Sunday 19th January

| BY Paul Toner

Wooyoungmi: Menswear AW20

Move over boys, the Wooyoungmi women have arrived. And yes, they’re as remarkably dressed as you’d imagine them to be. Designer Katie Chung looked to the streets of Seoul for the brand’s first co-ed collection – interlocking the South Korean capital’s gender-fluid approach to dressing with a Parisian refinery and deep dedication to craft. Genderless, even androgynous at moments, Chung chose not to swing to a rugged masculinity, nor a potent femininity; finding solace somewhere within the in-between.

The clothes spoke for themselves, cut with an untouchable precision and a level of quiet innovation that makes a Wooyoungmi garment stand out on the rack, even when amongst the finest menswear offerings. Overcoats and blazers, ever so slightly pointed at the shoulder, became boxy at the waist thanks to their terrific pocket placement. Trousers came in swollen proportions, pooling over the clunkiest of clunky trainers. Flashes of vivid orange and various blues – shades akin to cornflower and aquarium gravel being the most desirable – energised a mainly neutral palette. A puffer vest was particularly strong, as was the shirting, which appeared slightly elongated at the back and sliced up to the armpit.

A selection of darted jerseys were emblazoned with Tilda Swinton as Orlando in Sally Potter’s 1992 on-screen adaption of Virginia Woolf’s pioneering novel of the same name. A triumphant tale of gender fluidity, Chung used the story’s exploration of what shapes masculinity, femininity, and that glorious space that somewhat centres the two to build a wardrobe free of inhibition. This was a strong start to a new decade of Wooyoungmi.

Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans.