I Want to Address How Important it is to Have Hope, Hye Seon Jeon
Hye Seon Jeon
Hye Seon Jeon is a NYC-based Menswear Fashion Designer. Although her interest in drawing and painting was her initial motivation to get an education in art, she enrolled at Parsons The New School BFA program, majoring in Fashion Design in 2013. A common theme across her collections is utility and message. Hye Seon believes in the functionality of clothing, which is often represented by choices in materials or shapes. Indeed, she also has faith in her mission for spreading ‘positive influence,’ which explains the brand name ‘Nannerwave.’ Nannerwave is a combination of her nickname ‘Nanner/Nance’ and the term ‘wave’ which stands for a cultural influence or a trend. Because of her religious conviction and life philosophy, she has been trying to provide a message of ‘hope’ through her clothing.
Along with the importance of storytelling in today’s world and this industry (Fashion), I think the floods of message-centric products are almost inevitable and I’m happy to admit that I’m also just one of many trend followers, ironically. Although I try my best to bring such things like positivity, hopeful messages through my work, I personally believe it all starts from my bitter sense about our society’s current address. Because I’m not quite satisfied about our society and our current coping strategies, I paradoxically want to address how important it is to have a hope. A hope about everyone having rights to not just suck up their unfair situations and rights to make their voices about prime matters, and rights to seek for good nature. Fashion designers are often quested to find practical problems and bring corresponding solutions with even a touch of sensitivity, but I’m naturally more interested in intangible, yet educationally important matters.
When I was in college, my work often got criticized on the lack of problem-solving point of view and its attractivity, which I see as too complicated matters with a subtle voice. My thesis work, “PERSPECTIVE,” was probably the most confusing concept that I have ever tried to deliver, as it touches upon a lot of big titles such as “Flat Land (book),” The Theory of The Relativity, Psychology and Christianity. The initial inspiration came from the book “Flat Land,” which is the most intellectually and beautifully written criticism about the social class by its unique metaphor of dimensions. While this book depicts how ridiculous the hierarchy system is, it also suggests that enlightenment is the key. The way I interpret this is acknowledging the social class system is much more sophisticated with numerous facades, thus examination in multi-dimensional level will be required, in order to avoid flattening the problem. The author describes the enlightenment is something like when 2D square, which only could see the whole world in a flat view, being converted to a flat square who can now see the whole depth and volume of a sphere in the 3D world. The book itself is always mentioned in the 4th dimension (The Theory of Relativity) and I also thought it would be a perfect example of real-life 2D squares, us. While I just wanted to bring up the point about how people stick with their heuristic tendency and neglect the necessity of multilateral viewpoints, I also wanted to make a statement about individual’s constant inner evolution through metaphor in the 4th dimension. Through the aspect of space-time in the theory of relativity, each individual must accept that everyone is slightly living in a different universes, while that individuals also metaphorically and literally evolves everyday. Beside academic interests, I also thought talking about a theory against the Euclidean space, which can be translated as how people limit the whole Universe in 3rd dimensional perspective, would be a clever way to explain the existence of God.
After dealing with gigantic ideas, I moved onto much simpler methodology. My second collection, “Requiem 4 Self-Pity,” is a collaboration with my friend, Joo Won Yu, and we’ve got lucky enough to showcase this collection here and there. Although being literal was never my taste in terms of both aesthetics and work ethics, I am particularly satisfied about this collection and me and my collaborator’s decision on conveying the concept by printing the message on garments physically. The basic purpose of printed messages on our garments is of course exposing the wearers in positive wordings and we only twik the idea a little bit by mirroring those words, so that the wearers would have to read them through their reflected selves. Despite the fact that it sounds too overt, it wasn’t a complete betrayal of my own strategy.
When we were still in the process of ideations, I read an interesting article about ethical consumerism. If I’m recalling it right, the main point of this article was that providing actual facts about dark sides in production system will be actually helpful for guiding regular customers into the ethical consumerism. Again, it sounds very reasonable and stupid at the same time, but it made its point that being literal and captain obvious works out better than effort-requiring social enhancement. Also, a lot of research in Psychology and Brain Science nowadays proves that human beings’ mind are much more affected by the surroundings than we believe. Among those many examples and terminologies, there is something called “Priming effect,” which means exposure to certain words, certain behaviors interrupt our thinking process and it can result certain decision makings. For example, when people were told to come up with some words by filling the blank “SO_P,” people who were recently exposed to some words related to “eat,” will respond as “SOUP,” while people who were recently exposed to some words related to “wash,” will respond as “SOAP.” This phenomena links to “Ideomotor effect,” which explains the correlation between physical behavior such as “slow-walking” and the mind trigger such as the “elders,” vice versa. So, I thought it’d be a fun element to expose the wearers with such theme, a death of self-pity, by the word itself and seeing themselves in the mirror. Also, such imageries of the word “Self-Pity” being dropped by opening another layer of pants or ponchos will make the wearers to experience the concept behaviorally as well.