For Yoon Ahn, a trip back to Seattle and Oregon last summer brought back memories of youth, when comfortable, practical clothes were combined with thrift store finds. “I translated that to how I would wear it now,” said the ultracool designer at her Paris presentation.
Outdoor staples like fleece and waterproof fabrics were usurped in this unisex offering, reshaped and layered in surprising ways. Suits were worn loose — they never quite fit when they’re secondhand, after all. A poppy motif adorned a sheer white fabric on shirts, giving a bucolic touch to certain looks that worked well as a contrast.
In one look, an oversized wide-brimmed felt hat embroidered with a sporty “A” was meant to recall a mountain ranger. It would incidentally hold off the rain with far more street cred than a humble umbrella. It was paired with a deconstructed plaid flannel shirt, worn like a crop top and skirt with fishtail sleeves and spliced with a khaki raincoat.
With the jewelry — where the label started out — Ahn also waxed nostalgic, working glass beads into a romantic, colorful shower of rain drops and deviating from previous, harder collections.
While the references were familiar, the self-taught designer, who cofounded the label with her husband, Japanese hip-hop artist Verbal, put them back together in a way that added a level of separation. Incidentally, it also had a ton of charm. A finalist for last year’s LVMH Prize, Ambush continues to gather steam.