Somebody sent me an MA dissertation interview with the question "How long do you think the minimalism trend will last?".  I was sort of aghast really – is a whole design movement/aesthetic really a "trend" that can be levelled with say lampshade skirts or banana prints?  You can probably guess my answer to the question, and I feel much the same way about utility/work-wear inspired threads – that these design aesthetics must somehow exist ALL the time in some format or another and not just pass by fleetingly because of the profound way they have cornerstoned clothing design.  Particularly for workwear-inspired clothes, these are afterall threads that work dilligently, giving you a lot of companionship for your hard-earned buck with their pockets, buckles, simple cuts, breathable fabrics and neutral colours/shades.  Likewise, in menswear, workwear is a not a trend but a way of clothing being, suited to the slower pace of men's shopping patterns – i.e. wearing things to death and refusing to buy anything new until it is literally falling apart. 

Eudon Choi may have once designed a powder pink trench (that I still wear to death…) but its candy floss shade disguises a whole host of precise detailing that is a big pointer to his aesthetic for the last two seasons that consists of a luxurious take on utility wear, borrowing principles from menswear but amping it all up so that it looks interesting enough to the greedy feminine eye.  From the S/S 11 collection, it was this 'Sigrid' jacket with its nude mesh panels, various pockets (a total of five on one jacket) as well as the varying shades of slightly military-inspired tinged beige, olive and grey in garbadine and cotton jersey that made me want to delve into Choi's pocket-laden collection…

Sigrid jacket

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… and so into the sketchbooks I went, finding that above all, it was the "universal and democratic appeal of cotton' that dominated his findings and the resulting collection.  Eudon's accumulated inspiration imagery spans from WWII fighter pilot suits to factory workwear and overalls to 1920s tennis outfts with the emphasis on 'industry' and 'uniformity' and a bygone era of clothing that were designed for a functional purpose without necessarily incorporating decorative/superfluous details.  I'm intrigued by the cited vintage emporium that he visits on Old Kent Road which sells vintage workwear and uniforms where he gets a lot of inspiration from.  The trick for Eudon has been to extract the aesthetic beautfy from these images as well as the original source garments and whilst there's been a tendancy for like-for-like repro of these garments, especially seen in few menswear 'workwear' brands, in womenswear, that method just wouldn't wash…

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… which brings us onto the subsequent and resulting collection.  The palette extends itself so that colours that may not have featured on say a turn of the century factory uniform has its place here with shades like a dark plummy purple, a dusky pink or an icy blue. 

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Using subtle elements of Eudon's source imagery/pieces means details such as the 'suggestion' of an apron or just the transplant of a pocket on a skirt is all the detailing needed to support his theme…
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Exaggerating certain elements such as adding more pockets, pumping volume into the sleeves, playing with lengths, pushes pieces like Eudon's take on the hunting/poacher's jacket or a fisherman's vest beyond being just a simple replica.

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The Sigrid jacket at the top of this post will hopefully be joining the pink trenchcoat come January to form a collective onslaught of Eudon Choi outerwearand the proof will be in the hardcore wearing, totting up how often it goes on my back over the years but my guess is that with some small make do and mending, the jacket will hopefully see some tumultuous times spanning a long period of time. 

No Comments

  1. This collection is stunning. It’s so wonderful to have delved into the designer’s sketchbooks and shared with us. It’s great to see the creative process driving a item toward fruition.

  2. I love this blog. Keep up the good work!

  3. I love this blog. Keep up the good work!

  4. S.Ella says:

    I love seeing a designer’s creative process (I’m so nosey lol) but it’s great when you can see the inspiration and the end result.

  5. moi says:

    They do MA dissertations on that? 🙂

  6. I’m not even quite sure what we mean when we talk about minimalism in design, even though I’ve used the term myself! To me now it’s a return to the 90s which was a reaction to the 80s and all its pouf and finery.

