Saturday was a special day for Rok Hwang — not just because he was showing his fall collection at Paris Fashion Week, but because his sister was getting married thousands of miles away.
Forced to miss the event, Hwang decided to turn his Rokh collection into a tribute to his younger sibling. Judging from the clothes he sent out, she is a woman of many facets, all of them equally intriguing. “This is kind of my visual love letter to her,” he said backstage.
There was the academic in intellectual tailoring; the carefree romantic in flowing florals; the London chick in checks and trenches; the grunge princess in see-through tulle, and to finish with, an alluring glimpse of a more Gothic sensibility.
Wearing treacherous slip-on heels, models made their way down the narrow lanes between the rows of potted heaths that ran the length of the runway. The first group looked like modern-day Hitchcock heroines in their sharply tailored black jackets accentuated with loose white threads and frayed edges — cat-eye glasses optional.
Heavy silver chains adorned both a black leather shirtdress and an ankle-length gown in an edgy floral pattern, which came with a matching skateboard. Hwang maintained a balance between sweetness and bite, rooted in variations of his signature pleated skirts made of contrasting plaids in mismatched lengths.
The designer recalled how he and his sister would watch Disney movies and eat pizza while she painted glitter varnish onto her nails. “I loved ‘Aladdin,’ but then she always loved more princess-y ones,” he said. Hence the “teardrop” dress: a sheer tiered tulle gown embroidered with oversize crystals.
As wedding tributes go, it will be hard to top.