"My teenage years were spent in the '90s and back then, kids were wearing brands such as Guess and FILA. Both were super popular in Korea at that time," South Korean fashion designer, Park Hwansung recalls. "All these brands paved the way for street fashion and were symbolic of youth culture in Korea."
Soon after, Park left the country for London, where he got an MA in Fashion from Central Saint Martins. When he came home after his studies, Park was struck by the homogeneity of the local fashion landscape. "When I came back to Seoul, people were dressed differently from how they dressed before I left Korea. K-pop had blown up by then and people were heavily inspired by the fashions of Korean pop culture." By that, Park was referring to how youngsters were mimicking the Korean celebrities' wardrobes.
Park then promptly launched his own label, christened D-Antidote, in Fall/ Winter 2014. He wanted to inject a dose of individuality to the landscape back then. "We wanted to make clothing for individuals who didn't want to conform to expectations." Park freed himself of Seoul's fashion norms by borrowing from the London streetwear culture that he observed in his schooling days.
In his collections, there is always a sweater or two, paired with track pants or tailored trousers, clean poplin shirts, and workwear-inspired garments — two obvious and immiscible pools of references, from a relatively minimalistic and polished Seoul dress code, and a rough East London street wardrobe alongside classic British references such as The Beatles. Park himself literally describes this as "Seoulondon".
In Fall/ Winter 2016, he teamed up with the Italian sportswear manufacturer, FILA on a series of footwear. "From there, we talked about putting out an official collaboration collection," Park continues. The collaboration followed him through Fall/ Winter 2017 and his Spring/ Summer 2018 collection, which launched in Singapore last month. While Park's designs are marketed as menswear, the brand notes that clothes are unisex until they find themselves tainted by social constructs.
View the D-Antidote x FILA Fusion collection at FILA, 1 Harbourfront Walk.
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