Spring Summer 2018
J.Kim SS/18 collection has its roots in Jenia’s trip to Jeju – a small island in South Korea where the last women practicing the art of free-diving named Haenyeo live. This profession can only be occupied by women and there are just a few Haenyeos in South Korea who still perform it. Jenia Kim was inspired by these women, by their strength – both physical and moral – and by the history of Haenyeo community where women take the leading part in making money for their families and devoting their lives to the sea. Jenia also was impressed by the way Haenyeos look, so that their traditional but not so usual diving costumes found their place in the collection. Thus, Haenyeos’ swimsuits worn over turtlenecks were transformed into embroidered body suits; jeans and pants with circle cut were inspired by men’s thermal underwear in which Haenyeos dive in cold waters. Another source of inspiration for Jenia was “Grey Gardens” movie about the life of Jacqueline Kennedy’s cousin – this reference can be seen in hoodied crop tops (the same that Haenyeos wear) and wrapped skirts that look like shawl worn around the hips. Both Haenyeo story and “Grey Gardens” references lead to the main idea of the collection – it all is about strong women who can care themselves without a men’s help. Even the cuts and silhouettes in the collection perform that – just take a look at a transformer dress that can be worn both with and without cut out shoulders.
This season for the first time in the brand’s history J.Kim presents a mini-collection of bags. One of them was created in collaboration with an ophthalmologist and also an artist Alexey Klepnev. These tote bags with the hand-painted images of eels and sea cucumbers look like a regular plastic bag that any woman at a Korean market carries. There are also soft fabric bags with shorts hands decorated with “palps’ inspired by Haehyeo women tackle, sleeves of a traditional Korean hanbok as well as sea creatures caught by Jeju island divers.