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Seoul Fashion Week opens up to the public : Biannual event looks to expand across the city

Oct 17,2017
Hera Seoul Fashion Week 2018 Spring/Summer takes place from Tuesday through Saturday at the Dongdaemun Design Plaza in central Seoul. Above is a show by designer brand Jinteok from March. [SEOUL DESIGN FOUNDATION]
Mini fashion shows allow visitors to enjoy presentations from new designers, funded through a program called “Generation Next Seoul.” Left: A mini fashion show from Dew E Dew E at Seoul Fashion Week 2017 F/W. Right: A model from the D-Antidote show during the same season. [SEOUL DESIGN FOUNDATION]
The weather is just starting to get cool, but the fashion industry is heating up and getting ready for next spring and summer seasons. With the hopes of giving people outside of the fashion industry a chance to get closer to the local fashion market, the Seoul Design Foundation (SDF) opened the Hera Seoul Fashion Week 2018 S/S on Tuesday, to run through Saturday, Oct. 21, at Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) in central Seoul.

This autumn’s Fashion Week seeks to turn the whole city of Seoul into a massive, seven-day fashion party for people inside and outside the fashion industry. While designers will be focused on fashion shows and trade events to meet with some of the biggest buyers in the world, a variety of events will be held for the public to join including fashion movie nights, fashion mentor seminars, designer exhibitions, networking events, outdoor parties and an open casting call for amateur models.

The festivities kicked off with an opening ceremony on Monday evening. From Tuesday through Saturday, 35 designer brands and six corporate brands will put their collections on the runway including designers such as Han Hyun-min of MUNN, Kye Han-hee of KYE, Park Youn-soo of Big Park, Kim Hee-jin of Kimmy J, Go Tae-yong of Beyond Closet and Park Hwan-sung of D-Antidote.

In addition to the fashion shows that will take place at the DDP, 18 fashion shows will take place in various parts of Seoul. Designers have altered space throughout the city to create the ultimate ambiance to present their collections. On Monday night, the Donghoon building in Jung District, central Seoul, played host to Park Byung-kyu’s Haus of PBK show, and the unique location gave fashion insiders an opportunity to see the collection in an unexpected environment.

To give young designers the chance to get their name out in the market, the Seoul Design Foundation is hosting “Generation Next Seoul.” Held in the DDP from Tuesday to Friday, over 100 young brands will present their items for public and market buyers to go and see. The rookie brands will also hold their very own mini fashion shows at Gallery Mun within the DDP. This year, SDF is allowing designers with more than one year of experience to apply for the program.

For those looking for something that they can take part in, DDP will be the home for a variety of experiences for all visitors to enjoy.

On Friday at 2:30 p.m., there will be a seminar featuring five renowned experts from overseas, including Laurance Sudre-Monnier, Mario Dell’Oglio, Anders Madsen, Simon Collins and Jeannie Lee, on the subject of “Fashion in the Age of Genderless.” A panel discussion of Jung Kuho, the director of Hera Seoul Fashion Week, Ben Cobb and a mystery celebrity will follow at 5:30 p.m.

On the grassy hill outside of the building, visitors can watch high-fashion films for free from Wednesday to Friday at 7 p.m., as a part of the “Esquire Movie Night.” Each day, one movie will be screened, followed by a panel discussion afterwards. The films will be “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Saint Laurent” and “A Single Man.”

The “Hera Lip Talk Show” is a chance for people to meet with some of fashion’s most popular models, hear them talk about fashion and have the opportunity to ask questions. The event will be held everyday from Tuesday to Saturday.

At the “Ceci Model Casting Call,” those who one day aspire to walk the runways can get a chance to get in front of some of fashion’s most powerful agents. Anyone brave enough can come and participate in an open audition. The final winner will have a chance to participate in a photo shoot with Ceci, the oldest fashion and beauty magazine in Korea.

Other attractions include a sample market which will take place on Saturday, where the designers from the “Generation Next Seoul” program will sell their clothes to the public; the DDP Food Library, where delicious food stands will be open for people to savor; and DJ parties from 6 to 10 p.m. on Tuesday to Saturday, for people who want to enjoy the festival late into the night.

“Unlike Fashion Weeks in other countries, a different street culture has settled in the Seoul Fashion Week - it’s where fashion people come and enjoy the time to get together and party,” said Kim Yun-hee, director of the fashion and creative team at SDF. “We hope to create that party vibe across Seoul, so that this event becomes a fashion event for everyone to enjoy. We’ll keep working on bringing a wide range of programs across Seoul that encompass all areas of fashion, culture, art and shopping.”

Clothes by the some of the designer brands will be available at 11st, an online shopping mall. All fashion shows will be broadcast live on an LED screen outside the exhibition hall, as well as streamed live on the event’s website.

BY YOON SO-YEON [yoon.soyeon@joongang.co.kr]

Dongdaemun Design Plaza is outside Dongdaemun History and Culture Park, lines No. 2, 4 and 5. For more information, visit www.seoulfashionweek.org.