It should come as no surprise that a designer celebrated for his tailoring should choose to reference architecture for his most recent collection. If Eudon Choi did it for every season, it might become a cliché. Although, it would be tempting, especially if you were to follow up the laudations received from his latest Autumn Winter 2015 show.
This season saw inspiration from Metabolism (or Metaborizumu) – an almost-dystopian, Japanese architectural movement that gained international prominence in the seventies. Yet the sartorial output by Choi was fresh, colourful and feminine. The word ‘comeback’ springs to mind, though that is a slight overstatement, as Choi never lost his way. Instead, he emphasised upon the strengths he is famed for, and what essentially the brand was built upon. Lines were tighter and narrower; silhouettes bolder and rigid. Little idiosyncratic details such as his upped collar shirts adhered to this, and were straight and upright, no longer offhandedly curled like in AW14. Likewise, his statement white dresses, in which a few crop up each season, were muted but not clinical, yet still retained their usual ethereal disposition.
Sateens this season are now bolder and colour-blocked since the sweet pastels of his inaugural Resort collection last year. Canary yellow and cobalt blue on the same A-line skirt, on paper echo fearfully of Ryanair branding, but Choi manages to couple these bold primary colours to successful sophistication. This kind of boldness and confidence coloured the whole collection (metaphysically). As a result emerged gargantuan scarves with elongated fringing and, a personal favourite, an oversized shift dress with an asymmetric flare in glossy yellow sateen.
The Metabolism theme honed in on the Nakagin Capsule Tower in Tokyo and its construction was evoked in the catwalk set design – a new venture for Choi. On fabric, it was translated into circular panels on outerwear. Such as in the opening look, where a cream panel superimposed a khaki leather jacket – its colours reminiscent of the ageing original building. Supporting the main theme otherwise were general nods to the seventies in the form of flared trousers that grazed the ankle, and Japonisme jacquards in abstract floral reds. They were recognisably oriental but, as always with all of Choi’s references, inexplicit and abstract.