by John Ortved
Parsons grad Kevin Joo Hwang's thesis collection mixes a traditional menswear palette with a feminine take on early twentieth century Southeast Asian fishermen. The 25-year-old California native focuses on making wearable clothes, emphasizing the utilitarian side of his inspiration with details like oversize patch pockets. "Even if clothes look great," he argues, "if it doesn't really serve a purpose, I don't think a lot of people are going to want to wear it."
Highlights from the collection include a silk micro faille jacket with gathered pocket detail, a sleeveless nylon dress tied asymmetrically at the collar and waist, and a gorgeous sleeveless blouse of lightweight taffeta—all minimally designed with simple fabrics and unfussy cuts. Considering menswear as a next step, Hwang sticks to his core principle stating "I don't know what will inspire me next, but I'm sure it will still be very functional.
The collection is currently available for a limited time at Debut in NYC.