South Korean designer Kiminte Kimhekim seems right at home in Paris, where all of fashion’s most exciting designers are currently congregating. A former member of Nicolas Ghesquière’s studio at Balenciaga, he absorbed that heritage of draped tailoring could in some of his more put-together silhouettes, such as the best-selling Kimhekim blazer, fastened on the side with chunky metal pearls.
But the majority of the collection was very much Kiminte, a formerly shy 33-year-old who found a way to express his exuberance through wacky-chic fashion designs. There were XXL-organza bows on most looks, girly additions to black vegan leather silhouettes, inspired by traditional Korean costumes, which the designer’s grandmother taught him to make at a young age. On a simple black leotard, an oversize black bow on its front turned the garment into a chic ensemble, only to reveal half-bare buttocks once the model turned the runway corner.
It was an energetic collection. Models sported black sunglasses and either carried selfie sticks or IV drips. “The collection is about attention-seekers spending their summer vacation in a hospital,” the designer said rather cryptically. Jackets and shirts were super oversize, as was a giant tie draped over a model’s shoulder like a shawl — “giant tailoring to get attention in an elegant way,” the designer explained.
A strapless minidress was made of thousands of Kimhekim labels stitched together by hand, mixing the industrial — a garment label — and the artisanal. Romantic organza bustier dresses were worn over logo T-shirts and paired with black boots, while a see-through organza blazer was thrown over a sporty crop top. “These days we all want attention and positive reactions from people, especially on social media,” Kiminte said. “But instead of hiding it, let’s just be honest and admit that we want it, but do it with elegance.”