|Urban: Designer Pak (left) and a model at the fashion show. Photo courtesy of London College for Design & Fashion|
By Trần Hoàng Nam
As the only foreigner in the 17-strong graduating class of Hà Nội’s London College for Design & Fashion, Pak Su Yon stands out as a North Korean and as a creative designer.
“I have always dreamed to become a fashion designer since I was a primary pupil,” she said. “My parents support my passion a lot.”
Pak has studied in Việt Nam for three years, where her father works in the North Korean Embassy.
“I have worked on many different projects with many different teachers which was a great opportunity for me but I was very sad when they had to leave,” she said.
|Creative: Designer Pak Su Yon. Photo courtesy of London College for Design & Fashion|
Pak said she wanted to pursue fashion that takes cues from global street culture, with a palette that is both urban and sporty.
On her latest collection for the graduation show titled Unity, Pak said she was inspired by this year’s Winter Olympics, where North and South Korea competed in several sports as a team under one Korean flag for the first time in 18 years.
“I was strongly inspired by the moment when they were holding the flag together at the opening ceremony,” she said.
“There are many Korean traditional games from ancient times that are still played by North and South Korean people. So I picked the most popular games and applied them to my collection,” she said.
|Catwalk: A design by Pak. Photo courtesy of London College for Design & Fashion|
The collection uses colours from the flags of North and South Korea: red, blue, black and white blended with beige and ash to bring a dynamic and youthful spirit.
Decorative symbols are printed or embroidered to the clothes, which are aimed at women between 22 and 30 years old.
Pak has also spent lots of time finding recycled materials for her collection.
“I don’t speak fluent Vietnamese and that was the biggest difficulty as I had to work with Vietnamese people who don’t speak English,” she said.
With this collection, Pak and other young designers from the college have expressed their thoughts on social issues, the environment, history, culture and traditional handicrafts through collections on dying forests, abuse of antiseptics and the effects of virtual interaction.
|Kooky: She likes a sporty style. Photo courtesy of London College for Design & Fashion|
Pak admitted that she had not applied Vietnamese culture to her designs yet.
“But I would love to create a collection related to Vietnamese culture in the future,” she said.
“I want to follow a fashion trend that has the reflection of global street culture with colours blending urban and sport styles,” she said.
May Cortazzi, a teacher at the college, praised Pak for her strong determination and passion.
“She has the ability to develop collections with a lot of beautiful hidden meaning, develops original textiles and commercial designs,” Cortazzi said.
|Streetwear: She wants to focus also on street style. Photo courtesy of London College for Design & Fashion|
“She is also extremely kind and sweet person who strives to work for her best abilities and gives 200 per cent to everything she does.”
Cortazzi also said Pak was always open to new ideas and worked hard to be a strong designer.
Pak’s collection will be on show at the Việt Nam International Fashion Week in Hà Nội held between October 25 and 27. — VNS