Exhibition in YKK London Showroom
Throughout February the YKK London Showroom is hosting the conceptual fashion work of Mason Jung. Visit the us at 154 Commercial Street to view the tranforming pieces before the end of the month.
Mason Jung is a very different kind of designer, who eschews the seasonal structure of the fashion system and continues his evolving series of projects. He has been presenting his work mainly through exhibitions and installation over conventional fashion shows. Last year saw his exhibitions at Dover street market Ginza and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Rather than just wearable and fashionable commodities, Jung sees his collection as a communication tool that carries a narrative therefore, it is important to show within the context.
The exhibition will feature ‘Sleeping suit and ‘Blanket suit’ from his ‘Transformation’ collection. Curated by Mason Jung and YKK Creative Consultant, Kei Kagami, they will be displayed in the showroom window front, alongside the videos showing the concept and process behind the pieces.
A uniform is part of the architecture of social control; it embodies army discipline and obedience to communal laws and regulations that preserve uniformity.
Fashion designer Mason Jung has an aversion for conventions – be they military or sartorial. Moving from his personal memories of restricted life in the army he created the “Sleeping Suit” and the “Blanket Suit”.
Thanks to a strategic construction with zips, the designs dynamically morph into a sleeping bag or a blanket – essential items that offer physical and psychological protection to soldiers – while ironically referencing the static and immutable nature of formal men’s suits.
These transmogrifying garments represent Jung’s resolution to this ambivalence: they preserve the utility aspect of functional fashion, rejecting conformity and discipline to celebrate individuality.
Through these designs Mason Jung reacts to the collective loss of identity and invites us to explore the subversive potential of radical items of clothing that can shatter fossilised fashion forms.
Dialogue with Mason Jung
Inspiration – Uniformity and Individuality
The inspiration for ‘Transformation’ comes from his own experience – Sleeping bags and blankets are standard supplies in the army (Mason served 26 months, compulsory national service in Korea). These items, necessary for protection – both physical and psychological, Jung also sees as a means of disposing individuality. He identifies this idea within menswear – ‘men’s suit worn every day, signifies its part in the community and at the same time makes one anonymous.
“You can’t really distinguish one from the other when people are all wearing suits. This ambivalence is very interesting to me.”
Tailoring – Classic form and Art of making
Simultaneously Jung ironically appreciates the beauty of the classic archetype and craftsmanship. “Blanket Suit” and “Sleeping Suit” have been hand made with his skilful tailoring in wool – the most conventional material for suits.
“The suit form is our memory of the culture and a paragon of sartorial sophistication. It has exquisiteness and grace that I often borrow in my work such as details or fabrication. I am not a tailor in the traditional sense as I don’t make garments for individual clients and never learned the trade of tailoring. In fact my philosophy in fashion is quite against that formality,”
“However, what fascinated me was the art of making. Tailoring is an accumulated knowledge tested and challenged over time by sedulous makers trying to improve and perfect their art. There are real intelligence and ingenuity in the techniques of sculpting garments, which I try to implement as a creative tool.”
Zippers to Transformation:
The audience will be able to see how the zippers are used in the work. “I wanted to create transforming garments to visualise the conceptual idea – the ambivalent character of men’s suit. Zippers provided a physical solution to realise ‘transformation’ in the garment context. I also had to consider the visual effect so I chose black metal zippers with standard puller to be harmonised with the aesthetic of classic suits in a subtle way.”
Mason’s work will be displayed in the YKK London Showroom throughout February, come and visit us in Shoreditch to view the exhibition.