South Korean designer Woo Young Mi presented her WOOYOUNGMI Spring Summer 2023 Menswear Collection, with a show held on the last day of recently finished Paris Fashion Week. The brand celebrated two decades this season, and introduced a collection which took inspiration from their 2000s archival pieces. The collection is a re-evaluation and revaluation of the past through the eyes of the present. The silhouettes express brand’s early works, a boyish contrast between volumes, which inevitably evokes the dress codes of the late-1990s skateboarding community interpreted in workwear as well as tailoring.
Tailored suits and outerwear created in cotton-mixed hemp and cotton-poly blends appear in the authentic colours of the heritage men’s wardrobe: black, navy, brown and beige. It is contrasted by sheer underpinnings in artificial pastels also echoed in knitwear: royal blue, frog green, chocolate brown, shocking pink and digital lavender. Workwear is crafted in cotton-poly blends and denim, while leather features throughout the wardrobe. Sportswear is treated as tailoring – and vice versa – in a dialogue that mimics the timeless language of a teenage approach to dressing: a wardrobe collaged from parental pass-me-downs, vintage store finds, and piggy bank blowouts. Jewellery invokes the styling of the music video’s millennial heyday: crystal necklaces, bracelets and belly chains, chunky rings and ear cuffs, and rigid metal neck rings which nod at the idea of chokers. Hammer pendants appear as a symbol of the collection’s poetic auction motifs. Belts are crafted in leather or crystal. Shoes draw on the grammar of teenage activities and skatepark culture: platform loafers and stompy boots, formal platform slides, and sneakers hybridised with the properties of bowling shoes. Shoppers, briefcases, handbags, mini handbags and clutches evoke an adolescent approach to repurposing the bags of our grandparents. – from Wooyoungmi