While Eudon Choi’s wandering eye has seen him indulge in a number of fascinating flights of fancy over the past couple of years, each inspired by a different exotic destination, for pre-fall he decided to look a little closer to home, especially in his early days as a designer. “I started making menswear in Korea, and went back to it recently, which made me think of the memories of when I just started,” said Choi. “I just wanted to bring back that feeling of when I started in fashion and how I fell in love with it.”
One of Choi’s most enduring memories of this period was his discovery of Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1966 classic Jump, and his delicately satirical take on the London fashion scene of the Swinging Sixties through the lens of a David Bailey-like photographer who accidentally witnesses a murder. (This inspiration emerged most palpably against the backdrop of the look book, which preceded Choi’s typically more lavish sets in favor of a raw photographer’s studio, echoing the infamous scene from the film with Veruschka posing on a curve in the street. Infinity.)
When it came to clothing, however, Choi moved away from more literal parallels, instead using the reference as a starting point to re-explore the 1960s menswear that inspired him as a young designer. The emphasis on tight tailoring, here explored in a dusty pink dandy dress with oversized pockets and a royal blue blazer with out-of-the-ordinary buttons, was one such example. “During the pandemic, we turned to a more relaxed atmosphere and made things comfortable from a fit point of view,” explained Choi. “I wanted to make things a little tighter and more compact, where you could show off your body a little bit, so the 60s were perfect.” Meanwhile, instead of leaning on the famous trippy prints of the decade, he looked to the painters who defined the era to inform his eclectic color palette: from ordinary people immortalized in punchy, graphic colors by Alex Katz, to mundane objects made in equally vivid shades by the English painter William Scott.
If Choi’s business card is undoubtedly his ability to take even the fluffiest and most feminine garments and give them a practical attitude, it was fun to see him play with the motifs of the masculine side of the aisle this season, whether it’s military-style shirts with shoulder pads and riffs on tuxedo bibs or a rainproof trench flap repurposed as a shawl. Just as you might find an unexpected panel or pocket when you first try on one of Choi’s garments, its ability to find a new angle on a well-worn reference such as Jump it is proof that, even when it returns to something more minimal, it still has the ability to surprise.