here’s a standalone article about my favourite show of the season!
Ike Seungik Lee’s STARSICA AW18 collection “Seirēn sings for a Mad King” was undoubtedly my favourite of the whole weekend. Taking a conceptual story and running with it, his show was as much a fashion runway as a spectacular theatre piece. With the plots of Siren’s three songs printed on invites (turning into a bird; Odysseus escaping her temptation; and the king throwing Siren out of a window although she can’t fly), guests knew from the offset that they were in store for a completely immersive experience.
The crux idea of this collection, however, was not Greek myth itself, but rather the phenomenon of otherness. Although Siren sings particular songs with particular significance, it’s the interpretation the Mad King derives from them that matters. In much the same way, it wasn’t solely the concept of dissimilitude that was explored, but rather how it could be envisioned through other people’s subjective perspectives. In that way, could we all be the Mad King? Have we all lost our grip on reality by attributing too much personal meaning to everything?
Existential moment over, let’s talk about the clothes. The collection was dramatic, incorporating mythological elements in a fashion forward way – neon furs, 3-dimensional wings, dangling love hearts, stars, and the ichthus all hark back to monsters and motifs from Greek tragedies.
The colour palette was extensive, stretching from teal check to textured florals to colour-blocked blush pink, although my favourite look was the grey cape and lilac skirt combo, which was covered in embroidered symbols forming a quasi-print.
The Mad King himself was emulated through the hard structural lines in coats and suits as well as through colour; dark purple represented his regal status and charcoal was indicative of his unyielding power.
Accessories were tongue-in-cheek this season, with bags crafted in the shape of coffins and adorned with mirrors, a reflection of the Mad King’s death as well as his vanity and ego, perhaps?
All in all, this collection was an incredible take on Greek myth. Ike Seungik Lee perfectly encapsulated sentiments of whimsy, romance, tragedy, and futility in a fascinating runway, which I’m sure I’ll remember for years to come. (It also helped that the models span and danced down the runway in a memorable echo of Siren’s trances- let’s have a moment of applause for the brave choreography choice!)
images: Simon Armstrong