The South Korean label System offered up a modern nostalgia with sharp tailoring with an equestrian essence.
Designer Heesoo Kim looked to horseback riding, both medieval and Western, for touches of knights in high collars and capes, and cowboys in boots and duster coats. Unexpected twists took the collection in new directions, and he played with proportions on blazers, crop tops and the voluminous cape that opened to the side. Not to be too buttoned up, shirt collars were slightly askew.
Sweatshirts with cascading hems and double-wrap skirts were other standouts that read quirky but not intimidating. Giant, puffy handbags could double as throw pillows in a pinch. Taken together, Kim balanced the impulse of costume for a collection that was eminently wearable.
And that’s the goal. Speaking after the show, he emphasized the word “commercial” in his direction, making it clear that he wants to achieve retail success. “We want to accelerate step-by-step,” he said. Keeping in mind the Korean hypersensitivity to trends, Kim wants to continue reinterpreting pieces from the past with contemporary codes.
The 40-year-old sees the brand as Asia’s answer to Acne, and wants to expand on the current popularity of all things capital K, from K-pop to K-beauty, and add a sharp take on K-style, he said. System started showing in Paris in 2019, and Kim revealed plans to expand the brand beyond South Korean borders and open its first flagship here next year. Judging by the cool codes, he will find the right customers.