Designer Woo Young Mi continued her crosscultural study of the give-and-take between her native Korea and the West, which added a youthful twist to her traditionally strong tailoring.
Starting from the book “Knowing About Korea Without Ever Going There,” penned by Scottish missionary Alexander Williams in 1870 when the country was closed to foreigners, and moving through the hyper-fascination with its polished pop-culture exports, Woo set out to decode sartorial symbols.
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She looked at the country’s dueling obsessions with the innocence of youth, evidenced in shorts and scout caps, and its overwork ethic in tailored suits complete with neckties. There were several takes on bouclé tweed, in collarless jackets and puffed-up bombers, while metallic track pants were paired with sharp overcoats.
Shoulders were not quite slouchy but generously sloped in at the back, giving movement — and all the better for holding your phone — while flack vests and cargo jackets added options.
Elsewhere there was an ode to the bow, referencing Bojagi, the Korean art of tying knots, with pussy-bow blouses on both genders in this coed collection, plus clever twists that swept up the neckline on hoodies and sweatshirts.
There was an added emphasis on accessories, including oversize carryalls and a briefcase with a boldly curved metal grip, a bit of jewelry for the working man that still goes into an office.
The designer opened a flagship on Rue Saint-Honoré in September, the second outpost for Wooyoungmi in the city, while playing up the “Paris-Seoul” connection in branding on rugby shirts and jerseys. Woo’s focus on cohesive, sophisticated simplicity gave the collection a sense of elevated urban utility which should make it highly coveted.
Launch Gallery: Wooyoungmi at RTW Fall 2024
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