Blindness SS19 Review: Love with No Gender
By Seán McHugh
Taking inspiration from the theme of first love, KyuYong Shin and JiSun Park of Blindness use a mixture of soft and hard textures, exaggerated detailing and decadent accessories to create a gender fluid collection celebrating the most universal of human experiences: love.
Joy, confusion, and curiosity are some of the many themes that come to mind surrounding the theme of first love. Blindness has further woven this theme into their garments in the form of oversized ruffles, flowing tulle trains and exquisite pearl accents. The neutral colour palette is set off by floral patterns and pastels that truly evokes the sense of utter romanticism within their collection. The mix of models, materials, and silhouettes all work together to tap into the androgynous core of the range: a love song of gender fluidity. Taking a romantic vision into current times, Blindness crafts a precious perspective of love with no boundaries - no gender - where first love is expressed without stigma, discrimination or limits. Examining some of our favourite looks in closer detail, we focus on what goes into expressing first love in fashion below.
The first look of this collection, this piece combines the romantic elements of the theme with a street style aesthetic. Hidden faces are a staple of this runway and this look is no different, with a semi-transparent hood and pearl detailing, obscuring the model's face. The interior of this look is a surprisingly simple oversized jacket that is elevated by the dramatic tulle ruffles and flowing sheer trousers. This feminine styling on top of a classic masculine look provides an innovative take on how to express gender fluidity. First love through this gender fluid collection then does not simply ignore the subject in question but accepts both the masculine and feminine ideals, observing how they intermingle without prejudice to create something unique and beautiful.
A true stand out, this look brings together the collections' staples of ruffles, sheer fabric, and pearl detailing. On the runway, the collections' colour palette begins with neutrals before turning to black for its second half - perhaps to signal the emotional turmoil of how first love affects us. The sheer dress glides on the runway; plus combined with the puff shoulder sleeves, makes for a dramatic finish. The pearl vest is, of course, a striking addition, contrasting against the melancholy of the sheer black, as it evokes an element of old romantic luxury. The choice of a masculine model, juxtaposed with traditional feminine styling expresses the fluid vision at the core of the collection. These pieces all play with expectation and make a gentle, beautiful political statement about love without boundaries.
The finale of the collection - this look is marked by the bold inclusion of red that is not found anywhere else on the runway. The masculine and the feminine aspects blend joyously together in this look with the pastel lavender bow and oversized blazer styled with matching shorts. The ruffle and pearl blindfold adds to this further, expressing so much about the naivety and secrets of first love to be uncovered within this look. The combination of strong tailoring and soft fabrics really makes this a piece that sums up the collection as subverting the gender binary and using fashion as a form of expression, which can be essential in working to progressively change the world around us.