Ann Demeulemeester Seoul Store
Although this store opened in 2007 – ‘it’ – like its ‘natural’ exterior have become more prominant, refined and perhaps relevant to contemporary design of the past year.
APC founder Jean Touitou said himself :
“There are too many fresh kids, it makes me worry for the future”
This quote seems to have some reverance with the volume of ’emerging’ brands, which many cultural critics believe to lack true creative direction, yet rather they ‘play off’ industry trends. Although ‘workwear’ may to some extent be the latest ‘casuality’ of this nature, Ann Demeulemeester has forged one of the most inspirational and unique brands within fashion. Her gothic, avant-garde take on fashion, harks back to her days in the 1980’s emergence of the ‘Antwerp Six’, arguably the most influential movement on modern design.
This store is no different in many ways to her approach to fashion – standing out from the crowd – yet is totally unrelated to anything she has been previously involved in. The ‘green’ exterior is stark contrast to the grey Seoul City backdrop, showing Ann and archtiects Mass Media at their creative best. However, 4 floors infused with light, bamboo walls, and ‘fluid- curvacious’ walls are a far cry from her asymetric, monotone styles which have graced catwalks. Open air spaces not only allow pieces to become one with their environment, but also suggest the removal of barriers between catwalk and street – a battle which has plagued her career.
This removal from the norm, freedom of expression and the ability to adapt are truly what Jean Touitou meant, surrounded in what is now a ‘sub-culture of conformity’. This building demonstrates how people respect individuality, and perhpas now, with an abundence of genreic design, both this building and Demeulermeester’s collections will be given unquestionabey merited respect, as markers of a ‘new-wave’ of design excitement.