They say space is the final frontier, but for Gyo Kim and Yuni Choe, it’s more of a springboard into the spirit world. After winning Fashion Scout’s Merit Award last season and securing Opening Ceremony LA and New York as stockists, the Korean duo’s stratospheric rise is proof that operating on a higher plane offers more than merely spiritual dividends.
Their AW15 collection, ‘The Thanatos Expedition’, drew parallels between science and shamanism, united by the concept of travel in its various forms: intergalactic, virtual and spiritual. Models took the form of astronauts or spirit guides, sometimes a bizarre amalgamation of both, as seen in the final look which brought to mind ‘90s funk act Jamiroquai.
Fabric, silhouette and detail were all deftly harnessed to showcase the contrasting themes. High-tech materials such as air-mesh, neoprene and high-tensile ropes in futuristic shades were spliced with ‘natural’ textiles including tweed, faux fur and wool, juxtaposing futuristic shades with a soft, organic palette of cream, heather and grey. Heavy-duty zips, oversized pockets and hoods lent a utilitarian feel, while bead-tipped braids and colourful fringing – appearing on sleeves, hemlines and rather less conventionally as an elaborate garter – recalled Mongolian tribal dress.
As the show notes put it: “Neither [science nor spirituality] can be deemed good or bad. Instead it is the way in which we use them that is important.” With this intriguing, assured collection, Gyo Yuni Kimchoe have shown fellow emerging designers that it’s not just about a creative concept; ultimately, it’s knowing how best to realise it.
Written by and images © Selena Schleh. Video source Fashion Scout Vimeo.