Originally published online by F Word Magazine.
It’s not often I’m as excited about the last look of a collection as I was with the first, but that’s what Ximon Lee’s Spring/Summer 2017 collection did for me during his London debut on the runway at London Collections: Men. From start to finish, his garments were technical, artistic and hands down one of the most creative and rewarding collections this week has had to offer.
Entitled “Hard,” Lee’s technical garments were characterized by oversized cuts, innovative fabrication and some highly original denim work, but at its heart it was a study on the hardness of growing up. A sequel to his childhood-themed Autumn/Winter 2016 collection, the boy now finds himself traveling from the innocence of boyhood to the hard reality of adulthood, resulting in a body of work that’s both intimate and relatable.
This season, sponsored by GQ CHINA, Lee highlights his rather academic approach to design, viewing every collection as a study — a sustainable concept to be further explored and examined in seasons to come — while examining the ways in which to conceal and uncover the body.
Decidedly capturing the hardness of adolescence and early adulthood through his use of textiles, the New York-based Chinese-born Korean designer sent out look after look of fragile materials tailored in hard (and sometimes contorted) silhouettes. Harsh techniques including acid-wash, silicone concealing, latex coating and tailoring tarpaulin — a heavy-duty water-resistant material — further illustrated the often unharmonious actuality of coming of age.
Taking notions of conventional workwear and adding unconventional embellishment and placement, Lee had long pinafore layers made in stiff PVC and a sweatshirt layered with crinkled bags under silicone coating, but everyone’s favourites (and most certainly mine as well) were his oversize jean jackets; and while some of the garments from the collection were far from being easy to wear, you’ll scroll through his collection and easily pick several great-looking numbers, but these jean jackets were his greatest — heavily coated, rather stiff and unashamedly cool.
Photos: Courtesy of Ximon Lee