Chan-Hee Park, 28, recalls his training accident clearly: ‘When I was injured, one of my comrades carried me on his shoulders and another one carried my heavy gear.’ This was an epiphany for Park, a few years into a three year stint with the ROK-U.S. Combined Army Division in Korea, soon to return for his final year at Central Saint Martins. Park’s graduate menswear collection, Leave No Man Behind, channels these experiences of camaraderie into physical aspects of the collection with a deft hand.
A jacket incorporates the trousers of a discarded uniform recreating the legs of a fallen soldier draped over his comrade. On a jumper, a three-sided metal piece whose shape is inspired by the solider carry unifies together three pieces of black knit and is further joined at the seams by leather panels. Now translating his military message through form and function than exterior appearance, Park is avoiding the kitschy route all together. ‘I try not to be too obvious,’ he insists.
Park completed a number of different work placements, including working for Giorgio Armani, Haider Ackermann, Craig Green and Maglierie Montegrappa. Having won a 2021 Swarovski Foundation Award,Park is looking to the future: ‘For now, I’m looking to work with a designer to continue to grow my craft, but I will always want to produce work that responds to important issues today.’
Quin Cunningham, BA Fashion Journalism