To the casual observer, fashion week collections can seem like a cryptic amalgamation of anything constituting a trend. But as any devoted fashion follower knows, the plethora of aesthetics offered during fashion week are varied and even contradictory. One designer might argue for minimalism and limited aesthetics, while the next will favor a world of sartorial opulence and frivolity. The clothes shown during fashion week are generally always beautiful but the values expressed in designers’ collections can overlap or even clash. Like most fashion week admirers, I find myself swept away by many well-made garments and collections, but the lifestyle values behind the clothes ultimately polarize my opinions. The best collections make me stop and ponder not just fabrics or colors, but the way we live our lives.
Most fashion week collections seek to evoke something beyond our day-to-day world, and designers frequently cite luxurious vacations or exotic locales among their inspirations. Clubs and nightlife offer reoccurring themes, as various fashion houses try to win over the elusive downtown girl. Other brands simply try to capture the general privilege of being young and beautiful and unencumbered, with flouncy dresses and girlish prints. Few collections elicit feelings of work or serious accomplishment because fashion, during its continual chase for ecstatic uplift, typically seeks to move beyond the trivialities of 9-5 jobs or per-hour incomes. Part of the beauty of fashion, in fact, exists in its disregard for the exterior accomplishments and ego-boosters that most of us so obsessively seek. To be fashionable is to be valuable within oneself and one’s outfit, regardless of external qualifications. It takes a certain kind of designer to make work and its outputs seem not only desirable, but glamorous beyond the matter-of-fact.
The PARKCHOONMOO Fall/Winter 2014 show managed to make work glamorous, and catered to a focused, edgy, and purposeful lifestyle. The collection was markedly absent of bright colors, with blacks, whites and neutrals serving as the dominating palette. The garments themselves— beautiful, well-made and layered— looked both tough but soft, edgy but practical, and architectural but flowing. Houndstooth prints appeared at the beginning of the show, adding a trendy relevance, while lighter all-white ensembles lifted the collection to a sleek and easy elegance towards the middle of the show. Bold reds and gold touches made occasional appearances that felt appropriate and strong, rather than flashy or attention-seeking. The garments looked neither loose nor fitted, neither modest nor needlessly provocative, and short skirts were balanced with high collars or long coats. Long monochrome silhouettes, high boots and rounded coats created a chic and easy armor, capable of energizing and calming at once. The cumulative effect, piece by piece, offered practical glamour for a determined and no-frills working lifestyle. PARKCHOONMOO’s collection, with its modern finishes and structural elegance, would look best worn by a serious, hard-working but thoroughly modern woman. The collection, both limited and purposeful, evokes a lifestyle so focused and individualistic that its fashionable appeal feels easy, natural and inborn.
There are certain staples that, between the numerous designers, are continually served up during fashion week. There are always showy collections for the party girls, artistic feats for the cool kids and luxe lines for the ladies uptown. PARKCHOONMOO presents a refreshing option for the more understated but still-edgy fashion fan. For the PARKCHOONMOO woman, the line offers a worth-while alternative to the passing whims and indulgences of more light-hearted collections. As the glamour of the PARKCHOONMOO aesthetic reminds us, a self-driven and focused work-life feels not only modern but untouchably chic.
Read the original review here for Twenty6 Magazine.
(Photo credits: WWD)