As we sat, expectantly waiting for the show to start, I was intrigued by the interpretation Eudon Choi was going to give of Hysteria, the title theme for his AW14 collection. For a designer leaning towards minimalism, the name of his collection seemed tainted with a smidgen of irony.
Despite a short presence on the international fashion scene, the Korean-born designer is already recognisable for his meticulous tailoring ability, a skill gained in his earlier career as a menswear designer. Yet, through deconstruction and with a few oblique twists here and there, Choi creates directional wear for the modern women.
The photographic motif emblazoned across the invitations and runway backdrop depicted manic female fans at a Beatles concert, while a classic Rolling Stones soundtrack created a vibrant, uplifting atmosphere for an otherwise modest set. The 1960s rock and roll, with a nod to Mod culture seems suitable inspiration for a designer who applies masculine aesthetics upon the female form.
Like the collection itself, the show was clean-cut and fast paced, Choi style. The opening look was a double-breasted jacket in blue plaid and very masculine shoulders. This rich azure appeared intermittently throughout the show, accentuating a predominantly slate palette that graphic intersections of mustard and burnt orange or purist uses of white helped to break. Mod parkas and Teddy Boy pinstripes stayed true to the reference. Those same stripes were delivered on jogging bottoms that may prove a godsend to career women. Initially looking priestly when worn under a grey shift dress, upturned shirt collars (which I’m almost certain were reversed) also showed potential as a widespread trend.
Eudon Choi not only delivered inventive tailoring but also pieces that are understated and wearable. His offering was validated through a diverse catalogue of outerwear packed full of coats in all lengths and proportions. Voluminous fur fully embraced into a caveman coat once, was thereafter assigned into modest tubed shawls. A repressed fur coat with the upper-quarter replaced by leather was a personal highlight. The sleek surfaces of both materials allowed for smooth transitioning, yet the overall effect was surreal.
In a collection of mostly separates paired with cigarette trousers, the dresses demonstrated Choi’s signature skills to its utmost capabilities. Lantern sleeves and pleated skirts do not sound like they would do the feminine figure many favours, but they do when fitted by Choi! One striking blue number managed to get all of the audience’s iPhones out. No wonder, it boasted paralleling planed collars cascading down to form the back of the dress, ending on an asymmetric frill. Simple yet ethereal white outfits towards the end of the show, some displaying angelic pearl embroidery, others only a pinch pleat or two, generated equal excitement.
The sixties, a definitive era in fashion, especially in Britain, may have become an exhausted reference point. Yet with his Far Eastern heritage and avant-gardist perspective Eudon Choi produced the unfamiliar from this familiar theme. His end product was far more abstract than the decade ever was.
See the full Fashion Show on youtube