“It’s about bringing together historical women’s costumes and modern men’s clothing to introduce a new gender-fluid aesthetic.” Junta Kim recount vogue on the vision of his brand. “If you look closely, there are juxtapositions of traditional craft methods with contemporary techniques.” The London-based Korean-born designer – who graduated from Central Saint Martins’ prestigious MA Fashion course this year and has previously dressed Dua Lipa – is making waves in the industry. Naturally, Kim caught the eye of A-list stylist, Harry Lambert.
Turns out Lambert was heavily involved in the creative direction of Kim’s MA collection. The man who dresses Harry Styles for a living helped with styling and casting for the show and brought together various crews for the lookbook shoot. “Fun fact: I kept [Lambert] in mind from the very first stages”, explains the designer. “I’m a huge fan of his work and felt that his vision and mine had things in common.”
The collection itself – titled “Romance From Freedom” – is an ode to disruptive beauty standards defined by gender, class and body size. Taking restrictive pieces from the 17th to 18th centuries – think: corsets, doublets, leotards, stays and lederhosen, among others – Kim has found innovative ways to reinterpret historical garments into garments that prioritize wearer comfort. “True beauty, for me, is not firming up the body, it’s relaxing it,” explains the designer. “Most of the collection is made from sustainable materials, such as cut leathers and suedes, as well as recycled denim sponsored by sustainable manufacturer ISKO. The denim is also laser washed and dyed without harmful chemical additives.
What’s next for the brand? “In addition to my main collection, I plan to launch two other lines,” says Kim. “One is called Slow and will use 100% recycled materials through 100% sustainable production processes. And the other is Fast, which is a commercial line in collaboration with other designers and produced in smaller quantities.
Although she has just graduated, the future is already looking bright for Kim. When asked what advice he would give to a designer trying to break into the industry, he said, “No matter where you’re from, it’s important not to be afraid to incorporate what you love about your culture and your community in your design. ”