Storytelling Through Fashion, Eun Byul Kim
Eun Byul Kim
Creating a new harmony through clothing and accessories that represent the multi-faceted identities and hybrid personas we all possess, in musical and artistic methods.
What was your earliest fashion memory?
The earliest fashion memory I can remember is when I was at elementary school. I used to create my own paper dolls and dressed them in paper clothes. Since they were paper drawings of clothes, I had the freedom to create any clothes I imagined! I would do my own mini runways with my dolls too. That was the beginning of when I started to develop an interest in fashion.
How has your background in both Myanmar and New York influenced your work?
I was raised in Myanmar for 13 years and moved to New York 5 years ago. My experience in New York and my background growing up in Myanmar, highly influenced my works today. My childhood memories of Myanmar are filled with lively colours, loose fit clothing, with summer all year long. Burmese language and gestures are delicate, soft, and relaxed. The underdeveloped environment of Myanmar affected my designs to be inspired by emotions and mythical stories, in combination with the bold and structured silhouettes encountered from New York’s chic, monotonous and fast-paced environment.
While fashion has a functional purpose, you mention how you “find more pleasure in the aesthetic elements of fashion as a form of expression”, what do you mean by this?
Fashion is different for everybody, and for me, fashion is most importantly a form of expression. I find inspirations from my thoughts that I want to share with the world. I find extreme joy not only in my inspirations and ideas but largely in finding unique methods to present the ideas. Clothing is currently one of the main methods. The “Multiplayers” collection is very special to me because I really pushed my limits in expressing myself. This can be evident in the exaggerated silhouettes, unconventional shapes, and experimental materials. Each design elements of this collection have a meaning and purpose, representing my extensive research in music and art.
What’s the inspiration behind your Multiplayers collection?
This collection entitled “Multiplayers” seeks to create a new visual identity based on art, music, film, and literature that form my own sense of personal harmony. I was constantly surrounded by music growing up as my mother was a piano teacher. I could tell her mood by the way she played the piano - her body gesture, the strength in her fingers and the pieces she chooses. I would listen to my mother play and interpret it into colour, line weight, and how I moved my hands.
The idea of the body as an instrument inspire me. During my initial stages of research, I gathered piano notes of my favourite music and investigated musicians and their body language while they play.
My own personal history with music and this research informed my silhouette development via mapping of the body in motion, line and shape explorations, and strategic pattern making. Contrasting combinations of materials such as vinyl, organza, boning, webbing, and leather with cotton twill, were used to create structure and transparency.
For this collection you also produced a film, what message are you conveying in the film?
The film was produced in collaboration with the director Luke Smithers. The film for Eun Byul Kim’s collection “Multiplayer” was born out of thinking of the garments as the materialization of the geometry of a composer’s arms trace in leading an orchestra. Both the models’ bodies and the garments they wear move as if to materialize the invisible landscape of a song. This lends the video a sensuality that comes in the models imagining each garment as a note the body moves too.
Such sensuality is compounded with uneasiness. The vectors of the outdated tools that the models press to their bodies and the queasy movement of the camera unnerve in a way similar to that of the violinist whose bow could at any moment slip.
What can we expect from you over the next few seasons?
I dream to create a brand that inspires people. I don’t want to limit myself as a Fashion Designer. I will continue to explore other forms of expression in addition to clothing, such as accessories, film, sculptures, music, paintings, and more. I am always looking forward to creating an interactive exhibition, where I can share new ideas and emotions through collaborating with different artists of different specialities, with the public. I have started with a collection of clothing and accessories, which will ultimately expand into a unique art movement.