September 14, 2012 London
There were a lot of pieces in this collection that showed him doing just that. The themes here were Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey and futuristic sixties mod. Choi did well when he tethered those references to easy, modern shapes, like a linear jumpsuit in lunar silver or white. He turned out several clever Balenciaga diffusions, such as structured T-shirts with oversize sleeves or all-white looks made from a superb, three-dimensional mesh fabric. A lab coat in the squishy mesh was strong. But the collection lost focus whenever Choi reintroduced his super-reflective, super-stiff patent leathers. As an element, the material worked fine, as when he inserted bands of patent leather into his patchwork minidresses. However, an all-patent black suit just didn't look fresh, and overall there was simply too much shine. You got the sense that Choi felt obliged to attempt an editorial statement, when in fact his heart was in the small innovations, like the Escher-esque sequin embroidery on a slouchy black silk tee. That might not be the kind of piece that editors gawp over, but it is the kind they wear.