Seoul Fashion Week | F/W 2011 – Interview: Han Sang Hyuk of MVIO

Creative Director Han Sang Hyuk was the first to put on a crowd-wowing show. A faceless mannequin, expressing the collection’s theme “Complex”, was wheeled out by a model in a matching suit. On their way backstage, the mannequin stepped off the trolley and walked the rest of the way, immediately inducing a collective “oooh” and applause from the audience. I’m not sure how that model managed to see, but his runway walk didn’t skip a beat. The show’s backdrop was also unique: a chalkboard covered with physics equations to represent a second concept in the collection, “MVIO Institute of Art and Science”. I managed to sit down with Han for a quick chat after the show so I could get the scoop on the inspiration behind the collection.

Your show was incredibly witty with two faceless models. How did that idea come about?
It actually comes from the “Complex” theme of this collection, which is related to my personal experience. The faceless models express the idea of hiding complex feelings. In school, I didn’t have the same views as my peers who studied really hard and wanted to be successful later in life. I didn’t necessarily want to be the top of the class so I didn’t study hard. Later, as I got into fashion, I realized I wanted to be a top designer; I wanted to be the best. I felt conflicting emotions at that point; I finally understood that kind of ambition my peers felt but it was so late in the game.

How does the idea of the “MVIO Arts and Science Institute” work together with the “Complex” theme?
The “MVIO Arts and Science Institute” recreates the school setting for the “Complex” concept I mentioned above. That’s why I included a huge chalkboard as the backdrop for the runway.

MVIO is known for its neat suits and this time aprons were a cohesive element throughout the collection. Can you tell us something about that?
Again, it adds to the whole concept of hiding one’s personal, complex feelings. The aprons cover the suit and are analogous to hiding one’s flaws. It’s like how people put on foundation and makeup to hide their blemishes; the apron works in the same way.

MVIO is incredibly popular amongst Korean men in their 20s and 30s and you have a celebrity following too. Do you see yourself as a kind of leader of fashion for young men?
I’m not sure about being a leader, but I’d like to think that I’m a teacher or a mentor. Young Korean men in their 20s and 30s are generally very successful and I think the design of garments really reflect that.

Take a look at some more backstage photos!

Clockwise from left: Line-up for the show; some of the MVIO collection on the rack; one of the models with the glasses still on, Korean actor Eric Moon congratulating Han after the show.

This article is part of the The YesStylist Seoul Fashion Week F/W 2011 Coverage.