Han Ahn Soon - '09 SS

Women's Collection Lines
17 November 2008
Thoughts and pictures from the collection show on October 21, 2008
Han Ahn Soon
October 21, 2008

The most disappointing facet of the "real clothes" ideology currently sweeping Japan is the widespread idea that "runway collections" are somehow antithetical to girls' daily street wear. If only contemporary young women were more familiar with Han Ahn Soon — a Korean-Japanese designer based in Osaka who marries a creative new vision of elegance to the colorful frenzy of Japanese girls style. But maybe Japan's young women are just Cinderellas, waiting for a fairy godmother like Han to sing a few magic phrases in cloth and transform their everyday Tokyo street fashion into a majestical pageant fit for a princess.

Han's SS '09 collection may have provided the requisite "bibbidi-bobbidi-boo" for a full brigade of pumpkin carriages. Stripes were the main motif — arriving in horizontals, verticals, business Bengals, and thin-pin coat piping. The collection's show-stoppers mixed different weights and colors of stripes on top of each other, in tiered ruffles or flowing straight-down on an extra-long mermaid dress. A night-time stripe dress looked like an extended screenshot of 1980s video game Elevator Action. Perhaps in inspiration of Han's Korean heritage, the final dress took the Korean traditional hanbok and re-imagined it for a party inside a life-sized Barbie doll playhouse.

Other materials like spangles and ruffles kept fun at the top of the agenda. T-shirt dresses proclaiming "PEACE" summoned a West Coast American vibe. Han's silhouettes were thoroughly sexy and party-ready, but the bubblegum-chromatics — juicy strawberry, tangy watermelon, and cool blue peppermint — did the most to leave mouths watering for more.

— W. David Marx

(Click on Photo Gallery button at left to view official pictures of the collection, courtesy of Han Ahn Soon.)