In 1970, a professor called Alvin Toffler wrote a book describing the “information overload” phenomenon that society would soon be facing as a result of the rapid technological revolution that was beginning to change the world. Who would have known that 44 years later his assertions would not only be eerily correct, but that a young designer called Kim Hongbum would use this theory as inspiration for his Autumn/Winter 2014 collection.
Born in Seoul, South Korea, Hongbum created CRES. E DIM in April 2009, after having decided to switch his major from makeup and hair design to fashion design. CRES. E DIM stems from a commonly used musical term, Crescendo e Diminuendo, meaning to become gradually louder (cres) and gradually softer (dim). Hongbum “applied this theory to [his] fashion identity and brand philosophy… to create a shape and split it up, place a color on the broken shape, then let it naturally flow like a running river.”
Appropriately named, “Future Shock”, CRES. E DIM’s collection shows the effects of simple silhouettes being transformed into intricate pieces. A knee-length black leather jacket with a collarless high neck, attached hood and exaggerated shoulder flaps metamorphoses into luxurious football protective gear, while basic neoprene sweatshirts in black and white are converted to oversized computer microchips through the use of printed graphics. The graphics, a trait Hongbum is known for, are influenced by Toffler’s book cover; the title is in a futuristic font. The microchip pattern, a graphic largely used throughout the collection, is illustrated on slim, tapered trousers and a voluminous gray wool vest with extended shoulders, zipper details and large, pocket flaps. Upside down city skylines fall from the rounded collars of dusty pink sweatshirts and clouds in an array of blues animate white blouses.
Connecting the practicality of sportswear to daily life, Hongbum creates easy to wear pieces in luxury fabrics with an “understated mood and detail completion.” Buttery leather culottes with triangle shaped pocket flaps are pinstriped with neoprene and topped with cropped, peplum-waist jackets that can double as tops. A loosely draped white silk shirtdress sporting a leather placket and dual slits flows to the top of masculine, silver-armored ankle boots. The accessories— structured two-tone totes and white, razor thin clutches— are no different, created for the active yet sensual and polished woman.
Hongbum’s next task is the completion of his Spring/Summer 2015 collection.
“These days I’ve been inspired by Yees Klein, with his modern and strong feeling. And also Nicolas Sassoon, with his witty artworks. I want to show various and irregular nuances in the spring collection.”
Cres. E Dim’s AW14 (see More):