New Threads: Moon J.

Wonderland plays games with emerging designer Jinhee Moon as she reaches her new high score with Moon J.’s SS16 collection.

Emerging designer Jinhee Moon has got your back. Creating collections to get your goals going, Moon wants to award people who fight to be the best. How will she do that? Well, the premise is pretty simple, wear her label Moon J. and you’ll get there! Her SS16 collection features medal-inspired badges, inspirational statements and a hell of a lot of cheerleader-style. Her kitschy colourful collection has a few looks that could even pass as full-on cheerleader outfits – rooting for you through the worst of days. Go you, go! And, when you’ve gone and been your fabulous self (decked out in Moon J. obviously), you can slip on your ‘Perfect’ emblazoned jumper and your “High Score.” headband. Talk about life goals motivation.

It’s not all about you though (sorry), Moon has been beating her own high scores, rising through the ranks as an emerging designer. The London College of Fashion alumnus presented her first collection for the BA Press Show last year, earning her an award of her own for her use of colour and textile. She went on to present her AW15 collection for Fashion Scout’s “Ones To Watch” catwalk show, and since then has gained the support of Vogue Italia, at the end of October she presented her collection with Who is on Next? Dubai for the Vogue Fashion Dubai Experience.

Won over yet? We certainly are. Moon has Wonderland getting all Bring It On suddenly… Give us a “M – O – O – N – J,” what does it spell? Moon J.

What is your earliest fashion memory?

Getting jelly shoes when I was 5 years old.

You are based between London and Korea. Were you born in Korea?

Yes, I was born in Seoul, Korea.

How does Korea influence your designs?

My family and oldest friends are in Korea. They charge my energy to live and to be creative.

How does London influence your designs?

My feelings really depend on weather. The weather in London makes me either gloomy or happy. For me, feeling is the main key to my work. Therefore, the gloomy feeling makes me focus on creative works, whereas the happy feeling makes me work hard making garments.

Which designers you have assisted?

Peter Pilotto and Holly Fulton

What did you take away from your experience at Peter Pilotto?

I learnt a lot about embroidery and beading. I would only choose fabrics with texture when I was a student, but now it helps me make my own textures.

What did you learn at Holly Fulton?

I mostly did pattern alternations for making samples. I learned a bonding technique from Holly Fulton.

You were selected for the LCF 2014 BA Press Show and won “The Best Directional Use of Colour & Textile Award.” Can you tell us what role colour plays in your design process?

Colour is very important part of my design. There was this ‘white shirt project’ when I was in my first year university, and it was my first and last experience designing without colour. I don’t choose a colour first for the collection, but it is the quite big part when I decide the themes and concept.

Can you walk us through your creative process?

I tried to get inspiration from my experience. I explore what I have been interested in then make a story whilst I research every little thing from my interests that is the subject or the statement whatever the form is.

Tell us what has become a signature element for Moon J?

The signature of Moon J is modern cutting with a mixture of colour and texture. In terms of the modern cutting, it is brought about by the concept and themes. It does not only represent cutting the fabric and making the cutting line part of the design, but I like it to be present in different methods for future collections.

Do you design for yourself or who do you have in mind?

I don’t have a specific woman in mind but someone who can playfully wear my design.

Your SS16 collection features bold text that says, “High Score” and “Perfect” in what looks like an old arcade game typeface. Can you tell us the story behind this collection?

I explored what causes our stress and how we had get rid of it. I found that many people tried to go back to the past – by purchasing retro products, watching old movies or playing simple games – to escape from their current tough life. The old arcade game is really easy to play and bring about the happy memories of childhood. Moreover the game is the same as the life. In the way that we need to complete it stage by stage, otherwise we cannot enter the next level, and even if we jump to next level, it would be hard to play well.

What does it say in the circles on the sleeves in your SS16 collection?

The circles on the sleeves in SS16 are the symbol of a medal. I wanted to tell the people who are struggling with life to keep their pace, to think to finish the goal of their life. We tend to speed up because of other peoples’ expectations, but it makes us not do our best and bring the worthiest result. Therefore, I want to praise and to award each other with what we have done, even if it is not successful. The failure or late achievement is one of steps or stages of our lives.

What’s next for Moon J.?

I would like to make a strong foundation for Moon J. I have presented three collections and I would like to build up Moon J’s uniqueness through these experiences.

Janine Leah Bartels
New Threads: Moon J.

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