Sunday, November 4, 2012

'Find your own feminine identity'

Fashion designer Lee Seung-hee, top, poses in her showroom in Sindang-dong

Lee Seung-hee is a fashion designer who perfectly understands the contour and curves of the female body and creates the simplest yet most sophisticated designs.
The 37-year-old runs her own label, Leyii, and in the last three years has successfully crafted a distinct reputation for herself as a bourgeoning international fashion icon.
The Korean-born designer had her first collection presented in September and October 2009 at London Fashion Week and Seoul Fashion Week, respectively. She has also been selected as one of the designers for “Seoul’s 10 Soul,” Seoul city’s project to foster fashion designers as global talent.

Below are her Leyii creations at Seoul Fashion Week SS 2013.
/ Courtesy of artist

In October’s Seoul Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2013, Lee showed off a collection of finely-cut pieces with unique patterns and silhouettes that struck the perfect balance for women’s bodies.
“I wanted to create something different, not dry as I would describe some designs, but something very moisturizing and rich,” Lee said Wednesday in an interview at her showroom in Sindang-dong in Seoul.
Inspired by “Dancing Box” by Korean abstract painter Kim Bong-tae, her Spring/Summer 2013 collection features three-dimensional minimalism.

“The painter made the dancing movements of the box into an abstract form. I found his work very interesting  so I used the entire collection to create a new way of color blocking and a constructive silhouette while introducing once again, Leyii’s unique minimal lines,” Lee said.
“I think ‘Dancing Box’ and Leyii have one thing in common. Both look flat but at the same time, they have 3D effects. These creations feature the painter’s use of boxes into color, lines and this 3D effect into a perfect minimal formula,” she added.
Asked about her source of inspiration, Lee said she often gets new, somehow quirky ideas from random things in her life.
“I believe traveling and visiting museums are just part of our leisure activities, nothing more than that. For me, even my daughter’s stickers and public advertisements can be a pointer to new inspiration for my collection” Lee said.
The designer was the center of media attention at the fashion week, thanks to the patronage of a number of high profile personalities including actress Chae Shi-ra and Seoul Mayor Park Won-soon.
“You know, everyone presumes I have a large circle of acquaintances but it’s not true. I don’t even have PR for my brand, which means I have never tried celebrity endorsement. I am confident that my clothes best understand women’s physique. The celebrities came to check out my show simply because they love my creations,” she said.
Lee emphasized that during a six-year stay in the United Kingdom. “finding the best proportion” was the key principle that influenced her artistic grooming. She earned her bachelor’s degree at the London College of Fashion and a master’s from Central Saint Martin’s, both constituent colleges of the University of the Arts in London.
“My university life wasn’t so easy at first because of the language barrier. It was the biggest problem I had. I felt very left out because everyone in my class was looking at me as a stranger from a very random small Asian country,” she said. “But I never gave up. I just did what I had to do and I managed to graduate with a first class degree in the end and was even chosen as one of the best students in my group. I was ecstatic!”
Based on all the experiences from Korea and abroad, Lee is now keen to extend the contours of her business further afield. Leyii is currently stocked in such fashion boutiques as Avista showroom in Italy, Layers in the U.K., S&C in the United States and U.I.B. in Saudi Arabia.
“I also hope that I can have the chance to pass on my know-how to new designers and that more women fall in love with Leyii,” she added.
“Leyii is about creating your own identity. I hope women find their own femininity, mysteriousness and exclusiveness in my creations. And most importantly, I hope they discover their own identity in them.”

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