During my time working at Studio 450 with Oxford Fashion Studio in preparation for the fashion shows to take place that evening, I was able to get an up close look at the clothing going down the runway, as well as getting to speak with the some of the people that made them. One of the most talented is HanByel Kang, a South Korean born, 2014 Parsons graduate whose show stopping collection was composed of pieces hand knit by the designer herself.
LB: What would you describe this collection as?
HK: Continuing with the sentimental quality of knitwear from last collection, I wanted to portray the modernized romanticism. I didn’t want to portray the romanticism and femininity too extravagant. I wanted to keep the collection elegant and minimal.
LB: What inspired this collection?
HK: I guess I can say my inspiration came from everywhere.
I got inspiration from 70’s fashion a lot. I believe this collection definitely delivers the taste of 70’s fashion with romantic vibe.
LB: What piece in this collection is the epitome of a HanByel Kang design?
HK: I personally think that the rose quartz cropped vest and the lace wide pants represents this collection. It is also my favorite look among the collection.
LB: How does this collection differ from your previous collections?
HK: While last collection gave sentimental melancholy, “modern romanticism” collection gives a softness and warmth. The rose quartz cropped vest, lavender fog jumpsuit, and lace pleated wrap skirt boost a sense of femininity.
LB: It’s true that all your knits are hand-knit correct? How long does it take you to create one garment?
HK: I had to do it really quick this time. I sat there and knit everyday, I guess it took me about two weeks for one piece.
LB: How did you get into designing knitwear?
HK: Well I wasn’t in knitwear until two years ago. I was into ready-to-wear and I started knitting and I really liked it so I started doing it more.
LB: I’ve noticed that your pieces have silhouettes that are not traditionally made out of knits. Where did that inspiration come from?
HK: I originally was into couture so when I started knitting I kind of made knit couture. When people think of knitwear they think of sweaters and I wanted to create something new.
LB: What is your philosophy on the art of fashion?
HK: I believe fashion is not just a clothes that people wear. It has a power to influence society. It is one way to narrate and communicate with the world for fashion designers.
LB: What do you think about fast-fashion?
HK: I admire the meticulous and handcrafted works on couture. All my collections are all hand knitted pieces. I believe there is a beauty into those handworks and painstaking process. Yet, I still do appreciate the philosophy of fast-fashion. It is definitely necessary for the society that we live in. Fast-fashion helps fashion more easy to approach. As a fast-fashion and quick manufacturing industry grows, I appreciate the “slow-fashion” and couture more and more. I praise more then before to things that cannot be imitated.
Check out HanByel’s work here