Designer Rok Hwang is betting that come fall, women will want to strike out in fierce, feminine tailoring.
For his Rokh collection, the Celine, Chloé and Louis Vuitton veteran creatively recut iconic wardrobe pieces, such as a trench coat, wool blazer and blue jeans, to give them versatility and real sex appeal.
Exhibit A: a genius-looking black wool cutout bra-blazer that maintains the sharp feeling of tailoring but with flashes of skin, worn with a high-waist black wool pleated skirt in the show, but just as easily could pair with jeans. Hwang’s take on a trench coat was also multifunctional (what better time than now for transformable looks?) with gabardine layers that can be unbuttoned to create a halter top, dress and kilt. Another versatile piece was a blazer-shrug — just the sleeves connected at the shoulders, to wear over anything.
Born in Seoul, raised in Austin, Texas, now based in London and showing in Paris, Hwang is a global citizen with a unique point of view combining pragmatic dressing, romance and street edge, and this collection capitalized on it all with its item-driven lineup.
British check bustier tops and free-draped skirts secured with thick leather belts nodded to punk; and the pairing of exquisite white lace gowns, hand-beaded and feather-embroidered over six months, with double-layer, high- and low-waist raw-edged jeans, to Americana. (How cool would it be to get married in that?)
Lingerie details were another through line, on a black knit bodysuit and skirt that shimmied with tiers of fluffy silver fringe, fetish-y leather bra tops used underneath or on top of tailored pieces, and a lime-green silk slip dress with chunky silver chains for shoulder straps that would be stunning on a Hollywood starlet.
“I felt the clash of styles was fresh and exciting,” the designer said, making his plug for post-COVID-19 fashion. “People are looking for things that are feminine with an outgoing attitude.” Rokh delivered.