Central Saint Martins has an impressive record of nurturing talents who create awe-inspiring – and meme-inspiring – garments too. Take Edwin Mohney’s inflatable pool necklace. Or Fredrik Tjærandsen's deflatable balloon dresses. Or rewind the Internet search a bit further down the data lane to Goom Heo’s BA Graduate collection in 2017. Layered t-shirts, bulky silhouettes and pastiche of sportswear tropes mixed with disruptive tailoring; Heo’s first foray into menswear put the designer on everybody’s radar.
Goom Heo grew up in Jinju, South Korea and studied in Illinois before moving to London in 2011 to enrol at Central Saint Martins foundation course. In 2017, Heo graduated from BA Fashion Design with Print with a collection that fused and layered repurposed stack of vintage t-shirts into hybrid garments that proposed the subversive alternative to men’s wardrobe and won her the L’Oréal Professionnel Young Talent Award. Heo went on to study MA at Central Saint Martins – a programme famous for training the likes of Alexander McQueen and Christopher Kane. Heo’s MA graduate collection, which received the L’Oréal Professionnel Creative Award, replaced her BA collection’s sizeable proportions with form-fitting leotards, appliquéd with floating silk chiffon panels and layered sportswear pieces.
Now, a year after her graduation, the designer has joined the Fashion East, a non-profit scheme in London headed by Lulu Kennedy which enables young fashion designers to stage on-schedule shows for three consecutive seasons. Fashion East has famously launched the careers of the likes of Kim Jones, Charles Jeffrey, Simone Rocha, Gareth Pugh, Art School, Martine Rose and many more.
Goom Heo presented her Fall/Winter 2020 collection as part of the first-ever co-ed Fashion East show in February. The collection, showcased on both male and female models, aimed to embody the ‘feeling of romance’ translating Heo’s take on the subject in liquified fabrics trailing off body-hugging silhouettes. Lycra cycling shorts; cropped long sleeves and pleated and twisted scarves. Goom Heo’s signature geometric forms were rendered in jewel hues of fuchsia, plum and citrine yellow, enhanced with psychedelic snakeskin-like pleats. Glossy black codpieces- a focal accessory throughout her MA collection – gave way to bejewelled tops, trousers and rings. “It’s about different experiences of romance. I wanted to explore how I feel about romance”, the designer said, “but it’s not about love.”