Spotlight: Wooyoungmi’s Padding Technique

Senior designer Adam Rice on the Korean brand’s key detail for the AW13 season

“The first thing you notice with the collection is the colours but there’s a lot more to it. This season we played a lot with the surface and shadows. A key element of these looks are the garments with stitched padding. This season’s inspiration is taken from the Bauhaus movement, so that’s where the colours come from; mustard yellow and electric blue most notably. We then mixed that with motorcycle influences, which is where the padding comes in.

For us it’s all about geometric shapes for AW13. Except for Bauhaus, we looked towards Walter Gropius and the house made out of wood panels that he designed. For the details, like seams, cuts and shapes we turned to the motorcycle gear. A lot of the fabrics we used are made to last and resist wear and tear, like wool, moleskin and nylon.

The padding was achieved by cutting strips of foam and inserting them in the correct place. We then closed it with seams so that the foam’s basically encapsulated. In theory it’s quite easy but it effects the design process as normally we just look at the clothes from a two dimensional way – and what the garments look like in 3D isn’t always what we had in mind. The technique itself is easy but the application and construction is time consuming.

Initially we worked with sections of the body, using squares and shapes. The relief idea came later. Basically, we were interested in accentuating the body through shadows, but in the end many of the coats and jackets ended up having a protective body armor feeling to them, which worked great with the motorcycle theme.”

yellow-copy Wooyoungmi
blue-copy Wooyoungmi