Q & A with Fashion Brand Danha

Danha

Korea based designer

Can you introduce your brand and yourself in a few sentences?

We are a design group that redesigns Korean traditional clothes in a modern fashion. We started as a Hanbok brand in August of 2018, with the idea of ‘upcycling’ behind each piece, while working around keeping the spirits of Korean tradition. We pursue sustainability and ethical fashion at the core of everything we do, to support and improve the industry’s social and environmental impacts.

We believe in the subtlety of details that are created with just our very own fingertips. Together with the local community, we cooperate with traditional craftsmen to pursue Korean Haute-couture and create ‘Upcycled-Hanbok’.

단하는 한국의 전통을 현대적으로 리;디자인 하는 디자인 그룹입니다.

우리는 2018년 8월 환경과 전통을 기반으로 한 한복 브랜드로 출발 하였고, 지속가능한 윤리적 패션을 추구하는 업사이클 소재만이 가질 수 있는 유일무이한 디자인으로 세계의 환경 문제 개선에 기여하고자 합니다.

우리는 사람 손 끝에서 나오는 정교함과 섬세함을 믿습니다. 지역의 전통 장인들과의 협력으로 한국적 오뜨꾸띄르를 지향하며 업사이클 한복을 지역사회와 함께 창조합니다.

What sparked your interest in fashion design?

When I was in high school, my school uniform was a Hanbok. Noticing and being fascinated by the beautiful lines and colours of the Hanbok after graduation was when I began putting together Hanboks and wearing them myself. This was the beginning of my career in Hanbok design. Since then, I have been granted a royal costume by my master teacher and I am currently studying Fashion Design at Sungkyunkwan University.

고등학교 시절 교복이 한복이었다. 졸업 이후 한복의 아름다운 선과 색에 매료되어 혼자 맞춰입고 다니던 것이 한복 디자인의 시작이었다. 이후 명인 선생님께 궁중복식을 사사받고 있으며 현재는 성균관대에서 정식으로 패션디자인을 공부중이다.

Can you describe your creative process?

Our brand's inspiration comes mainly from ancient relics, and we try to recreate the silhouette of the late Joseon Dynasty, an important era of Korean history. However we redesign and work on patterns and materials in a modern fashion.

Once a relic has been selected as a motif, it will be modified to a pattern which will allow the piece to be worn comfortably and at ease.

Then we design textiles and use eco-friendly/upcycled materials to create a single-piece garment where tradition and modernity coexist. All our work is done alongside local craftsmen.

 우리 브랜드의 영감은 주로 유물에서 얻으며, 조선후기의 실루엣을 재현하려고 애쓰되 패턴과 소재는 현대적으로 리디자인해 작업한다.

모티브가 될 유물을 선정하면 가봉작업을 통해 생활하기 편한 패턴으로 수정한다. 이후 유물을 모티브로 한 텍스타일 디자인 및 친환경 / 업사이클 소재를 이용해 전통과 현대가 공존하는 단하만의 옷을 만들어낸다. 우리의 모든 작업은 지역 장인들과 함께 한다.

 What is your favourite part of being a designer? What drives you to design?

A reinterpretation of tradition. The moment when I imagine what these lost relics would look like if they were handed down to this era and existed in front of us, is the most compelling part to designing. I find myself most excited when such imaginations go through various processes and are finally presented in front of me in the form of clothes. I design to live through such exquisite moments.

 전통의 재해석. 이미 사라진 유물이 만약 이시대까지 전해져 내려온다면 어떤 모습으로 변화해 우리 눈앞에 존재할까? 라고 상상하는 시간이 가장 재밌다. 내가 상상 했던 모습이 각종 과정을 통해 옷의 형태로 나타날 때 가장 흥분된다. 그 찰나의 순간을 위해 디자인한다.

How do you find working as a designer where your brand is based? Has the culture/surroundings affected your design aesthetic? Do you feel connected to your home?

When I feel stuck and need a boost of inspiration, I go to the National Palace Museum, the National Museum of Korea, and various other exhibitions. For me, it is very important to surround myself with relics in order to feed my artistic imagination and inspiration. Relics that I usually go to view include paintings, ceramics, sculptures, and dresses.

I am currently into Goryeo Celadon which is highly regarded as one of the world’s most valuable cultural treasures. Once inspiration strikes, we research ways of how we would like to transfer elements found in the relics into Danha’s clothes. These methods could be fabric printing, illustration, silk screening, etc.

디자인이 막힐때면 국립 고궁박물관, 국립 중앙박물관, 각종 전시를 가곤한다. 나에게 있어 영감의 원천은 유물이다. 사라진 옛것을 어떻게 예쁘게 리디자인해 옷에 반영할까 생각한다. 그림, 도자기, 조각, 복식, 등 종류를 가리지 않고 최대한 많이 보려고 한다. 현재 꽂혀있는건 고려청자이다.

그렇게 유물에서 찾은 아름다운 요소를 단하의 옷에 담을지 크루들과 함께 고민한다. 이 과정은 패브릭 프린트, 일러스트, 실크스크린 등 여러가지 방법으로 이뤄진다.

