Fashion

Seoul Man: Korean Menswear Designer Juun J Hits All The Right Notes

Fashion

Seoul Man: Korean Menswear Designer Juun J Hits All The Right Notes

Looks from the ever-flawless Juun J SS14 collection. Loves it!
Looks from the ever-flawless Juun J SS14 collection. Loves it!
Looks from the ever-flawless Juun J SS14 collection. Loves it!
Looks from the ever-flawless Juun J SS14 collection. Loves it!
Looks from the ever-flawless Juun J SS14 collection. Loves it!
Looks from the ever-flawless Juun J SS14 collection. Loves it!
Looks from the ever-flawless Juun J SS14 collection. Loves it!
Looks from the ever-flawless Juun J SS14 collection. Loves it!
Looks from the ever-flawless Juun J SS14 collection. Loves it!
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I first became familiar with Korean menswear designer Juun J through his 2010-11 collaboration with Ground Zero, a part of which was a comically oversized, salaciously cinch-able parka covered in row after row of sublimation-printed gold pyramid studs in small but varying sizes. Sporadically atop the fabric were actual gold studs, placed perfectly so as not to disrupt the precision or continuity of the pattern (testament to its rarity: I couldn’t find you a picture that wasn’t my own instagram). From that moment on, it was love.

Feminine undertones are nothing new to menswear, but a certain masculinity-drenched unisexuality has been making itself known specifically in the past few seasons via a crop of hyperrelevant labels such as Juun J, JW Anderson and Rhude. This “maximinimalist” aesthetic uses not only the garments themselves to make a statement, but also the shapes’ contrast with both the wearer and the sensibility of the viewer, seamlessly blending starkness with a hint of deadpan. The resulting projection is one of pure power, a refusal to stand in the queues of preconception while managing to skirt, so to speak, many a timeless gendered cliché.

For his SS14 collection, which was cast as well as it was styled, maestro Juun used microshorts and sterile blouses to offset structured or sheer football jerseys (some tucked in for a high-waisted silhouette), skinny lapels, and impeccably-tailored tech outerwear. Flip through my picks above, or think for yourself and find your own faves in the full set here. If I had to wear one designer for life I might just hedge my bets on Juun J, so my twerk shorts (above; SS14) and sleeping bag coat (AW09-10) fixes wouldn’t have to be mutually exclusive.