Concept Korea, a collaboration to promote Korean fashion in the U.S., will feature five of the most innovative and promising Korean designers at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York next month. Here is a preview of Concept Korea 2013, to be held under the theme "Rhythm of Korea" on Feb. 7 at New York's Lincoln Center.
Representing Korea's most innovative fashion designers
Through Concept Korea, Korean fashion designers have started to make a mark in New York. / Courtesy of Ministry of Culture, Sports & Tourism
By Do Je-hae
Concept Korea returns to New York Fashion Week at the Lincoln Center on Feb. 7, representing the best of Korean design on a global level.
The forthcoming collection at the 2013 F/S Concept Korea will be organized around the theme "Rhythm of Korea." Each of the five invited designers ― Kathleen Kye, Choi Bo-ko, Lie Sang-bong, Kim Hong-bum and Son Jung-wan ― will aim to bring the global audience closer to Korean culture by presenting designs that are uniquely Korean.
Through the development of Concept Korea, Korean fashion has become more relevant in New York. Korean designers such as General Idea, Lie Sang Bong and Park Choonmoo have managed to make their mark in the fashion capital. Industry leaders, including award-winning creator of NY Fashion Week Fern Mallis, has shown a keen interest in the project.
"The runways will be accompanied by music and lighting inspired by Korea's tradition. It will be a mix of ‘gukak,' or traditional Korean music, and fashion, creating a synergy effect for a sophisticated staging with a Korean atmosphere," Ha Hyun-jin, a ministry official said in a press release.
The designers are hand-picked by influential fashion names like Simon Collins, dean of fashion at Parsons The New School for Design, Colleen Sherin, fashion director of Saks Fifth Avenue, Jane Page, VP of wholesale at Balenciaga, Carol Song, head buyer at Opening Ceremony, and stylist Phillip Bloch.
Concept Korea is a collaboration to promote Korean fashion designers and assist them in their attempts to break into the U.S. fashion market. The initiative is organized by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Daegu Metropolitan City, the Korea Creative Contents Agency, and the Korea Research Institute of Fashion Industry. Concept Korea began in the spring of 2010, and this fall/winter 2013 season marks the organization's seventh time showing at New York Fashion Week.
For more information, visit conceptkorea.org.
--- THE DESIGNERS ---
KYE by Kathleen Kye
A 2011 graduate of Central Saint Martins, KYE is already a favorite among the world's most powerful retailers, including Opening Ceremony and Harvey Nichols. Her collection is described as "Fun―living fashion: extraordinary fashion concepts and shapes that render fashion art products." www.kyefashion.com
CHOIBOKO by Choi Bo-ko
"Fashion does not dress the body, but dresses the soul" is the motto of CHOIBOKO. Using tangible/intangible culture traditions, Choi develops a unique identity by transforming ordinary nature into glamour and modernity. www.choiboko.com
CRES. E DIM. by Kim Hong-bum
The label comes from "crescendo e diminuendo," with ‘CRES' meaning "getting gradually louder" and "DIM" meaning "getting gradually softer." He is imbued with the great skills of dressing the modern woman, with an elegant collection of refined tailoring and innovative cuts. www.cresedim.com
LIE SANG BONG by Lie Sang-bong
Lie Sang Bong is often dubbed the "Alexander McQueen of Seoul," and has become one of the most renowned designers from Korea. Lie's designs focus on fusion of culture and art, and his collections often feature traditional Korean elements. Lie previously pursued Western designs, but has realized the importance of incorporating Korean tradition in his works after a foreign buyer said to him that his designs had an Oriental feel and recommended that he should return to his roots. www.liesangbong.com
SON JUNG WAN by Son Jung-wan
SONG JUNG WAN is known for practical and compact silhouettes. He likes to use romantic, retro and glam elements that are portrayed using beautiful fabrics that give a light and feminine feel to the garments. His dreamy collection for Concept Korea will reveal a world of femininity and intricate details. www.songjungwan.com