The concept of personal style has been a topic of discussion among fashion enthusiasts, with many writing about the seemingly uniform nature of contemporary fashion. The reason for this perceived uniformity is not that everyone looks alike, but rather that we are all influenced by similar things. The abundance of information and options available to us through technology and algorithms has resulted in a homogenization of ideas and inspirations.
Yoon Ahn’s latest collection, Fall 2023 AMBUSH, tackles this very issue. The designer is fascinated by the idea of adding individuality to something as limiting as a uniform, and in this collection, she explores the theme of students sent to a private school after partying too much. Through her designs, she incorporates elements from a variety of sources, including Aphex Twin, K-Pop, Japanese private school uniforms, and dark techno music. The repetitive beat of techno music informs the uniform concept, which Yoon says is “repetitive and a little darker” than a typical rave.
Fashion has been exploring the concept of uniforms in recent years due to their potential for subversion. However, this begs the question: what happens when uniforms themselves become the uniform? Yoon comments on the irony of wearing a school uniform to a rave or fashion show, and notes that even though people claim to exercise their individuality, they still often fall into the same archetypes and play the same “roles” they’ve assigned to themselves. In Yoon’s words, “we never really graduate from high school.“
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