Yeojin Bae at RAFW: soft dominance

A young yet constant fixture in Australian fashion, designer Yeojin Bae had an air of calmness about her as she helped to perfect each model’s look backstage. It was a calmness that projected itself upon her RAFW catwalk, despite the fact that this was her debut appearance at the Australian fashion week. So as the lights brightened and French chanson provided the calmness with a soundtrack, models floated down the catwalk, each pausing for a moment at the end and turning so softly that their ponytails scarcely moved.

While it was a catwalk that largely worked in feminine shades such as blush, coral and peach, even when it was at its darkest Yeojin Bae‘s spring / summer 2011 offering still had a distinct softness to it. While this week we have been privy to many a collection that felt visually soft, Bae’s approach sits different to most. Hers come less from flow and soft layering of fabric, and more from a cohesive mix of tone, shape, styling and the inspiration of ‘loungerie’. It felt to be the well thought out personification of soft, feminine, day wear.

Only one segment of the collection stood at odds with its overall softness: its black, sequinned dress and skirt. These are no doubt statement pieces, and those I sat next to saw it as a nice break from the consistent feel of what had been showed previously. But that is catwalk as spectatorship, and once the collection has left the catwalk it’s only the memories of viewing it that remains (until we publish a look book, at least). So it is that these pieces too easily set themselves apart from the quality of the pieces that preceded them. While they no doubt will be big sellers, the sequinned tulle dress was particularly fetching, such a distinct and dominating point of difference is something I could have personally done without. Make no mistake though, these pieces deserve to sell particular when styled as a short suit with a long line tuxedo jacket paired against sequinned shorts that appeared to be cut as hot pants or short shorts (the length of the tuxedo jacket covered the rear, and the cut wasn’t full discernible where I was seated).

You can see all of Yeojin Bae‘s spring / summer 2011 / 2012 collection by clicking on the thumbnails below and browsing through the photos.