In anticipation of your runway show at Vancouver Fashion Week, what are you most looking forward to?

I recognize there is a great interest in Korean fashion these days. It only felt right to me to formally present what true Korean lines and pattern were—through traditional Korean dresses, alongside the collaboration of fellow graduate designers and crews.

Instead of clothing that simply mimicked tradition, we wanted our pieces to have its own interpretation of modernity whilst having a strong core around solid tradition. With such concept in mind, Vancouver is expected to be a strong foundation for a perfect synergy.

요즘 한국 패션에 대한 국내외 관심이 매우 큰 것으로 알고있다. 정식으로 한국의 궁중복식과 전통복식 대학원 과정의 디자이너와 크루들의 협업으로 진짜 한국의 선과 문양이 무엇인가에 대해 보여주고 싶다. 어설프게 전통을 흉내만 낸 옷이 아니라 탄탄한 전통을 기반으로한 제대로 된 현대화를 보여주고자 한다. 그 플랫폼으로 한국이 아닌 밴쿠버는 완벽한 주춧돌이 되어 서로 완벽한 시너지 효과를 기대한다.

What is the inspiration behind your S/S20 collection to be showcased at Vancouver Fashion Week?

The Secret Garden, The Joseon Dynasty 2020 was inspired by relics from the Joseon Dynasty (such as Wrapping cloth of the Joseon royal court, underwear, and Dopo). It is a recreation of the Dynasty with a modern twist, to express their aesthetic of exposure and concealment.

Taking advantage of the traditional and environment-conscious brand characteristics, we mainly use recycled fabric extracted from silk, organic cotton and plastic bottles, which are woven through methods of Korean tradition. This show features our interpretation of ‘hidden beauty’ from the Joseon Dynasty tradition through the subtle exposure of underwear. By layering multiple fabrics and materials, we would like to present the unique silhouette and the abundant beauty of overlapped materials uniquely found in Hanbok.

이번 쇼 ‘ The Secret Garden , The Joseon Dynasty 2020’는 조선왕조의 유물(궁중보자기, 속옷, 도포 등)에서 영감을 받아 현대판 조선왕조를 재현해 노출과 숨김의 미학을 표현하고자 하였다. 전통과 환경을 중시하는 브랜드 특성을 살려 대한민국 전통방식으로 직조된 실크, 오가닉 코튼과 폐 페트병에서 추출한 리사이클 원단을 주로 이용하였다. 블랙과 쪽빛, 그리고 백색을 메인 컬러로 하되, 궁중보자기에서 영감을 얻어 디자인한 패턴을 액센트 패브릭으로 사용하였다. 이번 쇼는 숨김의 미학을 중시하던 조선시대의 통념을 속옷을 노출시킴으로서 키치하게 해석하였다. 여러겹의 옷을 레이어드 함으로써 한복만이 가지는 특유의 풍성한 실루엣과 여러가지 소재가 중첩되는 미를 선보이고자 한다.

What are you hoping the reactions are from audiences seeing your designs (perhaps for the first time)?

I hope they are fascinated by our exclusively beautiful silks, patterns, and abundant silhouettes and are interested in the comfort of Korean traditional inner wear designed along with Hanbok. Not to mention, I would also like to help protect our environment by introducing the audience to recyclable materials extracted from recycled plastic bottles.

한국의 아름다운 실크와 패턴, 그리고 풍성한 실루엣에 매료되었으면 한다. 그리고 한국의 속옷이 가지는 편안함에 관심을 가졌으면 하고 , 우리 쇼를 계기로 폐 pet 에서추출한 리사이클 소재에 대한 관심도 높아져 환경보호에 일조했으면 하는 바람이 있다.

Thank you for speaking with us, Danha. We look forward to seeing your brand on the VFW runway.

danhaseoul.com

@danha_seoul

@danha.official

Q & A with Fashion Brand PAINTERS

PAINTERS

Interview with Won Jeon, the founder of PAINTERS. Seoul, South Korea based design brand.

MM: Can you introduce your brand and yourself in a few sentences?

I studied Fashion Design at the Seoul Mode Fashion Institute (2012-2014) and Womenswear at London College of Fashion (2014-2018). I worked at two designer labels called ZEQUUN (in Seoul) and Faustine Steinmetz (in London). After those experiences, I started my label in Seoul.

PAINTERS is focused on developing specific identity and aesthetic in Womenswear through their collections, proposing a different form of beauty. PAINTERS is trying to create new shapes not effected by other tastes or trends. Not only following beautiful faces, garments or proportion like lots of ads, PAINTERS aims to make a new impact—that different people can be accepted within their own level of individual tastes and identity.

PAINTERS tries to cater to people with different beauty and shapes to suggest there are different ideas of form.

MM: What sparked your interest in fashion design?

I do really enjoy seeing other artists’ work in all areas including painting, music and performance art. I would like to see how people express themselves through their artwork and their messages to the world through their work. It makes me think to put deeper meanings in my collections instead of just showing beautiful fashion things. I do also put messages in it.

MM: Can you describe your creative process?

