Interview with Ones To Watch Winner - A.Hallucination

Vauxhall Fashion Scout's Kenny Wang catches up with our Ones To Watch designers for this season in four exclusive interviews all this week. Here is Kenny's interview with Menswear designers, Hwan Sung Park and Chung Chung Lee from A.Hallucination...

How do you feel about winning a place in the Ones to Watch showcase at Vauxhall Fashion Scout?

Hwan: Very honoured and so proud of ourselves. Winning 'Ones to watch’ does mean a lot, because it was one of our major goals for this season. It was almost beyond description how excited I was when I heard the news.

Chung: It is fabulous! Actually, winning ‘Ones to watch’ was one of our main goals that we planed from the very beginning of our venture. I feel so honored that we’ve been selected.

What did you do to celebrate?

Hwan: After hearing the news, I jumped to Shoreditch (very close to our studio) for a couple of drinks with my girlfriend and buddies to celebrate the win!

Chung: When I heard the news, I couldn’t speak for little while. I was so happy that my partner, Hwan and I, kept shaking our hands for like five minutes! And then I called my family and had a celebratory dinner, which I haven’t done for a long time due to preparing our next collection.

Were you interested in fashion when you were growing up?

Hwan: I would say.. “Born to be a fashion designer” (sorry, just kidding!). I have been always very interested in fashion, clothing and drawing from my youth, so it drove me into the fashion world so naturally.

Chung: Yes always. I was born into a fashion family. My parents are both fashion designers, and my younger sister majored in fashion design where she now works in fashion PR in the US. The first fashion show I went to see was when I was only 8 years old. Fashion has naturally been a living experience for me growing up, playing with fabrics and the dummy. Also, I was always fascinated by the creativeness and energy of the catwalk by being able to look at it and watch it so closely.

What was your experience in the fashion industry before forming your own label? 

Hwan: I graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2008, majoring in menswear. Before CSM, I had majored in fashion design at the SEJONG University in Korea.
Professionally, I’ve worked for Burberry, Tom Ford and Alexander Mcqueen as a menswear design assistant. I have also worked for a design-consulting agency based in London as a menswear assistant designer for a short time.

Chung: I have had a variety of working experiences and positions including working for Lie Sang Bong Paris from 2002 - 2010. I started as an intern before becoming assistant designer for womenswear and finally menswear designer for their main collection line. After I graduated from a BA in Art & Design at Central Saint Martins in 2002, I worked there as an Art & Graphic designer before completing menswear design at CSM. Also, aside from working on collection and ready to wear line at Lie Sang Bong, I was involved in special projects such as fashion exhibitions and musical costume design.
In London, I worked for Ozwald Boateng and Savile Row. It was such a great experience learning how to create the infamous savile row suits.

Who is your favorite designer and why?

Hwan: I would love to say that I like all the great fashion masters like Alexander Mcqueen, Tom Ford, and Christopher Bailey, who I worked for.
Especially, I do admire the breakthrough creativity of Mcqueen, the strong identity of Tom ford, and the delicate emotion of Chirstopher bailey. Those are values I wanted to learn and am still trying to absorb from my work experiences with them. 

Chung: My favorite designer is Lie Sang Bong. Not only because I have worked for him for a long time but also for his continuous passion and creativeness towards fashion. I think what he does, his process of making each collection, inspires me to be the kind of designer I want to be. Lie Sang Bong thinks of fashion as an art form and I can’t agree more. 

If you were not a fashion designer, what would you do?

HwanI may have pursued a career as a doctor like my father if I were not a fashion designer.
My father is a doctor in Korea, and it runs in the family. My father wanted me to be a doctor after him, and I once wanted to be when I was a young boy.

Chung: To be honest, I always thought about being a fashion designer since I entered college. However, if I didn’t become a designer, I might have taken to traveling and working with animals.

What music do you listen to when you are designing?

Hwan: Usually, remakes of old classics! They sometimes inspire me to go forward with my designs and add interesting twists. But when I get stressed, I enjoy listening the old 80’s K-pop from you tube!

Chung: All kinds of music, because whenever I am designing I don’t hear anything, so it doesn’t really matter what I am listening to!

Where would you like to see your brand in a few years?

Hwan: I do hope to see our collection displayed on the menswear floor in Liberty, Browns, and Harvey Nichols in London.

Chung: I would like to see our brand at the well known shops in London, Paris, New York and Seoul. 

Have you been to any of our Mentoring Events? What are your thoughts of the sessions? Has it helped?

Hwan: I’ve been to the Mentoring Events organised by Vauxhall fashion scout and attended with Eudon Choi last March.
It was about production and how to find, run and fund production for a small label. I thought it was so helpful! And it put us in contact with production houses and gave advise on how to communicate with them and your buyers. I would love to attend that kind of Mentoring Event again.

Chung: Not yet but I am very excited for the new programme and to meet the guest speakers you have.

Are you looking forward to your show in London Fashion Week?

Hwan: Of course!! Very excited and somewhat nervous!
As you know, we are just starting up something from last fall-winter season. We studied menswear and completed work experiences for many years in London. So it really means something special for us to do our first catwalk show as a menswear label based in London during London Fashion Week. Furthermore, I strongly believe this opportunity should be a great boost to expose our label this season.

Chung: Yes, yes and yes! I’ve always dreamed of participating at London Fashion Week even before I decided to come to London to study. This is a great opportunity and I will try my best to present who we are as designers and the brand.

Vauxhall Fashion Scout's Ones To Watch designers will make their London Fashion Week Catwalk debut during London Fashion Week this September.

Kenny Wang