I went to a women’s wear trade show this Tuesday. What a soulless, miserable place. Even thoughtful brands like Baldwin get reduced to inane sales chatter here (I tried to engage the sales rep in a conversation about selvedge seams; she looked taken aback: “That’s like a denimhead thing”). Half the booths had free candy but everyone went for the $6.50 Pinkberry instead. I felt hated and unwanted. If you’re ever contemplating suicide but don’t feel quite bad enough about yourself to go through with it, swing by a trade show.
Avoid the South Korea section, though, because the booths there might offer you a ray of hope. Pretty much everything I liked at Coterie came out of the Korean Design area. Language was a bit of a barrier and I mumble too much for anyone who isn’t a native English speaker to understand anything I say, but I got the impression from my brief conversation with Seoul-based designer Kaylee Cho that she’s the kind of person who would be into sitting down and having an hour-long conversation about seam stitching. If I was a girl I’d buy all of this stuff. Seoul fashion week is in October. Expect a lot of black and white.
Kaylee Cho – The black kimono-style coat was probably her most instantly wearable piece, but this white lambskin thing (Cho calls it a “sleeveless jacket”) defies so many categories of utility that I think it’s almost essential.
Coinonia – Kiho Kim and Momoko Hashigami aren’t doing anything Alexander Wang hasn’t done (going-out sweats, mesh pockets), but they’re doing it without the reliance on culty star power and status flashing. The mesh armpits are weird and interesting but also just sort of a good idea.