Some designers seem to create with lines – focusing on contour, cut and silhouette. Korean designer Wooyoungmi, however, always seems to tackle her canvas with watercolour – melting swathes of soft tones, blending into painterly balances of light and shade that make her menswear uniquely delicate amid the strict shapes and dark layers that define the modern male’s wardrobe.
This season’s outing at the Marais’ Lycée Turbot was no exception, seducing an audience three days into a hectic schedule with a sweep of calming mustard yellows, burnt oranges and deep, watery greens. Inspired by the sophisticated jet-set elegance of Patricia Highsmith’s The Talented Mr. Ripley, insouciantly lightweight layers built towards a confidently detailed vision which fused loose-hanging outerwear and baggy shorts with sleekly fitted, scuba-detailed knitwear and tops.
And that injection of performance edge was the tip of the iceberg when it came to details (with graphically expressed seams and rear zippers, raffia visors and slouchily wraparound woven clutches, joyously bright two-tone loafers anchored with translucent jelly soles). Up close, block colours revealed intriguing plays of texture and pattern, from tonal weave prints to lushly gloss-finished knits.
Dreamy softness and futuristic verve, nostalgic elegance and relaxed ease: in her ninth year on the Parisian schedule, Wooyoungmi manages again and again to navigate the tightrope between an assured, unforced simplicity and genuinely refreshing innovation.
Images courtesy of Nowfashion.
Posted by: John-Michael O' Sullivan
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