Since graduating from London’s Royal College of Art in 2006 with a master’s degree in womenswear, Eudon Choi has had his graduate collection picked up by the fanatically worshipped Dover Street Market, been a senior designer for Savannah and Sienna Miller’s label Twenty8Twelve, and been called a “fabulous individual” by our favorite throwback men’s fashion mag Fantastic Man. All of which makes his decision to move to London in 2003 — after having already completed a master’s in menswear at Yonsei University in his hometown of Seoul — seem like a pretty good move. “London, and womenswear in particular, just felt like a place where I could be more experimental,” says Choi.
When he took a job working for Twenty8Twelve, however, that wasn’t exactly the vibe he found. “It was a bit difficult to be at my most creative,” says Choi. “We didn’t have an in-house pattern-cutter, so everything had to be sent off to Hong Kong. It’s hard to create something with that system, it’s like you have to make everything in an Excel spreadsheet.” So in the spring of last year, the self-professed control freak quit to work on his eponymous line. Last fall, he showed a small women’s capsule collection to media and buyers in a friend’s showroom in Paris. The mostly silk dresses, with details like structured shoulders and ladders of knots down their lengths, took inspiration from the photographs of Guy Bourdain and the 1980s fashion touchstone Mommie Dearest.
It was enough to catch the eye of the selection panel at Vauxhall Fashion Scout, a London-based platform that offers emerging designers a chance to show during that city’s fashion week. For his fall/winter runway debut, Choi drew on his tailoring past to create a military-inspired collection with a camouflage palette — “masculine looking, but sexy and feminine,” he says. Here, the designer reveals to us all of the influences that went into it.
Style movement you most identify with: The 1940s. The war imposed so many restrictions on cloth, yet the decade was still very glamorous. People had to be much more imaginative with what was available.
Event that inspired you to be a fashion designer: I have wanted to be a fashion designer for as long as I can remember. My grandmother owned a shop in Seoul before I was born. It happened very naturally.
First thing you ever made: To be honest, I can’t remember. I tend to live with the things I am designing for so long that once the collection is finished I wipe them from my mind.
Favorite material to work with: Traditional suiting materials, like rich wools and cashmeres. On men these fabrics are very formal and restrictive, but when cut for a woman they become feminine and sensual.
At 22, Alexandra Verschueren has interned for Preen, Proenza Schouler, and Derek Lam. She’s been honored by a jury that included former Rochas creative director Olivier Theyskens and the International Herald Tribune’s fashion critic Suzy Menkes. And in the last six months, her graduate collection Medium has been fêted by Wallpaper magazine and the Mode Museum in her hometown of Antwerp. So why, when she applied to that city’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts straight out of high school, did no one expect she’d get in?
As I walked the Tendence gift fair in Frankfurt this summer, Iris Maschek appeared to me like an oasis of glam in a desert of practicality. There she was, surrounded by clocks and soaps and clever ceramic jugs with customizable chalkboard labels, dressed all in black and perched in a cool mid-century rattan chair against this gorgeously baroque Rorschach-like backdrop: A specimen from her very first wallpaper collection.
Lauren Kovin had one of those creatively privileged childhoods we all dream about: Her father was a graphic designer, her mother an interior designer who stocked their New Hope, Pennsylvania, home with Memphis furniture and modern art. Kovin spent more time in galleries than in shopping malls. An Avedon portrait of a nude Nastassja Kinski hung over the family’s dining room table. Heaven, right? Wrong.