Minju is a designer from South Korea who is now in her final masters year studying fashion at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. She won the H&M Design Award 2013 with her BA collection titled “Dear My Friend”, inspired by Japanese Manga cartoonist Junji Ito. The inspiration may be fantastical, but the work that went into the collection was incredibly serious.
Described by Kim as “happy, brave, love”, the collection - aptly titled Dear My Friend - explores the relationship of colour, plays with texture and infuses traditional elements, such as Japanese illustrations on leather.
Sawa Takai explores deliberate layering through addition and subtraction. Engineered melton wool double-paneling functions as protective sheaths symbolizing strength and concealment. These heavy layers are contrasted by removed panels and split seams in soft flannel revealing interior linings and representing vulnerability and exposure. Together these themes play on Takai’s reflections on metropolitan women who must preserve their inner tenderness while projecting strength to the world to survive.