Seoul Fashion Week Fall / Winter 2021 broadcast the show live, reaching global audiences last week. With major tourist attractions like art museums empty of international visitors due to the global Covid-19 pandemic, fashion brands have had access to exciting and unique venues for their catwalks. Instead of parades at Zaha Hadid, designed by Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP), where Seoul Fashion Week has been held for the past seven years, national museums and parks were used for the first time. Models strutted around the pensive Bodhisattva in gilded bronze (National Treasure 83), the famous national treasure housed at the National Museum of Korea and through the collections of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA). Famous Seoul attractions including Han Riverside Park and Oil Reservoir Culture Park were also used as stages for Seoul Fashion Week.
Filming of the live-broadcast event took place under strict quarantine with no audiences. And organizers have made extensive preparations such as artefact protection and insurance and Covid-19 security measures. Kim Eui-Seung, deputy mayor for economic policies, said the Seoul Metropolitan Government is holding “Seoul Fashion Week as one of its main projects to promote the national fashion industry.” This year, in particular, we have tried to marry fashion with the city, history and culture by turning national museums into catwalks. “
And the collections were fantastic in these awesome new decors. Many big Korean and international brands participated, such as Lie, BMuet (te), Painters, Seokwoon Yoon and K POP’s favorite Beyond Closet, as well as new talent. Since the first Seoul Fashion Week in 2000, Korean designers have had a major impact in the global fashion world, with more and more brands supplied by high-end international retailers. The highlights of the Fall / Winter 2021 show ranged from tailored formal looks to imaginative streetwear.
Cahiers, from designer Kim A-young, is a couture-inspired brand with designs that are both beautiful and easy to wear. Vibrant overcoats, including one in fuschia and another in camel, as well as a pearly quilted bomber jacket, were among the more standout looks. The brand’s latest collection was presented during a parade in the Oil Tank Cultural Park.
Hanacha Studio is well known to Western buyers. Award-winning Korean designer Hana Cha holds an MA from London College of Fashion and her alumni collection was shown at the Victoria and Albert Museum, winning ‘Women’s Clothing Collection of the Year’ in 2013. The Fall Collection / Winter 2021 of the brand was presented in the Great National Museum of Korea and was inspired by the sculptures and paintings of the Spanish artist Joan Miro.
Beyond Closet, a men’s casual clothing brand, provides an interesting contrast to the artwork at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA). The brand takes inspiration from the classic American preppy look, with lettered jumpers, jackets and overcoats, using smart graphics and a variety of colors.
NNA is a women’s clothing brand established in 2013 by sisters Eunna Hwang, who is a knitwear designer and Knit Lizie Hwang, a fine art and printed textiles designer. The partnership clearly works as featured in their fall / winter collection of gorgeous flowing day and evening dresses in interesting patterns and gorgeous fabrics. The concrete look of the Oil Reservoir Cultural Park provided excellent contrast and a stunning backdrop for the sisters’ romantic creations.
Rinjeon, is a women’s clothing brand from Jeon Hye-rin that uses local, fairly paid artisans to sew sustainable clothing. Sustainability is Rinjeon’s goal and every look showcased at Seoul Fashion Week was both elegant and classic.
The next edition of Seoul Fashion Week will be in October 2021, hopefully presented to a live audience.