Showcasing at last season’s Ones To Watch and this season’s recipient of the Merit Award, the experimental Heohwan Simulation has more than proven his worth with a myriad structured transisitional pieces. Yes, that’s right – someone has finally realised that Spring doesn’t automatically assume the form of sunny skies and blistering heat.
Whereas other designers see SS collections as the go-ahead for thigh skimming shorts and crop tops galore, Heohwan brings a masculine edge to summer-time cuts that results in a perfectly wearable and versatile collection. Originally studying menswear at the highly esteemed Royal College of Art in 2007 and launching his womenswear label in 2010, his foundations in menswear only adds to the intrigue of his work. The female silhouette is overcome with boyish shapes, contrasted with oversized yet loose belts and sheer fabrics to create a new kind of femininity. Undenibly gorgeous yet grasping at a gentlemanly charm, it is the connection between the two extremes that creates harmony.
Citing the literary work of Naomi Klein as the inspiration behind the designer’s latest spectacular, with the idea of hidden logos and factory workers as the concept of minimalism, the collection is clean cut and simple yet wholly intelligent. First along the runway, instantly defying the notions of what a catwalk should be, come two models at once; as identical as the other. Oh yes, I’m talking twins. Eerie and effortless, the girls ooze a muted sense of cool in pale chiffon and interlocking fabrics. With an injection of perforated leather and silver embellishment most associated with AW, the collection marries both aggression and delicacy.
Whilst woolen cropped jackets and mesh provide a tough element, umistakeable hues of green and yellow break out like crocuses from the ground to remind us that the sun may be (or, as the case may be, not) on its way. Layer chiffon shirts and urban prints entwine with structure and the geometric to create a range of conceptual urbanwear, most deserving of the Merit prize.
Minimalist and engaging, this is the collection that could find a connection with almost any personal style. Fresh whites and colour pop appeal to the girliest amongst us but exist in such a form as to attract the attention of those who prefer a little subtley and edge. Heohwan Simulation goes to show that Spring and Summer don’t have to be a dramatic departure in the direction of pastels and hotpants but a perfect progression that could survive wardrobe banishment come Autumn. Not half bad.