Fern Mallis Loves Korean Fashion, Has No Idea Who ‘Gangnam Style’ Guy Is

At Concept Korea‘s spring 2013 presentation on Friday, The Stage at Lincoln Center was fittingly transformed into South Korea. Complete with native Korean designers and music from pop stars like the Wonder Girls and Psy, guests were given a glimpse into the culture.

Concept Korea debuted in 2010, and is a group of five South Korean designers handpicked by fashion maven Fern Mallis and other industry heavyweights. The presentation started with a beautiful and moving dance by the Martha Graham Dance Company. Then models strutted out in wares by designers Lie Sang BongHong Bum Kim, Son Jung Wang, Kathleen Hanhee Kye, and Choi Bo Ko.

Bong designed colorblocked dresses and separates that could easily work for the office, while Kim offered a looser and luxurious approach. Ko showed bold colors and prints in his separates, Wang flaunted dreamy dresses and gauzy fabrics, but our favorite collection goes to Kye, whose collection of knits inspired by bullying, or anti-bulling rather. Rolled jersey made to imitate harnesses and real leather harnesses added a tough edge to most of her schoolgirl looks. The designer is a former stylist for a handful of Korean pop stars, and now sells her wares at Opening Ceremony, so it’s safe to say this girl’s got a great career under her belt.

Mallis tells us that it’s great to see Concept Korea’s growth since its debut in 2010:

“It’s great, it’s really important that these collections and Concept Korea keeps coming back. For many years, I’ve seen groups come from different countries. They come once and make a big splash, and you never hear from them again. And you wonder if they’re really in business or really have the commitment to it with a showroom and sustainabilty here. It’s very clear here that Concept Korea is really making a point of staying. They’re in for the long haul. These designers — they all have showrooms themselves, and everybody’s doing beautiful work. The Korean contribution to the fashion industry is fantastic.”

Mallis is more concerned with Korean fashion than Korean music, as evidenced by her blank face at the mention of artist Psy or his insanely popular song “Gangnam Style”. The song played during the presentation, and show goers shyly danced in their seats and started to giggle. But Mallis told us: “No, I don’t know the music. Sorry!”

Check out our favorite looks from each collection below:




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