Münn by Hyun-min Han: A star is born in London
The name Hyun-min Han may well be little known in fashion circles, never mind the greater world. But judging by the boldly poetic show for his brand Münn that he staged Saturday morning in London, he is destined for a great future.
A blend of poetic fantasy; off beat tailoring; traditional Korean silhouettes and bizarre accessorizing made for a great fashion statement inside the Truman Brewery, the nerve centre of the four-day London Fashion Week Men’s.
What stood out was his ability to skilfully blend Korea with Western sartorial styles. Han showed a series of ideas based on 'Hanbok', a traditional Korean dress, with silk and crepe wide-legged pants that all looked great, and flowing coats. He played with trench coats, reinventing them in calico with a dropped waist and lapels, finished with curvy pocket flaps with piping.
Fantastic flowing pants, made in contrasting pinstripes and chalk-stripes, with the brand name of Italian or British fabric manufacturers used as a further stripe. Plus, he wove in plenty of tech-y sportswear: from crushed micro-fibre hunting waistcoats to windbreakers in golden jacquards; all the way to a stupendous, transparent down puffer crammed with fabric flowers.
Han is the first designer chosen as the debutante of a joint project between the British Fashion Council and Seoul Fashion Week, allowing a Korean designer to show in London, and a UK-based designer to show in the Korean capital. The British choice has yet to be announced. The Korean pick was perfect.
Han’s accessories also added plenty of élan: from the sandals finished with silver jewelry and worn with tulle socks, to a series of fabulous hats; from an Incan chieftain to a Sam Peckinpah-worthy Comanche warrior, and you had a great show.
Add in some notable styling – courtesy of Elgar Johnson, fashion expert and noted football fan, and the perfect soundtrack -- an extended version of Easy by experimental art rock band Son Lux, and you had a menswear fashion moment.
Two years ago, Han was also an International Woolmark Prize Menswear Finalist 2017, and proudly used that title as a logo inside his jackets. This 35-year-old designer is already pretty experienced. He cut his teeth working for the critically acclaimed Wooyoungmi before launching his own brand, Münn, in 2013. He has since done pop-up stores with Galeries Lafayette, Opening Ceremony, Selfridges and Excelsior in Milan.
For his finale, the entire cast appeared in off-white garment bag coats; marching proudly to huge applause.
“I wanted the audience to imagine what is inside the garment bag,” smiled Han, speaking through a Korean translator.
“I edited this show for London sensibilities, after I looked at a score of British runway shows on the web,” conceded the bespectacled Han, who took three deep bows at the finale.
Han has never shown in the West before. His only catwalk outings have been in Korea. It’s very much a fledgling house.
He listed his own name on the London Fashion Week Men’s website for both Sales and Show tickets. But on the basis of this notable performance, expect to hear lots more from this Seoul-born talent.
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