An exhibition by the photographer Steve McCurry provided a starting point for
Wooyoungmi designers Woo Youngmi and Woo Janghee this SS13 season.
Inspired by ‘Afghan Girl’ – his most famous image – the designers began to think about
McCurry’s curiosity, his desire to know different cultures and how these
different ways of life took him all over the world. While nowadays, through the
help of TV and the internet, we have easy access to the societies McCurry
captured with his lens, when he began his journey they were all but entirely
alien. Compelled by the originality of what he gave us: beautiful and revealing
photos of civilizations and customs many of which we knew little about, the
designers began their own journey. This exploration centered on far-away
cultures and examined the power of their influence, in particular on the
dressing habits of those who had never set foot in their country. The
collection takes inspiration from not one particular culture but is inspired by
crafts, prints and patterns from around the globe. Heavy embroideries, that
reference both Africa and Latin America, are purposely slightly un-refined and
worn boldly on shirts and trousers. A cloud print, scattered across lightweight
coats, has its roots in Asia. The floral print unearthed in a Parisian
flea-market is traced back to African beginnings.
The two sisters wanted to understand how their man would embrace all of these influences and wear them in his modern and elegant way.
The silhouette, hinting at a sixties
spirit, sees trousers cut slim through the leg and jackets worn sometimes
cropped or collarless. Elsewhere silhouettes are longer but remain sharp. The
flower print is updated in a monochrome. Prints, although a jumble of
references, are produced in Italy giving a polished finish to an otherwise
eclectic ensemble. Shoes again nod to the sixties with a creeper style, but
used as a base for embroideries and prints they disregard any feeling of retro.
The bags, also incorporating the prints, range from those large enough for
travelling and throwing a camera inside, to neat enough for an I-pad.
in their 21st season, the elegance of the Wooyoungmi man
is not lost but this season informed by his curiosity and an open mind.
& text Copyright Wooyoungmi.