Guests found themselves bathed in the romantic hues of a faux sunset as Heesoo Kim, the trailblazing talent behind South Korea’s SYSTEM STUDIOS, unveiled his Spring/Summer 2024 collection. The collection, aptly named “Purple Noon,” pays homage to English poet Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poignant reflections on solitary beauty. But don’t let the literary roots fool you – this is a collection firmly planted in the contemporary world.
Kim’s “Purple Noon” is a study in contrasts, a bold attempt at amalgamating the sartorial traditions of yesteryears with today’s modern aesthetics. Strongly structured blazers, cinched waistlines for men, and relaxed fits for women beautifully illustrate this meeting of timelines. And if you delve deeper, like Alice peering into the rabbit hole, you’ll find unexpected surprises such as vintage fabric linings nestled inside torn denim jackets – a brilliant way to create dialogue between the classic tailoring Kim has gravitated towards this season and the present-day vibe.
In Kim’s world, nothing is ever ordinary. Simple denim shorts were reimagined with drawstring details and functional cargo pockets. An airy tank dress came to life in an intriguing white waffle weave. But the pièce de résistance were undoubtedly the snake-print coats and jackets, adorning both men and women. Their proportions, manipulated with an artist’s precision, particularly shone through on outerwear.
Collaboration, Kim believes, is key to innovation. The spectacular light installation, a brilliant representation of a sunset, was crafted by filmmaker Sam Youkilis. In a fortuitous meeting at a fashion show in Korea, Kim connected with photographer David Sims, who teamed up with stylist Emmanuelle Alt to shoot the upcoming campaign. Such partnerships, according to Kim, are critical to his expansion plans.
In the recent storm of K-pop, K-beauty, and K-drama sweeping the globe, one might think it’s only natural for SYSTEM STUDIOS to ride the wave. But Kim, ever the maverick, begs to differ. “At System we don’t want to follow that trend,” he articulates, “It’s not about K-pop. We want to define our own brand identity and keep focusing on our base as dynamic and chic.”
In a rapidly evolving landscape like Korea, where trends are fleeting, Kim seeks to carve out a robust structure for SYSTEM STUDIOS’ global growth, setting his sights on European fashion giants like Louis Vuitton and GUCCI. With Seoul witnessing a deluge of high-profile shows, Kim plans to flip the script, positioning SYSTEM STUDIOS as a global brand with Korean roots. The first standalone store is already on the horizon, set to open its doors in Paris next year.
Through “Purple Noon,” Kim elegantly transcends the K-trend, proving that SYSTEM STUDIOS is ready to rewrite the rules, and in doing so, might just redefine fashion.
© Photos: SYSTEM STUDIOS
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