Originally from Seoul, Ike Seungik Lee, studied MA Fashion at Kingston University, graduating in 2016. Since then, Ike has taken his label Starsica, and the experimental designs to new heights. After being named a One to Watch for SS18, Starsica has shown his innovative collections in London many times.
His SS19 collection will emulate the narrative of a mystery thriller, through investigation that seeks to expose the truth. Taking influence and inspiration from the ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ concept, we caught up with Ike to hear more about his work, and how he has taken his inner most curiosities, and answered those questions through his creative collections.
What has inspired your Spring Summer 2019 collection?
STARSICA SS19 collection is themed “Doctored Evidence: Be True to Yourself”, a story of our current realities dependent on life already stuffed through countless manipulated evidences. I am inspired by the ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ concept which lead to the implementation towards the collection.
How do you stay inspired?
I usually take my inspiration from the philosophical reasoning of phenomenon with an emphasis on a concept of the “everyday wear of luxury with an anxiety of a modern society” and further explore design through various disciplines, from fine art, sculpture and semiotics to fashion. That is how I started developing my own label since presenting my first collection ‘VISITOR’ during the SS17 London Fashion Week, after being selected as one of the Fashion Scout’s One To Watch Awards.
What themes and concepts are you exploring this season?
In the case of this collection, the idea begins with an internal question mark of mine. “What if, the beautiful memories of the past which allowed me to be who I am today are in actual the outcome of manipulated evidences?” As if reinvestigating a statute-barred case, this collection shows a mystery thriller format of searching for the truth going through the conceptual process, digging, recording, categorising and regenerating the hardened and fossilised memory pieces.
The story begins from a girl waking up alone in a tropical rain forest. While finding her way, she is led by a strange masked crowd parade to a cocktail party (glamorisation). Indulging in the party, she witnesses a scene (singularity) a white alligator entering a TV and at this moment lightning (discontinuity) strikes teleporting her to a strange exotic library which is in a litter such as a crime scene (disorganisation). There she discovers the evidences of her fragmented memories and the starting point of the memory distortion. From this point, the stuffed memories are reactivated and her reality is restructured into a new reality where the story comes to an end (initialisation).
As like a single bad dream with mysterious but enchanting jazz music flowing, I hope to deliver the experience of the world I have created.
What shall we look out for at your SS19 show?
In case of the previous collection where emphasis was centered on the stage show elements, this time I put more focus on the wearable look and design. Also, since the venue is the same as the previous season, I tried to maintain the STARSICA brand identity as well as creating a different mood and look than before.
I construct the collection look from the detailed evidence discovered during the implementation process of the story. The details such as the cocktail party parade in a tropical rain forest, an evidence-storage-like space of the mysterious and exotic library, the discovered manipulated evidences and the distorted fragments of the memories will all be expressed in full towards the collection.
The rattan dress and jacket with zigzag details as if cut by scissors with meanings of memory fragments and disconnection, pants and dress details divided by layers as if the earth’s strata showing the flow of time, leopard print like mildew, chiffon print dress like fossilized plants, dresses and coats with simple stripes on laminated fabric representing the replayed reality, stickers pasted on leopard print symbolizing the memory fragments (like stickers on travel trunks), though somewhat of a hot look for the S/S season I mixed the various styles of printed chiffon suits, sleeve pintuck chiffon dress, and rattan textile geometrical shaped dresses and jackets with the previous season details into a luxurious but glamorous and funky S/S look.
Themes of sustainability, diversity and inclusivity are permeating the industry. What changes would you like to make through your work?
The industry worldwide is filled with diverse and unique designers. And I believe these designers are building their own individual territories and developing the fashion industry on a worldwide scale. All the designer including me are existing in a greater diversity of fashion industry which makes my collection much more different with others designer’s one.
The sustainability, diversity and inclusivity in my thoughts are not individually made but to create a personal territory as a single member of a global fashion industry and continuously producing a new perspective as a designer, a creative act itself by showing a new look. And these new looks created by several designers through professionals, press and media are reached to the public where changes and evolutions are made leading to secondary and tertiary creations. The creative act itself does not stop with the creative activities of the designer but evolving into at times a totally new format like a living organism while passing through several hands bringing the inspiration back to the original designer. And the single fashion industry cycle comes to an end with a new cycle starting. This is my idea of sustainability with diversity coming true with the combined efforts of designers and all who are related. And I believe the end result of all of these efforts would be inclusivity.
My thoughts on design is not reached alone but communicated by everyone, every design, and every look. And creativity is like the end result created by this process only after several repetitions. For this, I will continuously participate in the collections establishing the territories uniquely my own. Due to the existence of excellent designers, my work can become unique in the aspect of diversity. And this is the primary reason why I wish to continuously be active in the London Fashion Industry.
Where do you hope to be next season?
As I mentioned before, I always wish to present my show in the London Collection. Participating in the London Fashion Week itself is the competitiveness of my brand and how the different identity of STARSICA, a kind of a creative act itself, can promote diversity in the overall fashion industry,
The London Fashion Week has produced diverse rising designers changing the course of the global market. I wish to put all my efforts in the possibility and creativity the London Fashion Industry with continuous mutual growth.