South Korean-raised and Ryerson U graduate Rani Kim showed one of my favourite collections from the recent World Mastercard Fashion Week here in Toronto. While most designers opted for familiar trends like all white and fringe, Kim approached her collection from a less predictable and more playful angle, using graphic prints of geometric shapes and sourcing materials in earthy neutrals and steely blues. Smooth, matte silks were juxtaposed with coated nylon that packed a lot of shine. Models kept it unfussy and wore unisex Korean rubber shoes (called gomushin).
Of course, like a lot of garments I’m drawn to these days, a number of pieces from Rani’s collection featured mesh sheaths, but in ways I didn’t always expect. Rather than worn alone with plenty of fearless nipple action, Rani layered them on top of other fabrics in order to create the look of a whole new material. The result is fun, maybe a little crafty, but always eye-catching. I like how the overall vibe of her SS15 is part tribal (because of the olives and browns), part futuristic fantasy (because of the textures and prints). The clothes have an easygoing, undone quality to them, like something you’d wear while planting trees or lounging on your couch. Kim was motivated to make clothes she can bike in, which excited me way too much, as a daily commuter cyclist.
Kim currently works full time as a production design assistant at Joe Fresh and prouces her own garments in her free time. Her background in menswear, her time spent working under Jeremy Laing and Astrid Andersen, have all influenced her tremendously to become one of a handful of working Canadian designers making utilitarian, androgynous clothes that also pack a lot of interesting design. I tend to bemoan a lot of big names in Canadian fashion as dull and uninspired. Here’s hoping that Kim quits her day job soon to focus on her own work, without ditching our cold and, at times, creatively stunted city.
Images vis rankbyranikim.com