Lie Sang Bong Rises to the New York Challenge
Lie Sang Bong, often referred to as “the Korean McQueen,” is one of Korea’s most revered designers. He was even bestowed the title of Asian Couturier Extraordinaire by the Asian Couture Federation last fall. But while Seoul is home (he launched his namesake line there in 1993) and Paris fashion week his usual stage, the designer took to the pavilion at Lincoln Center this season to take on a new challenge: courting the American market.
Instead of his fanciful gowns and demi-couture designs, Lie sent out a coterie of sensibly dressed girls for Fall ’14. Textured overcoats in techno fabrics and woolen cashmeres, leather paneled sheaths, silk-satin dresses, tailored crepe blouses, and trousers came in a color palette of cobalt blue, molten red, black, and white. Seemingly disparate details like Bauhaus swirls, flesh-colored lace, and graphic printed houndstooth were inspired by natural landscapes, be it an active volcano or Yellowstone National Park’s Grand Prismatic Spring.
“I’ve added more practicality,” Lie told Style.com. “It’s also another luxury to wear things in different ways, so a lot of things are reversible and more wearable.… I think that fits New York.” The designer was also happy to wander the city and meet fashionable New Yorkers, later commenting on the dynamic energy, youth, and artiness of the city. He even revealed top-secret plans for a future stateside home. “I’ve shown in Paris for twelve years, so I felt like we could expand to the U.S. market, and one of the most important reasons is that we’re opening up our flagship store here this fall,” Lie said. “We’re working on it now and I’m very excited.”