Song Seoyoon on Life After VFILES
If the name Song Seoyoon sounds familiar, it’s either because of her casual victory at this year’s VFILES Academy, her cameo on Vogue, or the fact that we just published a dope photo story as a prelude to this interview. Either way, it’s a name you’ll soon be hearing often given her feels-inducing aesthetic and upcoming collection. (Speaking of which, you’ll want to check back later this week for the lookbook premiere…we’re just the gift that keeps on giving). Until then, immerse yourself in Song’s world vicariously through our Q&A.
Congratulations on graduating from Parsons!
Let’s talk about your collection from the VFILES show. The fact that all of your clothes are covered in garment bags seems to hint at preservation. Would you say that’s true?
It’s not so much about preservation, but it is inspired by garment bags. The main reason I decided to use it is to distort the actual clothes inside by using opaque, frosted or like clear plastic so that it’s kind of hard to see what’s inside because it’s not just about this concept.
When I was in the last year of college, I was reading some books and just thinking a lot and including the concept I was just realizing how many times everything I knew wasn’t true, it was all hidden. The truth was always hidden by so many obstacles and ignorances of myself, so I just wanted to create something about how I felt about it using clothes and then I saw a lot of garment bags and plastic bags when I was researching the concept, and I was like oh, wow, I can’t really see what’s inside because it’s covered by plastic and that’s how I felt about the world, you know what I mean?
Yeah! We read that you want to use the power of clothing to address social issues and sustainability. Would you consider your clothes to be sustainable?
So basically, I learned at school that the “sustainable or ethical” fashion business is usually a brand that focuses on using materials and labors that are good for environment & human rights, or focuses on solving a specific issue around the world, but I did not focus on them at all when I was making my previous collection.
My concept was the process of making clothes but my direction of the concept was nothing like I wanted to solve the problem of fashion brands that exploit the labors and devalue the process. I only focused on my impressions through the research. And this is what I mean by “intangible” things: it is just an idea that I felt and thought, not like a physical thing such as addressing any issue or its solution.
And it’s not just me, but a lot of other designers have been doing it as well.
Those designers never talk about how to make the world better or solve problems, but their philosophy and conceptual idea just make me think a lot and at the end it affects my belief, my daily decisions, and eventually, influences the way of living. It is an awareness and awakening of things in general and when more and more people recognize it, the world just naturally gets better.
It is not an immediate solution like sustainable fabric or restricted laws but once it does work, it’s an eternal solution because it is changing someone’s way of thinking. And that is education that fashion can do. And I was trying to do the same as much as possible with my previous collection (although I am not yet satisfied with my outcome), and that was how I connected my non-sustainable collection with the Vogue/Kering x Parsons competition for sustainability.
I read that you’re mostly inspired by intangible things. What’s inspiring you right now?
It’s hard to pinpoint what is, but I read this book called Let the Great World Spin and it’s actually about New York City. It’s talking about how everything is connected. There are so many characters and they don’t even know each other but then in the end they all realize they’re all connected and I realized that’s similar to Buddhism, and I’ve been into Buddhism a lot lately so I guess those kind of philosophies that everything is connected is what I’m focusing on recently.
Cool! What’s the image printed onto the train of your white dress and why did you choose it?
All the images that are printed on my collection are the photos that I took during research when I was going to factories, so I wasn’t even planning to use it, but I was just taking a lot of pictures every time I went to factories, and then I thought it would be better to put that on rather than some fancy images because that’s more genuine.
What brands or designers are you really into at the moment?
Well I’ve always loved Helmut Lang, when it was Helmut Lang, not now.
Would you wear Helmut Lang for the rest of your life, it were the original Helmut Lang?
Yeah, if I could afford it! [laughs]
What do you hope to accomplish in the next five years?
I want to continue making collections and I actually just started making the one for next season so I don’t really have anything but I just have the concept. I’m really interested in filmmaking but I don’t have any academic experience so I can’t really start making it right now, but I was in the video production industry as well making music videos, so from there I was really enjoying it and I got really into feature films as well. I’ve been screenwriting for fun, and I don’t think it’s going to happen in five years, but I have like three movies that I want to make already, maybe in ten years, but that’s really what I want to do. Also I want to be a fashion designer as well.
Featured image shot exclusively for Milk by Diana Frame
Stay tuned to Milk for Song’s collection premiere.