The Songzio label turned the idea of the urban warrior upside down this season, showing a softness under the hard edges that reexamined the idea of traditional masculinity.
“It’s a very delicate-hearted boy who is only a gladiator on the outside. It’s a very contrasting feeling of a very scared child, worried, anxious emotions inside, but a soldier in outside appearance,” said designer Jay Song backstage after the show.
He took over the creative direction of the 30-year-old house from his father in 2017, and one could draw some parallels. “Maybe a part,” he hedged. The story could be personal, or perhaps it’s global considering the current political headwinds. But either way worth upending the ideal.
It resulted in a fresh take on oversized coats and blazers, sharp edges softened and shaped with cascading layers at the shoulders. They still offered plenty of volume, but escaped overbearing bulk. Shearling jackets were piped in contrasting colors tracing the lines of breastplates. Other outerwear was asymmetric, hand-painted, or puddling on the ground as he played with balance.
Strips of leather or fabric were assembled into gladiator skirts, some even at micro-mini length with plenty of leg on display, while trousers came with zippers to become shorts or remain open at the knee. Pussy bows with metallic sheen in pink and orange added an air of femininity, matching soft makeup.
It’s fitting then that his next big move will be into womenswear, which he is planning to launch later in 2024. Though he has not yet decided on Paris or Seoul for the show, he has global ambitions for the brand and plans to grow beyond the Korean border, starting with a Paris flagship later this year.
Song was groomed to take over the house and he has done so confidently, and any moments of self-reflection are channeled in the right direction.