I usually start from all the complaints I feel within me. I was home schooled in Seoul and it isn’t the norm. I think under 10% of students get homeschooled in Seoul. The reason I quit my high school was because I felt unsatisfied on how they tried to teach the same things in the same way to every different type of individual. Some students might be good at art and bad in math. However, our education system defines us only by the total grade—they don't try to find the good things in every individual.

In Seoul, we have world-renowned plastic surgery systems. Wherever you go in Seoul, you can easily find lots of ads that define typical beauty. Further, we have got really fast-fashion and fast trends like K-pop stars, although it makes us grow the K-pop industries worldwide. There is always a bad side and a good side. Therefore, I tried not to follow those systems which try to make individuals all the same. It helps me to think and express different things, the issues in society.

MM: What is your favourite part of being a designer? What drives you to design?

My favourite part about being a designer is the lifestyle. I mean, designers do lots of creative things and we keep trying to find the interesting things in our daily lives. We keep trying to get new experiences, watch movies, visit museums and try to see world differently—this lifestyle makes us keep awaking. 

MM: How do you find working as a designer where your brand is based? Has the culture/surroundings affected your design aesthetic? Do you feel connected to your home?

It really helps me to think between trends and identities. Moreover, I think Seoul has really good taste in the Arts. Furthermore, we have really good industry systems such as the fabric market, factories, etc. I am very proud of being a South Korean. 

MM: In anticipation of your runway show at Vancouver Fashion Week, what are you most looking forward to?

Through the collection called ‘Where the wild things are’, I would like to suggest a different form of beauty again and I hope the audience there will like my work and kind of feel something through my collections. 

MM: What is the inspiration behind your S/S20 collection to be showcased at Vancouver Fashion Week?

It started from the movie called ‘Where the wild things are’. I watched it accidentally and suddenly got deep inspiration from it. It’s about a boy trying to escape from the world, so he creates his own world in a small room. He met the wild things in his imagination. The general thoughts of ‘wild things’ is danger but he becomes friends with them. I see many people who judge others by appearances, degrees, and their social status. However, I would love to stand by the ‘wild things’ and try to show their beauty on the inside.

MM: What are you hoping are the reactions from audiences seeing your designs (perhaps for their first time)?

I am aiming that people might see the differences through my collections and not judge people by their appearances, degree, and social status. I want to give people a new insight by showing the differences. I might not be good, however, I will try.

Thank you for speaking with us, Won! We look forward to seeing your brand on the VFW runway this October!

https://www.paintersfromseoul.art

@paintersfromseoul

Hanbok- traditional South Korean dress

Hanbok- traditional South Korean dress

Exploring the theme Nostalgia, we found ourselves at a fashion showcase in South Korea, at the Cheongdam Building Sky Lounge in Seoul to see designer Hyemi Song's new collection for her brand SEO DAM WHA. Beautiful models dressed in colourful opaque layers, performed a dance routine encircling the space, their lightweight dresses swishing and turning.

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CONCEPT KOREA SHOWCASE AT NEW YORK FASHION WEEK

LIE and GREEDILOUS showcase progressive Korean fashions for F/W 18

Concept Korea returned to NYFW to showcase two of South Korea’s most promising design talents, LIE by Chung Chung Lee and GREEDILOUS by Younhee Park.

The fashion industry has taken notice of the growing South Korean infatuation that is emerging from Seoul. The city, now a permanent fixture in the industry, is responsible for influencing some of the most infectious trends and inspiring the biggest names in fashion.

Concept Korea is a collaborative project to promote Korean fashion designers. This F/W 2018 season marks the organization’s seventeenth time showing at New York Fashion Week.

FW18_ConceptKorea_04.jpg

First up, GREEDILOUS, a brand by designer Younhee Park. Park has previously showcased in Seoul and Paris, and was nominated for the 2014/2015 International Woolmark Prize. The F/W 18 collection was inspired by beauty in women represented with extreme glamour, the Palace of Versailles, and Marie Antoinette’s romantic style. Park revisited the vintage appeal of playing with beautiful patterns from nature to reinterpret Marie Antoinette as a fantastical creature representative of the brand’s unique identity. There is a beautiful mix of textures with vivid colours and bold graphic patterns following the Maximalist trend. Describing the look as ‘futuristic modernity’, Park creates a feminine style with masculine undertones that manages to be both classic and directional.

LIE designer from Lee Chung Chung is the son of renowned designer parents who founded the legendary Korean fashion house LIE SANGBONG. Commencing his design career in menswear on the famed Saville Row under the guidance of the celebrated menswear designer Oswald Boateng, Chung solidified his tailoring skills, which eventually led to launching his own line.

FW18_ConceptKorea_50.jpg

Inspired by the striking image of a wary polar bear stranded on a shrinking iceberg, LIE made its second NYFW appearance with the F/W18 collection, “GLOBAL WARMING; It’s not justICE.” The collection aimed to portray an important message that “it’s not just ice” that is affected from the devastations of global warming. This season, Chung strives to bring awareness to the collapsing unity between humans and nature with his clothes. Dusty pale blues are contrasted with bold rainbow colourways, and transparent PVC's are paired with soft furs for a unique and feminine collection.