If Woo Young Mi looks looser, there's a good reason for it. The Korean designer has recently named her 28-year-old daughter, Katie Chung, joint creative director. Although Chung, a graduate of Central Saint Martins, has been involved with Wooyoungmi since she was a teenager, Spring marks the first official collection of the mother-daughter creative partnership. "The biggest difference between us is that she likes hard [lines] and I like soft," said Chung. "She's a great technician, a great artist. But I wanted to loosen this guy up." Through her translator, her mother added, "We're different, but we have the same DNA, so there's synergy. She's so creative, she brings new energy [to the brand]."
More than a specific theme, this season was about an attitude. Chung described it as "chillax." "He might be a curator or a working artist," she explained. "His lifestyle is his art." That mind-set came through in relaxed tailoring and sportswear with bonded fabrics and collaged textures as well as in silhouettes like loose drawstring chinos paired with deconstructed jackets or a crumpled parka. Op and Pop Art inspirations lifted from the works of kinetic artist Carlos Cruz-Diez and Roy Lichtenstein cropped up on mesh-veiled prints and dotted motifs. A subdued palette of white, black, gray, and blue got jazzed up with the occasional shot of yellow. In a fortuitous piece of symmetry, the models were styled to look as if they had just been caught in the downpour outside—in that context the rumpled windbreakers and roomy trench looked all the more compelling, but only the truly intrepid will go ahead and pair those with the haute riff on white Crocs. Speaking of accessories, Wooyoungmi's new black bucket bag has plenty of crossover appeal, as well as a sleek new space to call home, on the Rue Saint-Claude in the Marais.