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Surprises in traditional winter black and gray

Touch of femininity, shot of unseasonal colors lighten the mood in menswear collections at Seoul Fashion Week

There seemed to be a unifying theme in the fall/winter menswear collection of Seoul Fashion Week, which kicked off Monday, as designers presented safe variations of traditional tailored suits, and fitted or oversized overcoats. Black and gray dominated the color palette as expected for the season.

But some twists and fun came from Vanhart di Albazar. For the third season Italian celebrity designer Lino leluzzi is working with designer Jung Doo-young, artistic director of the brand.

Contrasts in fabrics, colors and lengths, as shown in the blazer featuring glittering velvet on the left and leather on the right, or the long wool vest hung over one shoulder, seemed to be Jung’s attempt to create a variety of “mix-and-match styles” with leluzzi.

“Based in black, some of the highlight pieces were those having two different styles in one item,” said Jung.

Black and rose gold studs added a touch of glamour to the otherwise plain tailored look of men’s clothing. Studs on the collar of a single-breasted black wool coat and on the bags gave a “twist on the Italian classics” the designer aimed for.

Another bold show was created by Song Hye-myung’s Dominic’s Way, which was based on the punk sub-genre, “Steampunk” ― although the show could have easily been misunderstood to have been inspired by vampires. 
(From left)Caruso by Chang Kwang-hyo (CFDK)SONGZIO (SFW)D.GNAK by KANG D (SFW)
(From left)Caruso by Chang Kwang-hyo (CFDK)SONGZIO (SFW)D.GNAK by KANG D (SFW)

The layering of a black shirt with a vintage-feel lace and a brooch on the collar paired with a long A-line coat in burgundy and leather boots was enchanting enough to be mistaken as a look from “Interview with the Vampire.” The models, wearing red contacts, indeed looked vampiric.

“Steampunk is a genre based in the 19th century British Victorian era and through which people envisioned the futuristic world of the 20th century,” said Song, who plans to make the concept a popular theme in Asia.

Metallic chains in gold and silver hung over pants while hats and blazers added a modern touch to the 19th-century steam punk aesthetics. The show was attended by K-pop group SHINee, a clear demonstration of the brand being favored by male idols.

A fresh approach to the distinctive black-and-gray looks of men’s fall and winter clothes came from Chang Kwang-hyo of Caruso, who lightened the mood with yellow, cream, blue, green, orange, burgundy and mint, and houndstooth checkered and animal prints.

A tailored velvet suit in mint was a rare sight in the fall/winter menswear collection. More colors came down the catwalk in the form of sweaters, shirts and tailored coats.

Chang offered the bright mood because he wanted to see some “hope and determination that will lead people of today to overcome anxieties and worries deepened by the financial crisis, climate change and terrorism,” according to the note accompanying the show.

Chang’s slim-fitting, double-breasted three-button suits in gray stood out among other colorful, bold pieces as a contemporary dandy look.

Femininity was observed in pleated skirts and shorts worn with leggings and khaki leather boots.

Feminine silhouettes were also seen in D.GNAK by Kang Dong-jun whose pants featured knee-length jersey fabric attached to them, creating the illusion that the models were wearing skirts.

SONGZIO’s show opened with actor Cha Seung-won wearing a black-and-white rugged-patterned single-breasted suit. Star model Lee Soo-hyuk followed Cha with a single-breasted suit with baggy pants, inspired by William Faulkner’s literary works, known for an experimental style using multiple points of view and inner monologues.

Jehee Sheen by Sheen Jae-hee showed the full layers of men’s clothing with a model wearing a shirt, vest, blazer and overcoat, through which the designer intended to create “neatness and heaviness” all at once in his nomad-themed show. Sheen presented a well-tailored black long coat that men might get excited about for the upcoming season.

Among the slim-fitting looks, Kim Sun-ho of GROUND WAVE offered single- and double-breasted oversized wool coats in navy and brown. The pressed wool added a mannish tone to the feminine silhouettes of some overcoats with round sleeves.

By Lee Woo-young  (