In a collaboration between fashion, music and media, music came out as the clear frontrunner at the 2013 Seoul Girls Collection S/S show.
While the ultimate and primary goal of Seoul Girls Collection is to highlight up-and-coming designers and models, all that unfortunately fell to the wayside, as nearly everyone in the audience seemed to be there to see the featured performers, EXO-K, SHINee, N-Sonic and Nine Muses.
While the term ‘fashionably late’ exists for a reason, the show started 40 minutes late, due to delays in seating, an inappropriately long time considering the fact that most fans were waiting for performances that were scheduled to fall toward the end of the program.
Still, begin it did, with apologies from the show’s MCs, actor Hyun Woo and Nine Muses member Sera. After a brief introduction, the show immediately launched into performances from N-Sonic, a group with arguably more international fans than local. The group performed two songs, Never Stop and Super Boy, a shorter segment due to time constraints, and led into the fashion portion of the evening.
Seoul Girls Collection aims to both showcase new designers and sell their clothes, which meant everything on the runway had to be much more commercialthan couture- and it showed.
Starting off with GLAMVILLE, the clothes looked like they came straight out of a Hongdae store, meant to outfit girls hoping to emulate 2NE1 or 4minute. The next collection from EEOOM was much more ladylike, and heavy on the demure blouses and polka dots, but still seemed to be fit more for a teenager attempting to look more grown-up.The looks from dU’gonG followed the same train, with classic lace and streamlined midi-length chiffon dresses dominating the collection.
But AUMI brought usback to the clubwear - a little more refined than the clothes from GLAMVILLE, but still highly casual - made for flirting, rather than dancing.
Lady Lee closed out the first half of the show, with what seemed to be a combination of all the previous collections - muted colors, with pops of neon, lace and midi-length skirts.
MC Hyun Woo introduced the next group solo, as his partner Sera was off preparing to perform with her group, Nine Muses. The girl group seemed perfect for the show, considering that Nine Muses made its debut as the ‘model group,’ as many of the members were former models.
The group came out, looking far more statuesque than many of the models walking the show, and performed a total of four songs, including Dolls, Ticket, News and Figaro.
Unfortunately, due to mic issues, the girls couldn’t sing out their all, despite constant requests to raise the volume on their mics during song breaks.
But although there were few fanboys in the audience (in comparison to the girls), they made their presence known, comforting Nine Muses with screams of ‘Nuna, I love you’ and ‘Nuna, so sexy’ every time there was a lull.
After Nine Muses wrapped up performing, it was back to the clothes (to what seemed like the disappointment of many in the audience).
Director Bee launched the second portion of the show, with a much tougher aesthetic. Dominated by leather looks and John Lennon-like round glasses, the clothes seemed more appropriate for the sassy girl looking to become a woman.
Unijong, on the other hand, was much softer, with sweaters, lace and short dresses comprising most of the collection, similar to the collection that followed, London clou:D, which also featured sweaters, lace and dresses, though with a flapper influence.
Softcore was easily the standout collection of the entire night, created by Sena Yoon of Project Runway Korea Season 2. With loose tops, short-shorts, cut-outs and clever backpacks that also functioned as hoodie vests, the clothes played with shapes and volume but managed to keep things unified.
The show ended with UZ, with girls parading down the runway in slinky negligee, showcasing accessories. The geometric-influence jewelry was heavy on the body chains, turning what could have been delicately beautiful into slightly overbearing.
But in any case,all attention seemed to be pointed to the next groupas EXO-K was preparing backstage to perform for what seemed like the first time in months. After a quick introduction by the MCs, the hall erupted into the loudest cheers yet, and EXO-K emerged and launched straight into a performance of MAMA.
After deafening cheers, EXO-K quieted things down with a performance of Into Your World, which segued perfectly into the duet What is Love by Baekhyun and D.O.
But EXO-K ramped things up again with its final song, History, getting all the girls (literally) screaming again.
After wrapping up their four songs, the EXO-K members stood on stage with MCs Hyun Woo and Sera, greeting the long-waiting fans.
Declaring that all the members are big fans of fashion, and read a lot of fashion magazines, the EXO-K members then sent Kai, Sehun and Chanyeol down the runway, proving that idols are the ideal clotheshorses.
Of course, the night was all about the girls though, so the focus briefly strayed from the idols and went back to the clothes for the grand finale, with all the collections, as well as the designers, briefly showcased once again.
And though all the fashion shows were finished, the stadium cold and the time nearly an hour past the original finish time, few budged from their seats, waiting for the real grand finale - SHINee.
Even though SHINee has made infinitely more public appearances than EXO-K, fans still seemed to be excited to see the four boys (minus Jonghyun, who is convalescing after a recent car accident).
SHINee launched intoLucifer and moved into Stranger, choosing not to perform the planned Sherlock in a wise move.
During a brief break, the MCs returned to the stage to talk with the members, with Key briefly introducing himself and his group in fluent Japanese.
SHINee continued to make all the fangirls die in their seats with a performance of the romantic song Aside, and wrapped it all up with its most recent, Dream Girl, with the members doing their best to fill Jonghyun’s empty spot.
After going out with a bang, SHINee left the stage empty for MCs Hyun Woo and Sera, who returned to the podium to thank attendees and fans...who were already trickling out of the stadium.
While Seoul Girls Collection made a valiant attempt to showcase fashion, music and media, it became all too apparent that the all-powerful pull of idol performances was just too strong.
But considering that some of the loudest cheers came from when the idols tried their hand at walking the runway, perhaps taking the connection between fashion and music to the next level and enlisting idols to model the clothes may be the perfect solution.
For more information on Seoul Girls Collection, or to purchase the clothing featured in the show, go to http://seoulgirlscollection.or.kr/.
Photo credit: Jang Min Sun