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September 1 2014

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Hexa Celebrates The Art Of Ecdysis

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What strange magnetism does Jung Kuho possess to draw such an impressive cross section of New York fashion’s great and good to West 21st Street and the West Side Highway on one of the most godforsaken nights of the year? He’s a cultural figurehead back home in Korea and a big cheese at Samsung, so there are a couple of options to be going on with. Hexa, the collection Kuho showed, was a refresher course in Eastern avant-garderie, from the tip of its deconstructed asymmetry to the toe of its Edwardian-influenced footwear. Somber-toned menswear fabrics were swathed and bunched to create lumpy silhouettes (even the full-length gloves had little water-on-the-elbow bumps). But there was an artful ingenuity to a jacket flipped to form a dress, or a pair of trousers with a triple waistband. These pieces looked like they were slipping off the body, which was, in fact, the concept of the show—ecdysis, defined in the show notes as “shedding our outer skins to re-emerge spiritually as more perfect or purer beings.” Nick Knight created one of his typically mesmerizing films to accompany the collection, the stop-action gyrations of the model adding a little ecstasy to the ecdysis. I was grateful for that, because it reminded me that history’s most famous ecdysiast was the stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, whose skin-shedding inspired perfect impurity. (For those keeping track: Knight’s SHOWstudio is planning to re-create its recent London exhibition in Samsung’s show space in Seoul, so there’s the Kuho Connection.)

Photo: Billy Farrell/Patrick McMullan

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