The Next Big Thing: Koonhor, Spring ’14-------
Everyone knows their Marcs from their Calvins. But as fashion month kicks into gear, we’ll be spotlighting the up-and-coming designers and indie brands whose names you’ll want to remember.
Label: Koonhor, by Koon Lim and Catrine Thé
Need to Know: Designers Koon Lim and Catrine Thé (from Singapore and Indonesia, respectively) first met as students at the Fashion Institute of Technology in 2003. In the intervening years, they’ve forged the identity of Koonhor, a line that puts forth a polished and very contemporary approach to femininity.
For their debut New York presentation, the duo found inspiration in Park Chan-Wook’s dark coming-of-age film Stoker. Building on the journey from adolescence to womanhood, the collection was equal parts innocence, lust, and androgyny. For instance, an otherwise prim emerald pencil skirt was punctuated by two tiers of black leather piping. Elsewhere, youthfully boxy tees in sculpted foam offered a sharp contrast to sheer button-downs, and a structured black A-line dress boasted transparent accents. An abundance of zippers, seemingly begging to be pulled, hinted at sexuality and breaking free—though perhaps not as directly as a complex print inspired by the film’s infamous shower scene. “I had to create something that evoked that erotic feeling, because it’s all about the hair—swirling around, wrapping around her naked body. It’s erotic, but not vulgar,” Lim told us post-show.
They Say: “It’s a journey to find her own identity,” said Lim, referring to both Stoker‘s protagonist and Koonhor’s Spring woman. ‘She’s a very innocent girl, but she’s also dark inside.”
Where to Find It: Koonhor.com, Luisaviaroma, and Off the Wall in Hong Kong, among other international retailers.