Pitti Uomo wrapped up last week in Florence. And though the Italian trade-show-cum-fashion-event is best known for its sartorial side, this season, the folks involved decided to open things up a bit and place the focus on forward-thinking design as well.
Enter Juun.J, the Seoul-based designer known for his "street tailoring" approach to menswear, and Pitti's first Korean guest designer. "For all of my collections, you will find a tailored jacket," he told us through a translator. "But it wouldn't be a classic suit. It would be something you could wear for sporty, street style, but mixed with the classic suit."Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
For the Pitti Uomo collection, that translated to a series of topcoats and tailored trousers in solids and chalk stripes on the traditional end of the spectrum. For the more advanced style acolyte, there were wide-leg pants paired with technical parkas and oversized shearling aviators. Scarves and coats were emblazoned with phrases like "Genderless" and "Boundaryless" (a nod to the ongoing trend of bucking gender binaries in fashion), and some of the outfits displayed verged on the theatrical.
It was a bold statement, especially in the context of Pitti Uomo, but it was also an intentional one. Juun.J told us that for most of his collections, he presents a 50/50 split of commercial and artistic looks. For Pitti, he went with 70 percent artistic, 30 percent commercial. "For this Pitti Uomo collection, I wanted to show something very strong," he said through his translator. But the designer himself drew out the last word so emphatically that even someone like this author, who doesn't speak Korean, could understand the sentiment.Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
A lot of that has to do with the platform that Pitti offers, and the increased visibility that comes with it. "Of course I'm proud, very proud," he said of being the first Korean guest designer at Pitti. "And at the same time, it's such an honor to be at the center stage of a menswear market with the influence of Pitti Uomo."
When we asked if his inclusion represents a tipping point for Korean fashion, a worldwide recognition of his home country's place in the world of menswear, he was humble, but optimistic: "Not just because I showed it here, but it might be one signal that shows the world that the Korean market is indeed getting somewhat big." So if it's not a tipping point, it's at least a very good start. And we're inclined to agree.
Source : http://www.esquire.com/style/mens-fashion/a41276/juun-j-pitti-uomo/