The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit is on Monday. This year’s exhibit theme is China: Through the Looking Glass. In partnership with the Department of Asian Art, it will explore the impact of Chinese aesthetics on Western fashion. If you want the full download on that issue, I encourage you to read this article on Jing Daily. In the meantime, I am based in Los Angeles. Here on the West Coast, we are immersed in the second largest Korean community outside Korea itself. Hence, I am going literal and downloading with my favorite Korean fashion designer to explore the impact of Asian aesthetics on Western fashion in my immediate world. Let’s talk about Ji Oh.
Born in Korea, Ji Oh studied art and design at Central Saint Martins in London and earned her fashion degree at Parsons in New York. Her core belief is that a woman should not be defined by her clothing. Instead, a woman’s attire should underscore the person she is. It only makes sense that this emerging designer would create pieces that are simultaneously bold yet subtle; glamorous yet relaxed; and classic yet futuristic. If ever a designer defined effortless chic, Ji Oh is she. We had a great download:
D: How has your Asian background influenced your fashion designs and personal style?
JO: I think the formality and sporty look with the neutral tone of my collection is part of it. I think in Asia people like to dress somewhat proper and casual at the same time. It’s for practicality and comfort.
D: How would you perceive the “Asian influence” on Western fashion in general?
JO: I never really looked at it as “Asian influence” before, so it’s kind of hard to answer…but I would say the casual and sporty look with a trend-driven attitude makes a lot of sense with the fast-moving fashion industry.
D: Do you spend much time in museums? How does visual art inform your practice?
JO: I don’t go every week but I do visit galleries and museums often. It’s always refreshing to learn how other artists execute their ideas. Some influence me more than others, but every art piece has different messages to learn.
D: Who are your favorite artists?
JO: I am a huge fan of René Magritte and Mark Rothko. Doesn’t matter how many times I look at their art, it keeps me curious. I love the bold message of their work.
D: If you could collaborate with any visual artist, who would it be?
JO: Damien Hirst. I love how his work is modern and clean yet very bold and challenging. It would be a very thrilling experience if I ever get to do it!
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