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July 24 2014

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4 posts tagged "Lie Sang Bong"

Lie Sang Bong Rises to the New York Challenge

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Lie Sang Bond

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.”

Photo: Courtesy Photo 

In Singapore, Asia’s Couturiers Get A Boost

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Lie Sang Bong

There’s no questioning Asia’s importance in the fashion market, and Western brands have more than taken note. This month in Hong Kong alone, Tory Burch, Kenzo, Moncler, and Calvin Klein all hosted events within days of each other. And at Singapore’s FIDé fashion week (FIDé is an organization that aims to promote regional and international designers in Singapore), European brands like Pierre Balmain and American ones like Burkman Bros and Ari Dein similarly made the trek eastward to show their collections. “It was the first time both brands participated in a full-length fashion show,” Steven Kolb, the CEO of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, said of the latter two. “Fashion is no longer defined by borders, and the more we can nurture global relations, the greater the success for our designers.”

But the region is also increasingly interested in holding its own in global fashion, and the eleven-day event in Singapore, which typically features several days of presentations by French haute couturiers and Asian couturiers, included the latest step in that direction: the founding of the Asian Couture Federation (ACF). Now, the Asian couturiers (dubbed by the ACF as “Asian Couturier Extraordinaires”) will have a support system of their own. Its inception was an act that won FIDé executive chairman and ACF founder Frank Cintamani (below, left) France’s esteemed Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres honor. Even Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of Japan, offered Cintamani a pat on the back, calling the Federation’s establishment “a significant event for all of Asia,” at a time “when we consider that fashion until recently was generally seen as the domain of Europe and the United States.” Continue Reading “In Singapore, Asia’s Couturiers Get A Boost” »

At Seoul Fashion Week, Proposing A Protection Racket

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Staged on the site of the 1988 Olympic Games, Seoul fashion week wrapped Saturday after blazing through over 30 runway shows in four days, a schedule executed as precisely as the city’s modern infrastructure. Building upon increased interest following the Concept Korea presentation during New York fashion week, local designers proved they deserve special attention for Fall with an impressively broad sampling of themes—a range expected in Paris or Milan but sometimes lacking further afield.

Lie Sang Bong, South Korea’s most venerable talent, encapsulated this by combining Seoul’s dual love of dark futurism and exuberant humor with a pebbled stone motif embroidered upon sheer dresses and wildly shaggy tie-dyed fur. Padded protection proved essential—nearly every show featured a spin on the puffer jacket. The duo behind J Koo, Jinwoo Choi and Yeonjoo Koo (both graduates of Central Saint Martins), offered their take on the trend with a quilted skirtsuit befitting their standout debut of tailored streetwear (pictured). And beloved design partners Steve J and Yoni P also went edgy with cushioned patent leather sweatshirts in homage to the spacesuits that inspired their collection.

But it wasn’t all padded parkas. The week concluded with several lines poised for wider recognition. Husband-and-wife team Andy & Debb made the leap via hourglass wool dresses and beautifully distressed brocade pantsuits, while Kaal E. Suktae, already stocked by New York’s Seven boutique, pushed into the future with slick holographic color blocking. Currently based in Paris, Vassilly designer Jaehwan Lee brought a dash of European classicism back home, interpreting Rococo art as appliqué crests and exploded scarf prints. Even Seoul’s typically gothic designers like Park Choon Moo embraced a softer silhouette, choosing languid pajamas instead of last season’s aggressive noir fetishism.

Photo: Courtesy of J Koo

Concept Eclectic

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By now, the scene outside any fashion show is familiar—an army of street-style photographers stacked on top of one another, grappling for the best shot of arriving editors and celebrities. The Concept Korea event brought that scene indoors this weekend at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall, hosting editors and bloggers curious about new talent. Spearheaded by the South Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism, the showcase introduced five brands well-known in their homeland but seeking a wider audience in America. As professional and amateur paparazzi pressed in for photos, designers from DOHO, Son Jung Wan, Steve J & Yoni P, Lie Sang Bong, and Resurrection presented looks for inspection, posing proudly in front of their work.

Most established of the bunch and often dubbed the “Korean McQueen,” Lie Sang Bong explained techniques he uses to earn that moniker. “Inspired by a traditional Korean architecture technique, I wanted to incorporate past, present, and future by mixing materials like silk with very high-tech leathers and hologram trim.” The resulting feminine, futuristic pieces included one of the most-admired items of the night—a leather vest treated to shimmer like a beetle wing.

Photo: Mike Coppola / Getty Images