Tell us about your life in Seoul
I love it! A lot of hard work ethics and long working hours, people get up 12 at noon and working till the second day midday. The fun time during the work hours includes Soju (a traditional Korean vodka-like liquor), so having business meeting while getting drunk (laugh).
And the people there are very different from here in London. They are extremely nice and respectful. In Korea it’s a big thing: people show respect to others in reflection of their self-respect.
I LOVE life in Seoul! I traveled the world, I lived in LA, London, and I feel Seoul is the place that grabs me.
What brought you there?
It all started by a K-pop music video teaser shot in London for the Korean pop group WINNER, it was the famous Mino kiss (the first screen kiss of the member Mino).
It was a hot one! (laughs)
(laughs) Thank you ha-ha. We had to film that for 30 minutes just for the kissing, and cut, kissing… He was a bit nervous which made me feel much better.
The MV teaser went huge; afterwards I went Korea for work and play. From that point, more people, brands and Korean companies out there started to work with me.
Recently I just did a documentary there on youth culture, how the younger generation in Korea is branching out and rebelling against the traditional older generation, on the way of finding themselves now. I have seen many cool new young fashion designers.
Tell us your observations on fashion in Seoul?
It is amazing; everyone has his or her own different styles. One of my Korean friend told me he felt held back from the fashion world growing up in Korean cos he couldn’t really express himself. But the same time it is very important to themselves to portray who they are and push their inner personality out in the way they dress.
My friend J Young used to wear suits everyday to “fit in”, then suddenly one day he realized he didn’t want to “fit in” anymore, he said his life was completely changed as soon as he found out his own style.
Fashion in Korea is a huge deal; it is part of showing themselves to people and being free.
Another thing is that youth control the Seoul Fashion Week for a change from London, Paris or Milan where there are always the big names and older designers. Really young designers are creating their own fashion shows out there and inspire all over the world, which is so fascinating and cool.
And young people there are looking for inspiration on themselves, their own culture and identity.
What is your fashion inspiration?
My personal style has always come from my obsession of Vivienne Westwood. The spirit is to not follow any rules and do what I feel like.
As for my daily inspiration, I can feel like anything today when I wake up in the morning – punk, gothic, sporty, etc… I have a different mood and it comes out in my fashion.
What is the inspiration today?
Korea! Korea really inspires me in fashion. In London I don’t really make much effort everyday in fashion coz I am too used to here: you can wear what you want to wear and no one will judge you in London, which kind of makes me feel lazy. But in Korea, you have to care about what you look like. You HAVE to! It is seen as the way of showing others respect. It makes people want to present their best self.
Any culture shock and similarity you found there when you are in Seoul?
There are a lot but it is hard to think. Oh one thing, you can walk the street wearing a tank top in London, but in Korea it is very rare to find women showing the top of their arms even the weather being so hot. They show the legs in miniskirts, but showing the arms is a no no.
A great similarity is probably the nightlife and music: the clubs there and here are always going till 6 in the morning. Grime music is huge in Korea, and K-pop and K-hip hop is also playing in London.
Plan in 2017?
Going back to Korea!! (excited)
In January I’m going back to LA for 3 months and going back to Korea for 1 year. I am doing a short film/MV there and the director is planning to work on it for about a year, which is going to be something you have never seen before.
And there are a few things I will do but they are still secrets (laughs)
Underground inspires and is inspired by British subculture, both contemporary and from before. Is there a subculture that inspires you? Or which subculture you identify the most?
PUNK, I’ve always had the punk attitude in whatever I do. Although my style constantly changes but there is a definite and strong footprint of punk in my every day style and fashion sense since a very young age.
Vivienne Westwood being my fashion icon because of her punk and not giving an fxxk attitude I 100% adopt that! If you don’t like the way I dress, my opinions or the way I act, I don’t care, this is me. I’m not the type of person to change my likes and beliefs because it doesn’t fit with modern day society, or doesn’t fit with what’s cool at the moment! I just do me. I would never change that! I think every one has a bit of punk in them and what I would love to see that shines through more, stop conforming to the norm just define you!
Thank you Pixiee for the amazing talk about fashion, subculture and and insight of Seoul, looking forward to your fantastic 2017. Keep glowing and inspiring!