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“I wanted to be a sculptor. For me, it’s the same thing to work the fabric or the stone” Mme Gres.

Doo Ri Chung’s Spring/Summer 2012 collection ventured into new territory for the designer, who is known for her Mme Gres inspired gowns in their drapery and fluidity. Perhaps in an effort to avoid predictability, Chung has explored the use of tailoring and structure in her garments, proving there is more to her than her signature draping by interspersing prints and pleating.

Gres and Chung both share a love of jersey fabrics and the Korean-born designer is open about her Gres inspiration;

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“I’m always inspired by Mme Gres, I understand her affinity for the fabric because I have the same sort of love for jersey aswell”

However, Chung’s work is not a pastiche. Her garments ooze New York city sophistication, and her twist on urban chic brings Gres’ inspiration into the modern day. The collection showed a variety of elements, all brought together under the Chung umbrella; classic draped dresses formed a safe base, allowing more adventurous printed pieces to shine through. All the prints were hand drawn and inspired by artists such as Audrey Beardsley, which resulted in a more tender and intimate edge to the garments.

Her expansion into a more vivid colour palette produced a more progressive collection, whilst the garments still retained an air of simplicity and grace. Chung also explored tailored trouser suits and loose blazers, however her efforts to infuse detailing into the pieces resulted in a somewhat cluttered finish. Her sleek lines were impeccable and perhaps would have been more striking without the inclusion of fringing. Chung’s tentative dip into the unknown proved successful overall as she kept her feet firmly on the ground by sticking to hints of her signature, producing a sleek and promising collection.

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Written by Camilla Harrison

Camilla is currently in her final year studying BA Fashion History and Theory at Central St Martins and is a freelance writer for a range of publications and websites, writing fashion, arts and culture. In the last year, Camilla has been archiving the garments and history of Margaret Howell.

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