Ranji Ye, The Centaur’s designer, was one of the Korean designers that I was aware of before I headed to Korea and I made sure to reach out to her brand's PR firm for tickets to her show. In 2009 she had been featured in Interview Magazine as a Generation Next Designer, Seoul Fashion Week’s category for up and coming Korean designers and I have followed her career as she rose through the ranks. By the time I was able to attend this show she had solidly moved to Seoul Collection, a spot she had decidedly earned over the last five years of confident collections.
The Centaur’s collection for A/W15 came with Ye’s signature attention to detail and pulled other unexpected influences together. Primarily, the clothes brought us back to an elaborate version of a silver screen era starlet that was offbeat but completely in control. Silks, satins, and gentle East Asian inspired patterns were worked into loose tailoring with clear hints towards glamorous pajamas of the 1930’s and 40’s. The clothes also featured wide legged trousers and long ribbed knit sweaters that gave credence to the 1970s, thin silver glasses chains and dark round sunglasses that reminded me of the 1960’s, and elaborate old-world coiffures and bold makeup that hearkened back to the starlets of early Asian cinema. Models came out wearing small silver hood ornament-like miniatures sitting delicately on the center parts of their hair.
The finale of the the collection came out to Dusty Springfield’s classic, You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me which lyrically and tonally was a perfect fit for a collection asking best features of bygone eras to come back. It articulated a certain sense of playful nostalgia. This feeling comes appropriately at this point in Ye’s career but the collection also made it completely clear that Ye hasn’t stopped exploring what it means to play with design and influence.