men's fashion Paris Fashion Week Wooyoungmi

Wooyoungmi Spring/Summer 2021 Paris

Wooyoungmi Men’s Spring 2021 Cover

Woo Young Mi took a cue from the late dancer-choreographer Pina Bausch this season.

Pina Bausch, as seen in Wim Wenders’ documentary on the late German choreographer, inspired Wooyoungmi’s collection.

“Four or five years ago when I was in Paris I had a really depressing time, and I got to see the documentary and fell in love with her,” explained creative director Woo Young Mi, who added she was fascinated by Bausch’s movements, androgyny and insights into life and people.

Woo has stepped back into the designer role after her daughter Katie Chung, who served as creative director since 2014, left Wooyoungmi’s parent company, Solid Co. Ltd., in March. Woo maintains her chief executive officer position as well.

Last season, Wooyoungmi introduced women’s wear on its men’s wear catwalk, and Woo continued with a co-ed collection for spring.

“What I am envisioning is the wardrobe that is shared by a couple,” she said. “I am making clothing for contemporary young men and women. I wanted to introduce and pursue essential beauty in this collection, rather than trying something new.”

For the streamlined looks, Woo avoided layering garments much and kept to hues such as magenta (a nod to Bausch’s dance “Carnations”), lavender, pale blue, mint and lilac — “romantic colors,” she said. “I also did some tailoring of the silhouette to make it simpler.”

There was a generous trench, men’s shirting in pre-wrinkled cotton, traditional “power suits” subtly tweaked for men and women, and a padded-out polyester pilot jacket.

When the pandemic struck, questions arose about how to present the collection. Woo thought: “If Pina were alive, what would she do?”

Dance. So to pay homage, models wearing Wooyoungmi were filmed moving in a manner reminiscent of Bausch’s troupe. Here, fashion and fantasy wove together to wonderful effect, making the virtual seem real — and very much of the moment.

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