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20 August 2012

Guest Blogger: Vauxhall Fashion Scout

We're Vauxhall Fashion Scout, London's leading independent fashion showcase, serving as platform for some of the UK's most innovative design talents including David Koma, Felder Felder, Hermione de Paula and Leutton Postle to name a few...

For the next week, Vauxhall Fashion Scout will be taking over the Browns Blog, launching below with an exclusive inside look in the studio of this season’s Merit Award winner, Heohwan Simulation.

In just eight seasons, the Vauxhall Fashion Scout ‘Merit Award’ Winners have gained international recognition, with celebrity fans and stockists around the world, including debut exclusives with Browns & Browns Focus.

Essentially, the Merit Award is a leading platform for success; with our most recent recipient already featured as a “new talent to watch” by Vogue’s Fashion Features Director, Harriet Quick, in their September issue.

Designed by a Royal College of Art graduate, Heohwan Simulation, is already gaining momentum among the fashion elite, and as he prepares for his debut solo show we catch up with Hwan Heo ahead of his Spring/Summer collection…

VFS: You were part of the VFS ‘Ones To Watch’ platform last season, and now you’re the recipient of our Spring/Summer ‘Merit Award’- how do you feel such accolades have contributed to your success so far?

The judging process for the Merit Award was more rigorous than the one for Ones to Watch. I really wanted the Merit Award and believed that there was a good chance that I could win it.  I knew how difficult it would be, therefore, put in my best efforts in the application process.

I am grateful to Vauxhall Fashion Scout and their Selection Panel for this invaluable opportunity and award, which will serve as critical to the brand's global development. 

VFS: This will be your first solo London showcase.  Do you feel added pressure now that it’s just your collection on the runway? Or does showing alone, with the aid of the ‘Merit Award’ allow you more creative freedom?

It's true that I'm feeling a lot of pressure for my first solo London showcase.

It's difficult trying to find a balance between what I want, and what press and buyers want. I think that trying to express my creativity and style through the collection while also trying to appeal to the press and buyers will be the biggest challenge for me for the next few months.

VFS: You’ve been quoted previously as saying your work is inspired by “experimental” artwork at various points throughout history. Is this a continuous source of inspiration? If so, what in particular has inspired next season?

My goal is to showcase "The Decade Project" over a period of twenty collections.  Each will be inspired by a different concept or time in fashion history.

I can’t give away too much but my inspiration for SS13’s collection includes Marc Bohan's work during the late 1960s and Naomi Klein's book, "No Logo".

VFS: What’s next for ‘Heohwan Simulation’, the brand; we understand that you also work as a lecturer, are there any plans yet to focus solely on design?

For me, teaching is a continuous source of inspiration as it gives me the chance to re-evaluate and improve my own work process. Nevertheless, I have found it quite challenging to balance both designing and teaching. So, I will be focusing more on design for the near future.

VFS: As you prepare to hold your first solo show what advice would you give to students with similar goals?

I'm still in the process of growing as a designer myself, so I'm not sure if I'm at a place to give others advice yet. But, if there is one thing that I have learned in the past few years, I have realized that becoming an owner of your own fashion brand not only requires design skills but also business skills. I think it is important to recognize and accept what you are not strong at early on, and find ways to improve and build those skills.

It is an exciting opportunity ahead of me and I am truly looking forward to my first solo show.

Catch Heohwan Simulation’s debut collection at Vauxhall Fashion Scout on Friday 14th September at 3:30pm.

Text: Sara McAlpine & Cass Gowing

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