A classic white catwalk provided a blank canvas for Gyo Yuni KimChoe’s SS15 show - a tough utilitarian collection with blooms of khaki and iris-indigo florals. With a front row of press and buyers, not to mention bespoke Colin Leslie sunglasses in the goodie bags, this season’s Merit Award winner, Gyo Yuni KimChoe, opted for a gardening-inspired urban uniform, including epaulette, button and fabric strip detailing.

Born in Korea, meeting in New York and eventually moving to London, the design duo, who are also in a relationship, showed a series of terracotta, khaki, coal and sky blue military inspired culottes, wide leg trousers and hooded parkas, complete with multiple pockets, cross-over back straps and apron ties. Buttoned neck collars were paired with simple white shirts, re-imagined macs and shirt dresses. Ruffled sprigs of khaki material, when seen a little closer, are actually floral, and add shape to shoulders and hips. These puckered floral strips provide an explosion of delicacy to an otherwise sturdy collection.

Towards the end of the show, models emerged enveloped in hooded parka-esque cocoon coats, loaded with drawstring toggles and trailing floral fabric strips. A touch of army camouflage, Gyo Yuni KimChoe built on their philosophy of ‘respect life and nature’, drawing inspiration from both military armies and the metaphorical war a gardener wages on backyard weeds. Models carried guns entwined with greenery, while foliage sprung from practical wellington boots and Crocs. The KimChoe woman is clearly strong, and doesn’t stop her ethical conscience shining through the functional, fashion forward pieces.

The Merit Award, judged by the prestigious panel of Hilary Alexander, Rebekah Roy and Phoebe English, a previous Merit Award winner herself, attracts scores of fashion buyers and press. With this collection, Gyo Yuni KimChoe have more than proved themselves deserving of this influential title.

By Isabella Silvers, Contributor, (@izzymks).
Photos by Florian Schadauer.

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