Fashion aficionados have been debating the idea of personal style, with many pointing out the uniform-like nature of contemporary fashion. This uniformity is not because everyone looks alike, but because we are all influenced by the same things. The rise of technology and algorithms has led to a homogenization of ideas and inspiration.
The latest collection by Yoon Ahn, Fall/Winter 2023 Ambush, addresses this issue. The designer is intrigued by the idea of infusing individuality into something as rigid as a uniform. The collection is based on the theme of students sent to a private school after excessive partying. Yoon draws inspiration from various sources, including Aphex Twin, K-Pop, Japanese private school uniforms, and dark techno music. The repetitive beat of techno music informs the uniform concept, which Yoon describes as “repetitive and a little darker” than a typical rave.
Uniforms have been gaining popularity in fashion as they offer opportunities for subversion. However, what happens when uniforms become uniform themselves? Yoon comments on the irony of wearing a school uniform to a rave or fashion show, and observes that even though people claim to express their individuality, they often fall into the same archetypes and play the same “roles“. According to Yoon, “we never really graduate from high school“.