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Heohwan Simulation: Recent History, Future Classics

SEEN is a huge admirer of Korean-born designer Hwan Heo of Heohwan Simulation. The remarkable womenswear label draws on Hwan Heo’s experimental artwork and geopolitical aestheticism, to create a redefinition of history and fashion.

Hwan Heo became a fashion designer 15 years ago. Passionate about innovation in design, he was inspired by the renowned doyen of modern architecture, Le Corbusier. In his collections, Hwan juxtaposes his love of the traditional fabrics found in menswear, but with colour and textures that give his clothes a more feminine slant.

Citing his father as an early fashion influence, he admits to being challenged by the need to combine creativity with commerce, using hard analytical skills to divide his collections into commercial pieces and show pieces. He studied in London at the Royal College of Art, and cites the fast pace and momentum of street life here as an inspiration for his creative process. Standing on the roof of the London College of Fashion and observing the flow of people around Oxford Circus, Hwan was drawn to dynamic movement rather than static images. He sees London as always in the pursuit of the ‘new’, and responsive to a strong visual stimulus.

Heohwan Simulation’s 10th collection is inspired by the Berlin Wall, and its fall in 1989. The clothes seek to create a fusion between East and West Berlin. Influenced by the cyberpunk bands photographed by Wolfgang Tillmans – who spoke recently against the Brexit vote – Hwan also draws his colour palette from the German flag and graffiti from the Berlin Wall itself, using fabric such as denim, fur and neoprene in black, red and green with blue and orange as accents.

The innovative combination of these colours and fabrics recreates the sprit of 1989 in a playful and fresh way. The resulting long silhouettes with ruffles and tailored trousers, reinvent a sporty aesthetic when teamed with oversized bomber jackets, dresses with fur and trenchcoats with denim. This is what elevates Heohwan Simulation above the quotidian symbols of so much modern fashion; Hwan’s thoughtful analysis of recent history makes him a major player in the creation of future classics.