  7. Hii!! I haven’t been at your blog in forever.. I simply thought it wasn’t that interesting before, and then today I just decided to give it another shot and OH MY GOD, believe me it was way worth it!! You have truly upgraded yourself to the better,, beyond better that is! Keep up the excellent work. xoxo nath

  8. Doni Brown says:

    This is such an amazing post! Love how you were able to look into the designers sketch book and see the creative process!
    Also check out my blog….. http://thefreakoffashion.blogspot.com

  9. These pieces look perfectly unisex and very wearable. Mountaineering gear anyone?

  10. NancyO says:

    Love the pastel shades mixed with androdgny.
    Love your blog 🙂
    nancyo, London
    http://nancyo-womenswear.blogspot.com/

  11. **Nova** says:

    I think minimalism will always be a fashionable option but workwear is a trend. You have to remember that just because those all those pockets look useful (and totally cool) doesn’t mean that people are actually using them. People who follow fashion probably don’t need them and there will be a time when they look at them and think “Ugh how noughties!”

  12. Lorena says:

    I agree with what you’ve said about minimalism. Honestly, the whole idea of ‘trends’ is something I don’t really care for. Within a certain circle, some looks or items are more popular at a given time BUT outside of that circle there are people experimenting with all looks all of the time. Just looking at street style blogs will make it obvious that trends don’t dictate how the majority of people dress and that there is more fun and creativity in fashion and personal style than whatever is deemed important at the moment.
    Anyway…on to praising Eudon Choi! Everything here is like the stuff of my dreams. I hate carrying bags/purses so all of the pockets really make this ideal for me. The first jacket is so perfect – the colors, everything! I dig the belt pouches too, anything that frees up my arms while managing not to look like something my dad might wear makes me happy.

  13. yve says:

    another amazing collection from eudon choi!!
    he seems to be really great with outerwear (fw10 was so good, i indulged in one of his coats!), that first light coat is perfect for spring. Great details and a sharp cut!
    thanks for showing his sketchbook pics, always very inspiring and insightful to see how the designs came about =)

  14. susie_bubble says:

    Nova: You’re probably right about the pockets but the idea of workwear isn’t just rooted in the pockets – it’s the actual construction of the pieces too as well as the consideration for breathability and fabrics that make the pieces resilient in err…’work’ conditions – we may not be in factory conditions anymore but those principles apply to make long-lasting clothing no?
    Lorena: Spot on about trends… I personally like playing with the temporary nature of them but the important thing is to remember to root of your own style to anchor everything…

  15. I love the outfit.. i think these earrings would look fav with it! Any thoughts?
    https://www.artdecodiamonds.com/products.php?id=756&l=0&u=2147483647&sortway=desc
    Love your blog!

  16. I’m so glad you included the sketchbook images. They are gorgeously ethereal yet utilitarian. I absolutely adore the designs with the oversized pockets and soft pale colours. They have real design appeal yet look very wearable. So glad you featured this designer, as I wasn’t familiar with it before. xx

  17. Lili says:

    great to see the creative process, is very inspiring
    love the jacket!
    the scrapbook

  18. Maryjane says:

    Pockets to me are such a perk. If a dress or skirt especially has pockets, I almost always have to have it. There’s something about putting my hands in my pockets when walking or standing that always gives an effortless “cool” to ones persona. Well, that’s just my opinion. 🙂
    Maryjane xoxo

  19. Gail says:

    Sometimes I don’t sketch my dresses out first! I’ll have a bunch of fabrics out and just kind of play with them seeing which fit the dress best then apply them as flowers, attached scarves and so much more. Total fun and whimsy!
    http://www.savoyfaire.etsy.com

  20. gaia says:

    I agree with Yve!the coat it’s really perfect for sprint!!! i relly like the blog and the way they publish pictures. I really like the style and the graphic.

  21. hokey says:

    where’s this vintage emporium on the Old Kent Road? I lived on it for ages and never came across such a place!

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