The ultimate grandeur and pageantry of fashion week, as prophesied and anticipated by editors and front-row celebrities alike, must certainly impose an intimidating tenor of expectation for designers showing their collections.
These anxieties and uncertainties sometimes materialize in newly-coveted garments — it’s well-documented that artistic compromises on behalf of creative directors are sometimes made to appease the customer.
Son Jung Wan still wants authenticity. And her Fall 2018 collection at NYFW fulfilled that promise once again.
Korean designer Son Jung Wan is known for her acute sense of colour and hue. Across the collection, her colour palette graduated from spirited yellows to ice-cream neapolitans; seductive blues and metallic silvers to cotton candy pastels. Romantic flower patters — a house staple — looked as though they were torn from ancient tapestries and brushed across silky tops and matching bottoms. Straight-legged denim culminated in an explosion of fur at the bottom; fur trims and rosy fur coats summoned the image of a feminized, spongier Killa Cam. Sequins, an element not unfamiliar to Son Jung Wan, arrived on the lapels of oversized coats and the bodies of gowns. There was nothing traditional about the tailoring and volumes of the collection’s garments. One yellow coat-dress, interrupted with pink sleeves, bunched up around its cropped bottom; another pair of glossy pink pants, perhaps a skirt, pooled around the model’s legs like a shortened cathedral train of a wedding dress.
Son Jung Wan’s dainty and playful presentation was a eulogy to the death of colour. Even in the beauty looks, where a soft blush bled from the corners of the eyes out onto the tops of cheekbones, she conjured some purposeful mourning of pigment and saturation. Perhaps the reactive collection, a cornucopia of excess and surplus, was a reclamation. It’s no secret fashion is an incredibly powerful tool and protest, and the designer’s use of colour seems radical in a climate where colourlessness has begun to summarize mass taste.