award. The contest, held in Shanghai from March 16 through 19 and including women’s wear, men’s wear, children’s wear and underwear/beachwear divisions, had 103 entrants proceed to the first round of competition from 3,180 applicants of 39 different countries.
The China Cup International Fashion Design Contest is one of the noted fashion contests in China organized by the Shanghai International Fashion Culture Committee and for 12 years has been a stepping stone for young designers to introduce their designs internationally. “I do not want to limit my designs to just the Korean customer. I hope that my clothes will be appreciated in a broad spectrum and this contest was the perfect opportunity for my ‘international’ introduction,” Mr. Jung says before explaining the concept of the clothes he entered in this year’s contest.

This contest specified that entrants design a commercially viable collection, which also reflected the designer’s artistic sensibility, around the theme of “expectation.” Mr. Jung’s collection, titled “Expectation of a character is unpredictable in many combinations of image,” mixed patchwork, beading, synthetic leather and fur with jeans and knit pieces. One leather jacket with a bolero-style fur top attached was made by combining transfer paper with synthetic leather to create a rugged, worn-in effect. As a result, the surface of the jacket’s bodice looks similar to a stonewashed pair of jeans. His knit pieces are deconstructed, with threads pulled out and patchwork sewn in. The edges of the patchwork and leather pieces have been burned and his tops are dyed unevenly. “I wanted to show the duality of men’s fashion; the stiff and masculine side vs. an embellished and detail-oriented side,” he said.
Through his own collage of light and heavy materials with intricate details on casual men’s clothing, Mr. Jung’s collection is trend-savvy with haute couture touches scattered here and there.
With this and future designs, Mr. Jung hopes that men will feel more comfortable “wearing something that is fashion-conscious.” He explains that although there are many fashionable men around “who are not from the creative industries,” they do not have an appropriate outlet for their fashion sense. In making wearable but original designs for men, Mr. Jung hopes he will “be one of the designers who make it more easy for men to express themselves through clothes.”

by Cho Jae-eun
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