Since its debut collection release 10 years ago, the Seoul-originated brand, Andersson Bell, had its first show outside of South Korea. On June 18th, the Creative Director of the brand, Dohun Kim, showcased the clothing at the Spring/Summer 2024 Milan Men's Fashion Week. Bell's pieces range in wearability and allow for gender inclusivity on the runway and for everyday wear. The uniformity of the collection is striking at first glance. Even with the use of denim, lace, leather, and colorful prints, there is a clear cohesiveness throughout the entire show.
Kim was inspired by the vibrant city of Seoul and South Korean military garb. Filled with people wearing big sleeves and colorful fabrics, Seoul bustles with immense fashion inspiration. Kim created pieces that echo the feeling of people watching in a bursting, spirited city. The clothes possess a universal appeal, transcending any constraints, and can be effortlessly envisioned on individuals of all kinds. Majority of the pieces are embellished with pops of blue, emphasizing continuity throughout the collection. Initially, it could be easy to get lost in the minute details that each article of clothing has to offer. However, the blue detailing encourages us to come back to the ensemble and appreciate it in its entirety.
In the first look, a black leather and blue denim skirt is paired with a dainty, yet rugged-looking denim bra with an overlaying brown leather belt. This same brown is found in the skirt, bringing the entire look together to perfection. A silver zipper extends from the top of the skirt all the way to the bottom. Although the gap between the two sides is small, the zipper adds a unique flair that feels necessary for the look. The front of the skirt features a carefully sewn back pocket from a pair of jeans, creating an intriguing visual detail that adds a touch of uniqueness. Although it may seem slightly unconventional, the seamless integration of denim embellishments on the other side of the skirt allows the back pocket of the jeans to blend in harmoniously.
From the get-go, the most prominent fabric used in the collection is denim. Dark, light, solid, or ripped— Kim incorporated this versatile fabric in most of the pieces. For the women’s looks, denim is seen on skirts in nontraditional forms, swirling and crooked fitting. But these abnormalities in the skirts work because of their matching tops. There are patches of different shaded denim sewn together, creating abstract textures. Even the accessories include denim— Kim uses scrap pieces from his other clothes to embellish the bags on the runway. Dohun skillfully employs this small detail to foster cohesiveness across almost every piece in his collection.
The men’s denim looks incorporate peculiarly fitted garments. Many of the pants fall to the floor while others are just the right length. Nevertheless, the distinctive silhouettes introduce intriguing elements of peculiarity to the collection, effectively capturing our attention. Sometimes paired with leather, the eye-catching differentiations in the fabrics center viewers into the individual look. Although it might come off as overwhelming, there is a charming quality that is given to the clothing by interweaving leather and denim textures.
Dresses are showcased later on in the show and have splashes of color, lace, and crochet detailing. The silhouettes of the dresses hang perfectly and ruched to accentuate the body. The captivating colors are intriguing and leave individuals yearning for more. Arbitrarily placed cutouts appear on the dresses, showing teases of skin that bring the attention back to the wearer of the piece. Usually paired with a sandal or funky claw-looking boot, the dresses work with various accessories and additional details. These dresses mimic a feeling of busy and eclectic energy in a booming city.
Towards the end, several leather-based looks walked the runway and subtly paid homage to biker wear one would find in a city. The crisply cut and lined jackets blend in the same brown and blue colors seen throughout the show. These pieces give a satisfying sense of finality and completion that is necessary to bring the entire collection together. The show perfectly conveys the story of Seoul Kim hoped to emulate. In blending fabrics, one can hear the ruckus of city noise but still be zoned back in with the cohesion and repetition of certain textures and colors.