Self-Portrait Spring 2019

The stylish sixties were given a modern update by designer Han Chong of Self-Portrait. The man known on Instagram as Mr. Self-Portrait, created a collection that was inspired by the spirit of the 1960s, but was for the modern, confident woman. Where many designers look to the more hippie style/bohemian mood of the 1960s when being inspired by the 60s, Chong created a wardrobe for a woman who was the modern urbanite who is sun-kissed and liberated at work.

In contrast to the “borrowed from the boys” or standard secretary dress that would be so popular among women of that era, Hong created a collection that was both cosmopolitan, but also resort ready. Texture is one of the trademarks of Self-Portrait, as evidenced by the brand’s signature lace cocktail dresses, which never fail to disappoint. For spring 2019, the collection also featured pleated silk gowns, poplin blouses, and mixed-media coats.

This is a collection for women who want to make a statement and it is on trend with the maximalism we have been seeing for the past several years. No, it does not push the envelope of maximalism in the realm of brands like Gucci or Comme Des Garçons, but this was a collection for the woman who wants to be noticed for her fashion choices.

Chong did step outside of his comfort zone for this collection though by using a lot of prints. In the past, he never strayed beyond stripes or polka dots, but this time around Chong went for geometric florals, with patterns spliced and combined together, and paired with crochet and lace. This collection was a lesson in the importance of movement in clothing, especially as contemporary women have no desire to feel restricted in their clothes.

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The Self-Portrait world is also expanding. This season, the brand introduced swimwear. As their fan base has grown, they are able to stay true to their old customers, while bringing in new ones. Those women who wanted Chong’s minimalist approach to color the brand’s appreciation for texture will help to continue consumer’s affectation for Self-Portrait. However, with the spring 2019 collection, Chong has pinpointed the consumer who wants to be in head-to-toe graphic prints and even pick up a swimsuit for resort season. It’s a newer, expanding portrait for Self-Portrait.— Kristopher Fraser

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