It’s not the easiest thing to be a young couture brand and try entering the Parisian haute couture schedule. South Korean newcomer Sohee Park is the most exciting emerging talent, who with confidence introduced herself to this quite intimidating scene. Last season Sohee caused quite a sensation in Milan, where she presented a fabulously theatrical collection supported by Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce. Despite being freshly graduated from London’s Central Saint Martins, showmanship was demonstrable, as was her crystal clear vision and savoir faire. Miss Sohee’s solo debut was staged in the gilded salons of the Westin Paris-Vendôme, formerly known as The Intercontinental Hotel, where the crème de la crème of French couturiers past put on memorable shows; actually it was where Yves Saint Laurent used to present his unforgettable collections. The salon was bathed in a dark, nocturnal light, setting the tone for the mood Sohee wanted to convey. She didn’t go for predictability, but took a different route from Milanese outing. “It’s always about drama and fantasy,” she explained. “But this time it’s darker, sexier. There’s lots of black, it’s such a seductive color that gives depth and mystery. I wanted to play with the idea of shadows, so I added veils and transparencies.” In contrast to last season’s voluminous concoctions, the silhouette was kept fitted to the body with corsetry to help achieve the hourglass shapes the designer was after. Intricate embroideries of flowers, birds, and insects were inspired by the paintings of a 19th century Korean artist. They graced the chiffon-and-tulle layered trails on sinuous mermaid numbers, or the heart-shaped, sequined fringed bustiers of tight-fitted satin dresses. A cascade of black crystals dropped from the neckline of a billowy, liquid cape in absinthe green satin, which looked quite sensational. There were many attractive pieces in the show; while tightly-edited, it emphasized Sohee’s range, as well as her seductive eye for embellishments and her penchant for graceful flamboyance.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
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