Blindness Ready-to-wear Spring 2018 Collection
A collection from Seoul fashion week that particularly caught my eye was the Blindness, ready-to-wear, spring 2018 collection. Blindness is a Korean brand founded by KyuYong Shin and JiSun Park in 2013. 'BLINDNESS represents the dynamic combination between contemporary art and youth culture and always explore new mood and concept.' - an exert taken from the information page on their website that sums up the brands ethos.
The collection is unisex but with an emphasis on making mens clothing that pushes the boundaries from what's expected, merging the lines between male and female clothing. The reason I like this collection so much is because it's not a case of just making a pretty dress and putting it on a man, the silhouettes and lines within the clothing are tailored perfectly and each garment looks like it was made specifically for that person; you don't find yourself asking "why's he wearing that?" because it simply looks right. Their amalgamation of clunky leathers and surgical masks with unexpected ruffles and embroidery, make for a collection that doesn't fail to excite but remains current and on trend. There's an obvious homage being made to street wear through their designs, for instance the sheer green bomber in the second image is their own twist on a modern classic.
The use of masks can be considered cliche and overdone however I feel that it works for this collection as it allows the focus to be on the garment so that you form your opinion on it before making any assumptions on gender. In some cases such as the first image it's very difficult to tell whether it's a man or woman however this is simply irrelevant as all that's on the forefront of your mind is that it looks good and I think that's what makes this collection so important.
There's very few elements about the collection that would be considered remotely understated, but somehow despite the floor length wedding style gowns and the lipstick-red ruffles, the pieces manage to avoid being too ostentatious or at all tacky. One of the ways this has been achieved is through the colour palette, I noticed that with the designs that are significantly more flamboyant and out-there, there's always an element of a neutral colour to tone it down. For instance the bright red, sheer, floor length gown, is paired with a khaki, military style jacket in order to reign the piece in.
On reading into the designer duo in various articles (i-D and Vogue) Kyu talks about how he, like many men in Korea, used to be in the army. What I found interesting about this is that he states this is what pushed him to break out of being the stereotypical, Korean man, and actually experiment and express himself creatively.
I think many brands/designers have tried and are trying to tap into the market for non-gendered clothing, however this can flounder when it appears that they're using it as a marketing tool as opposed to a means of really pushing their creativity. This is why I think Blindness are really going to thrive and are ones to watch out for in the future because they're blurring the lines between gender in fashion but in a way that's truly reflective of the designers passion and freedom to express.
All images in this post were from - https://www.businessoffashion.com/fashion-week/ready-to-wear-spring-2018/blindness/collection/look/11