Peep the AW23 collection from Korean brand Jekeun…
Jekeun is a London based ready-to-wear brand by Korean designer Jekeun Cho. The brand’s philosophy is informed by Cho’s interest in the human psyche, and more specifically how we choose to present ourselves to the world around us, the character’s we play, and masks we wear.
The Jekeun AW23 collection takes inspiration for the 1999 Korean film “Attack The Gas Station”, centred around four characters from different backgrounds and follows their individual journeys as their lives are transformed as they enter gang culture. London-based Cho revisits his Korean homeland psychologically and physically through this exploration of the film which was shot on location at the local gas station in the neighbourhood of Bundang on the outskirts of Seoul where he grew up. From the brand’s London based studio, these characters and themes are relocated and reimagined in new surroundings as Cho weaves visual storytelling and character development through his thought-provoking and uniquely original design handwriting.
Pattern and shape are fundamental to the Jekeun aesthetic, with unexpected cutting and structure used as a device to capture felt emotions and traits. For AW23 this comes to the fore, highlighted through a second layer of contrasting colour, giving the illusion of hidden cracks on the surface – acute details that can easily be overlooked or missed on the first encounter, echoing the nuance of personalities that are only grasped through careful observation. These cuts appear across innovative contemporary tailoring in visible but also hidden areas such as the underarms and knees. Key tags are re-purposed to create avant-garde wearable pieces and add design touches throughout the collection, a witty visual metaphor raising questions around naming and identity, of being checked and classified.
Jekeun Cho was born in South Korea, with Japanese heritage, and studied law in China before moving to London to study fashion and founding the Jekeun brand. This blend of East Asian culture contrasted with the business’s Western European base imbues this perspective with deep narratives on the spectrum of conformity and individualism. The study of law before turning to fashion, strongly rooted in social order, norms, and expectation created the context for a fundamental realisation that people are not what they may appear, and that perception itself can be deceiving once you look beneath the surface.