Photography by Lucas Seidenfaden 
Korean designer, Kathleen Kye, drew VFS’s ‘Ones to Watch’ menswear, to a close. The Central Saint Martins graduate showed an elaborate and bold collection, which demonstrated her ability to merge a fun loving appreciation for menswear with substance and quality.

Speaking to the designer backstage after the show, she explained that in creating this SS12 collection she drew from her experiences of living in a separated country and that she wanted to reflect these serious politically issues through her fun and youthful interpretation. She wanted to produce her version while still drawing from the deep meaning of the situation.

As the show got underway the war torn references became apparent with gun motifs embellishing tunics, t-shirt pockets, tank tops, and trousers. One particular model emerged shirtless with a velvet gun shaped bag across his torso and the bag like many other elements in the collection was encrusted with hundreds of gold crystals. The masculinity of war was in this case literally glamourised. The look was very ‘pop’ and military shapes such as cargo pants and combat utility vests were updated by the strong color palette of black, white and gold. “I didn’t want to use traditional military colours like khaki and green. I wanted that pop look.” Kye later explained.

Gold, glitter and sparkle could not be missed from start to finish as alongside its use on clothes, all models stepped out in either gold army boots or Jesus creepers. Accessories were a big feature in this show from bandanas to asymmetrically tied scarves and baseball caps. There was nothing simple or minimal here, instead everything was exaggerated and on display. Zippers were exposed, pockets were everywhere and clasps littered jackets and tops. 

After showing us how it’s done in menswear, Kye is now hoping to also branch into womenswear next season. For the time being she is focusing on her t-shirt line that she has in Korea.




Text: Samantha Farr 

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