Eden Choi

Korea seems to be a goldmine of fashion talents these days. While last month menswear brand A.Hallucination caught our eyes for their revolutionary take on the sartorial classics (see SOMA Vol. 24.5), this time we fell in love with yet another Korean designer, whose work features a similar mix of extraordinary craftsmanship and innovative cuts. Born and raised in Korea, Eudon Choi initially trained as a menswear designer, developing an uncanny eye for detail and knowledge of sartorial techniques. After four years on the job, he moved to London to attend the Royal College of Art’s MA course in womenswear.

“I wanted to try something I had never explored before,” he explains. “I realized that with women’s clothing I could be more experimental.”

It was a success. His graduate collection was bought by London emporium Dover Street Market, and soon after completing the course, he was hired as a designer for Twenty8Twelve, the brand launched by Sienna and Savannah Miller. Three years later, he decided to go solo: “I took the plunge and decided to set out on my own (label) with a very small collection that really explored my point of view,” noting that, “it made me realize how much I had missed the whole hands-on design process.”

His past experience in menswear allowed the designer to merge the best of both worlds, using sartorial techniques and masculine cuts to shape the female body. “On the rail, my clothes tend to be quite masculine,” he explains. But once they are worn, they seem to transform into splendid armors with surprisingly feminine silhouettes.
For Fall, he presented a small but extremely well-edited selection of outerwear and flimsy mini dresses in a muted palette of military tones. He achieved a poetic, utilitarian style through juxtapositions of chiffon and fabrics, short evening numbers and functional details borrowed from workwear and uniforms. “I was inspired by some old military manuals I found in a thrift shop, old issues of LIFE magazine and a pair of military boots I found in a vintage market. I reimaged all this as a contemporary London look.” The key to this look was the use of strong, durable materials—double-bonded waterproof fabric, Italian cotton, rubber-mounted wool—on structured coats and jackets, urban uniforms for which no detail was overlooked. The dresses were asymmetrical paneled numbers in floaty chiffon and jersey of contrasting colors (blue, military green, orange), perfect for day and night, all year long.

“My label comes from a desire to create contemporary clothing to give a real sense of vitality and individuality,” notes Choi, defining his look as “understated yet chic and meticulously constructed.”

His collection wowed customers the world over, with stockists ranging from niche department stores Dover Street Market and LuisaViaRoma, to giant retailer Harvey Nichols in Dubai and Hong Kong. Showing at London Fashion Week as part of Vauxhall Fashion Scout (the catwalk event for emerging designers), Choi was shortlisted for the Merit Award for his iconic pieces. His new collection will debut in September, but the designer is already making plans for future ventures: “I would like to work more with leather, and perhaps create a collection of sexy and feminine jackets with an edge though.” We are sure it will be a success.

-Rosa Maria Bertoli

photography by Christopher dadey