Gender ambiguity in fashion has been a hot button issue this year, with many retailers and brands embracing a fluid approach to dress. Designer Ji Oh knows it, and has a design ethos rooted in subverting classic men’s wear for women that boasts broad appeal.
The big news from her fall range was a distinct focus on recontextualizing classics to draw in more male consumers. It’s a wonder why she hasn’t introduced the idea of “unisex” clothing into her collections before. She used the term loosely as trousers, like a quirky pair of “blazer pants” or another with pleating on just one side, are fit differently for guys and gals.
She shot her look book on both male and female models — twice in the same outfits — to show an inherent neutrality. Off-beat shirting looked just as cool on him as on her, as did striped trousers; the pleated skorts cut one leg higher than the other, though sharp and clean, were definitely geared for more eccentric fashion enthusiasts.
There were a lot of pieces here that demonstrated experimental restraint. The aforementioned shirting, for instance, were easy to wear even with asymmetric construction or manipulated fabric gatherings along the chest. Speaking of, one particularly amusing button down featured the curved torso of a male statue for a play on the surreal. Sweaters, too, were fun and leaned on the polished side of off-kilter construction, a hallmark that makes the brand so appealing.