It’s been a big season for Phoebe Philo’s protégées. In Milan, ex-Céline director of ready-to-wear Daniel Lee presented his debut A/W 2019 runway show at the head of Bottega Veneta. South Korea-born, London-based Rok Hwang was part of Phoebe Philo’s original design team when she debuted her first collection for Céline in 2010. Hwang started his own label in 2016, and his smart, deconstructed and fluid aesthetic earned him the 2018 LVMH Special Prize. Hwang is a master of splicing classic silhouettes, like trenchcoats, kilts and suits and reassembling these fundamentals into something new. For his first A/W 2019 catwalk show, these silhouettes were a central focus. The designer was inspired by an adolescence growing up in a caravan in Austin, Texas, and looked to 1980s and 1990s Spielberg and Gus Van Sant films as reference. Details like colourful crochet capes, floral and paisley prints and tartans had a domesticated, retro home interiors touch, and models sported protective goggles and carried torches and skateboards.
Scene setting: For the first show of Paris Fashion Week, Hwang led guests into a dark industrial space lined with white tiles. The horror film focus was emphasised by flashing red lights which illuminated the space and smoke which began to fill the catwalk as the show started.
Best in show: Plenty of Phoebe Philo fans will look to Hwang for style cues, and a voluminous navy trenchcoat with spliced Prince of Wales check details will serve them well. Knitwear was also a hit here. A deconstructed snowflake patterned chunky sweater was worn inside out, its arms tied around the neck.