Wood House Army Men’s Spring 2019

Atten-hut! Wood House Army is on the scene, and they demand your attention!

A former U.S. Army officer, designer Julian Woodhouse is accustomed to being a leader and affecting change. As a young man coming into his own in South Korea, he carefully cultivated his own sense of style, but was often disappointed in the scarce menswear options. Finding more inspiration in womenswear, he teamed with a local independent pattern maker in Dongducheon, South Korea and started creating custom garments of his own. Over time, the duo continuously crafted new designs that evolved into Wood House Army’s first show for the Seoul Fashion Week fall 2015 season.

A year later, Julian and his husband/muse/creative partner Kirill Kabachenko showed their fall 2016 collection at Pier 59 Studios in NYC. This season, showing their eighth collection, the duo demonstrates strong design growth. But they also show a noticeably strong sense of self by not veering too far from their established brand aesthetic, but instead offer customers another layer of Asian-inspired design.

This season, Wood House Army skillfully evokes the visual concept of athleisure. The clothes themselves don’t necessarily scream workout gear, but through one lens, you see jackets and pants from BMX motosports. Through another lens, you get a feeling of Muay Thai boxing shorts. Through a third lens, you see garments for a post-surf stroll on the beach.

As mentioned earlier, the Asian motif is central to the brand. The vibrant colors of blues, reds, and burnt orange are grounded by crisp whites and prints in black and sand. The rising phoenix prints certainly evoke an Eastern feel, but that feeling is taken to the next level with Mandarin characters emblazoned across their silk shorts (this is their first time using silk and another nod to Asian culture). On a deeper level, relaxing mantras, such as “calm,” “balance”, and “light” are featured on other garments.

                                     Images courtesy of Wood House Army

Wood House Army began as a way to fill the sartorial gap between what was seen as exciting womenswear and meager menswear. Julian and Kirill are not meeting, but exceeding, expectations. With this being their first actual runway show, they have demonstrated that they can vacillate between seasons, fabrications, and aesthetics. They are on an upward trajectory with no signs of stopping.—Carl Ayers

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