LCFMA22: Surreal Techwear with Soeun Park
London College of Fashion's MA22 cohort showcases the breadth of talent that our students possess. Across the fields of visual communication, design and business, this year's set of students have taken inspiration from themes including gender fluidity, human connection and, from a sartorial perspective, innovative pattern cutting.
LCF Stories reached out to Soeun Park of MA Fashion, Film and Digital Production. Soeun's project is a film called 'HOW' - a surreal dive into the world of sportswear. The film juxtaposes nature against rugged techwear, resulting in engrossing visuals. 'HOW' is centred around a theory named depaysement, which Soeun expands on in our interview.
Can you explain what the theory of 'depaysement' means to you, and why you chose it as a core concept in your film?
The art technique of 'depaysement' is as follows: Scale change, the encounter of unrelated objects, heterogeneous coupling of objects, placing of an object in unfamiliar space and unfamiliar locations of body parts. To be specific, the audience will ask themselves “Why did the director choose this reinterpretation method?”. If the audience feels this, the project is a success. This is the reason why I used the theory of Depaysement as a core concept. In addition, the beginning of Surrealism and Depaysement is a new breakthrough found in the gap between the ideals, reality and emotional conflicts of European artists who suffered from war. They tried to overcome the hardship times by looking at reality differently. Therefore, this also contains my desire to protect the disappearing print fashion magazine. This is my real story.
What were your motivations for choosing heavy-duty garments as your article of interrogation?
First, I love menswear, especially heavy-duty menswear! I want to provide a new perspective by mixing functional and rational heavy-duty menswear with the concept of depaysement based on the opposite logic. I would like to reinterpret and reproduce two opposite characteristics and study the results in a modern fashion context. Durable heavy-duty wear is mainly mainstream in men’s fashion and can be largely divided into these categories: workwear, techwear, sportswear and outdoor wear. This project is a reiteration of the garments’ most functional characteristics. Project “How” twists and reinterprets the original functions of garments, delivers novelty by reinterpreting functions, and at the same time produce to the audience the characteristics of heavy-duty wear.
What benefits can attention to detail provide to viewers of the film?
I hope that all the audience watching my fashion films and pictorials will get out of the habitually hardened unconscious routine in the digital era. If the audience watches my works, they can feel two completely different arts meet. And then a moment of distorted reality, this freshness pulls them out of their comfort zone (digital zone). Second, these works are related to warmth and love. Love with nature, affection between people. Because as I mentioned, the original function of heavy-duty menswear will have a new function. The shoes and the pockets of the clothes were used as flower vases, meaning sustainability. By the scene where models share the clothes, the core meaning of work-wear, tech-wear and military wear have been changed into sharing intimacy, personality and affection with each other.
Do you have any particular highlights from your time on the course?
Meeting artists from various types of fashion industries through my course tutors in class were the most precious and special. The day I met Ahmad Swaid, the head of content at Dazed, is the most memorable. I am always touched when I meet artists who know the value of fashion magazines and try to protect them. Through this class, we constantly discussed how the fashion media industry will develop in the future. And I heard excellent answers. It became a ray of light to the uncertainty of my beliefs on fashion content.