Menswear that successfully combines classic techniques and modern inspirations are as rare as a white fly. While the traditional fails to impress the most demanding, the contemporary often disappoints in the tailoring department.
Newly launched brand A.Hallucination—first presented at London Fashion Week this past February—offers a timeless aesthetic achieved through simple cuts, unexpected details and English bespoke tradition. A study of shapes and proportions, the newborn label adds contemporary elements to classic garments and the result is an extremely desirable collection of new classics.
Hailing from South Korea, and both Menswear Design graduates from Central Saint Martin School of Art and Design, Hwan Sung Park and Chung Chung Lee cut their teeth through stints at Tom Ford, Burberry and Ozwald Boateng on Saville Row, learning from the masters to gain a 360°-view of menswear and learn firsthand the English tailoring techniques.
Their debut collection, for Fall/Winter 2010, covers all the basics, with clean cuts and slim lines in black, camel and grey. “The First Peal” (such the name of the collection) is a set of new classics to include quilted bowties, two-tone shirts with minimal collars, and exquisite outerwear. The quilted detail is a favorite of the pair, and it doesn’t only grace jackets with a padded effect, but also shirt-fronts and bowties, the vest of a three-piece suit and the slim trousers. Shirts are delicate: graphic two-tone, folded collars and ruffles, in white, beige, heather grey and light blue. A camel cape with shrunken proportions is the most interesting piece of the line-up, and it’s in the jackets that the duo show their amazing talent: from classic suits to double-breasted, quilted or shrunken, the fit is excellent and the range covers all bases of urban wear, from the most casual to the quintessentially elegant.
“We always look for the English heritage and vintage stuff to get inspiration,” they say, explaining that The Dandy is the main focus of their style. Looking for beauty and unexpected details, the A.Hallucination wearer is “a proper English gentleman augmented with contemporary detailing.”
Inspiration for the designers comes mainly from the landscape of their adoptive city, with the ancient buildings and modern architecture of London influencing their creations. “It’s like how the Saint Paul Cathedral and Millennium Bridge go very well together,” they point out, a perfect summary of their brand’s sophisticated contrasts. Combination of modern and classic is the main theme, inspired by the scenery of the city and buildings such as the Gherkin or the London Eye, iconic and at the same time contrasting with the austere old buildings.
The inspiration for the coming collection is the lightness of paper planes, which is bound to translate gracefully into intricately detailed menswear: the perfect answer for the summer of an English dandy. An exquisite hallucination.
-Rosa Maria Bertoli
photography Jun-Ho Lee