With the runway show for his Heohwan Simulation line, the designer Hwan He officially concluded Milan Women’s Fashion week. Korean, but a Londoner by adoption, the designer graduated from the Royal College of Arts and founded the brand in 2010. The brand has an creative approach that begins with the reinterpretation of volumes and silhouettes. Yet behind the evident study of forms, combined with the sophisticated patterns and graphics used in the collection, there is always a deeper starting point, belonging to cultural worlds that can even be far removed from fashion, like in the case of the collection presented in Milan, inspired by Kant and his "Observations on the feeling of the beautiful and the sublime". Hwan Heo tells us a bit more about his work and the creations for the coming season in this interview.
Can you tell us something about the s/s 2014 collection?
Our fifth collection, "Hyper Hyper", is a fusion between formal 1950s clothing and Eighties sportswear. So, with the cuts, volumes and silhouette of the Fifties on the one hand, and the graphic elements and functionality of the casual ‘80s wardrobe on the other. The collection sets out to examine that generation gap between mainstream fashion and streetwear, and to mix and match elegant floral patterns with graphic motifs. The idea comes from the photography of Thomas Ruff, in which two portraits of the same person are merged, but in different stages of their life.
What is the collection’s must-have?
The garment that brings together all of the typical features of the line is the leather jacket with chiffon sleeves.
What creative and inspirational input led to the collection for f/w 2014-15? Can you tell something about the collection?
The collection, inspired by " Observations on the feeling of the beautiful and the sublime " by Immanuel Kant, combines the oversize silhouettes of the early 1980s with the more skinny looks from rock band wardrobes in the Los Angeles music scene of the same time, which is how the garments explore the concept of the sublime. It is experimentation with new forms through volume and fastening details, combined with ideas for prints that come from album covers by Eighties rock bands. The use of lightening bolt imagery and other references associated with the rock look and the rock world were borrowed from famous heavy metal bands of that time, particularly Metallica’s second album "Ride the Lightning".
How important and thrilling was it to show in Milan?
I am grateful to my family, which has always supported me, and to my team, as well as to the many people I met when I launched the brand and who have worked with me or helped me over the years. I would particularly like to thank Carla Sozzani and Giulia Pirovano from the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana (National Chamber for Italian Fashion) for the great support they showed Heohwan Simulation, and I appreciate the ongoing interest and support from members of the 10 Soul committee in Seoul. The Milan Fashion Week staff were always kind and helpful throughout my stay in Italy and I really felt welcome.
Plans for the future?
I hope to be able to present a fine collection for s/s 2015 during Milan Fashion Week and make progress in sales in Europe and Asia. Not to mention ongoing promotion and optimum visibility for my brand in Europe.