This year Fashion KODE 2014 (July 16-18) in Seoul impressed again. Top Korean designers gathered together like Ko Taeyong and Kwak Hyunjoo to talented emerging designers like Kye Hanhee and Hwang Jaekeun. Fashion KODE 2014 was meant to introduce new designers to Korea and the world.
To impress the international fashion community, Fashion KODE 2014 appointed super cool ambassadors like Bae Doona, who is making a big name for herself in Hollywood, and EXO, the hottest K-Pop group who is becoming a global sensation.
Two designers from Indonesia were invited to show off their collections on the KODE runaway. Through Indonesia Fashion Forward, the well-known Billy Tjong and the emerging talent, Patrick Owen brought their futuristic collections to show off to the Korean and international market.
IFBK guest contributor from Indonesia got the chance to interview Billy Tjong. He’s been familiar with the fashion world since he was a little boy because his mother was a wedding dress tailor. His story is a photographer gone fashion designer with a 13 year career in fashion. He has shown at prestigious fashion shows such as Concurs International des Jeunes Creature, Mercedes-Benz Asia Fashion Award, and Hong Kong Fashion Week.
For this collection the theme is sporty androgyny with feminine cuts. I put flowery patterns and abstract prints on the clothes, and there is also kanji writing detail on the prints to give it an Asian look.
Where did you get your inspiration for the designs?
Love always inspires my work. With different edges and strong cuts, I want to present how love moves through my designs.
We are a member of Indonesia Fashion Forward, and are selected as potential designers to reach the international market. Jakarta Fashion Week Creative Director chose us (Billy Tjong and Patrick Owen) as the designers that fit best with Korean fashion market because of the contemporary prints, and modern design we utilize in our collections. Our lookbooks show Indonesian culture through the professional photographs taken in Indonesia.
Indonesia Fashion Forward is a capacity building program for young Indonesian designers that helps them reach the global market. Collaborating with Indonesia’s Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy, British Council, and Jakarta Fashion Week, the committee chose potential designers to join the one year Indonesia Fashion Forward program. Professionals from the Centre for Fashion Enterprise who are experienced in promoting and supporting world-level designers to international stage, gives us mentorship.
The designers who joined the event are worth the runaways and exhibitions. They brought great designs/collections with different characteristics, and that’s good to for promoting to the global market and buyers. The overall event ran well until the last day. And yes the first day was so crowded because of so many fans of K-Pop group EXO came to see them perform during the opening ceremony. Hahaha.
Korean fashion is really creative and fast-growing. Yesterday I walked around Dongdaemun to shop and sightsee. And I saw that all of the fashion actors are really talented with unique taste in style and design. Their market is also huge. I absolutely appreciate the young talented designers here.
I don’t really have particular favorite Korean designer, but I agree that Lie Sang Bong is popular among Korean designers and I like his fashion collections.
What is your future career plan in fashion?
Starting with Fashion KODE 2014, I will more expansively approach the international market for my fashion business. Then I will keep on creating a new atmosphere for my next collection.
Article & Photography by Guest Contributor Tri Rahayu Handayani