SUNY Korea leads the future of higher education

FIT hold fashion show at 'Salon du Chocolat'

SUNY Koreaㅣ2020-02-05 09:15

SUNY Korea FIT presented the fashion show for ‘Salon du Chocolat,’ an annual exhibition on all things related to chocolate, at the COEX convention center in Seoul from January 10 to 12.

With the theme "Taste the Art," SUNY Korea FIT Fashion Design students collaboratively worked with chocolatiers to put on a ‘cacao show,’ where dresses with chocolate adornments are showcased on the runway. 

After the show, we spoke with Leonard Bess, chair of the Fashion Design department of SUNY Korea, and Bon Kuk Koo, deputy director of the Fashion Design department of SUNY Korea, who organized this unconventional fashion show.  

Question (Q): How do you feel about the fashion show?

Leonard Bess: The show was very difficult to put together. There is a lot of work involved, but I’m really happy about the way it turned out. I think our students did a very good job in the end. 

Bon Kuk Koo: This was the first experience of a runway show for our students. I’m sure they learned a lot of things throughout the process. I still remember my first runway 15 years ago. I’m sure our students will remember this moment forever as well. 

Q: What motivated you to hold this event?

Leonard Bess: Actually, ‘Salon du Chocolat’ came to us. This show was done all over the world including Paris, London, New York, Moscow, Tokyo and Seoul. The interesting thing was that the chocolates are shipped from Paris which is very expensive and difficult to do. So the persons concerned wanted to do the designs here in Korea. Fortunately, they heard about SUNY Korea FIT, came to us and asked to hold a show. That’s how we got involved. 

Q: What were some of the challenges you faced during the show?

Bon Kuk Koo: For fashion, challenge is everywhere. Every single second you will face some challenges even if you feel like everything is done. You will face another challenge the next day. That’s the fashion world. Through this process of preparing the show, our students can get a taste of the fashion world. They can get a deeper understanding of the real fashion world that awaits them when they finish school. 

Leonard Bess: Fashion is a living breathing thing. You start off from one trail, but they can go off the rails in a completely different direction. You have to be very flexible and be able to move with designs because fashion grows and changes. It is never going to be a straight line. There are always going to be different challenges and some new obstacles even when you don’t expect them. It is what design is all about. 

Q: What was the most meaningful achievement?

Leonard Bess: I think learning and growing. A show like this helps our students to mature. They have rare opportunities to experience a professional fashion show. They can experience the hecticness of working in the back, working with models, working with a make-up artist, and working in a dynamic environment. This is a really great experience for our students. They can have some sense of what putting on a show is really about. 

Q: Future plans?

Leonard Bess: ‘Salon Du Chocolat’ wants to continue with us. We also have been receiving many other offers. There will be some things on campus as well. Bon and I are working with the 3D virtual prototyping so there will be some designs coming out of that. There will be a lot of opportunities for students to exhibit different designs. 

Q: Do you have any message for future students who want to study Fashion Design?

Bon Kuk Koo: Fashion is a wonderful thing. I’m still enjoying my work. Be strong-minded and ready your mindset to get through whatever you may face. 

Leonard Bess: You have to prepare to work hard. Our curriculum is very detailed and difficult to get through. Bon has spent many nights in the lab with students. The thing about our field is that you need a large table, a mannequin, and a sewing machine, as well as a commitment to the very idea that you are going to be locked in a lab. That’s what happens to these students. They were in the lab for a long time putting the garments together for the show. The difficult thing is, in addition to trying to prepare for competition, you should also try to get through the curriculum. These students worked on two things at one time and they got through it. 

For more information about SUNY Korea FIT Fashion Design, please click here.

Written by Sungwon Hyun
Edited by Andrew Schenck


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