Nothing captivates the mind quite like nostalgia — a fact South Korean label BIRD CHE knows all too well. Billing themselves as a “nostalgia shop,” BIRD CHE is a historical grab-bag, compiling the best visual influences of the past and blending them with the complex fashion of the future. Looks under the label are intricate, inspired by both its comprehensive understanding of the world’s past and its hope for the future.
Their latest collection, named “I’m a Stranger with Constant Daydream,” brings all of these influences to the fore. Photographed by Hyunwoo Bareun Jung, the pictures in this series aim to strike the viewer, pulling them into a world of dreamy imagination while keeping their feet firmly planted in our present reality. To hear more about this collection and the inspiration behind BIRD CHE, Schön! spoke to creative director Hoseung Choi.
What inspired the founding of BIRD CHE as a label?
Before I started BIRD CHE I had a lot of time to think about myself. What are the designs I like? And in the multifaceted art world, what do I really like, and what really represents myself? Where is this particular place where I feel comfortable, where I want to stay for a long time, where my heart is warmed? This was the “Nostalgia Shop.” The inspiration and the mood from this Nostalgia Shop gave me the direction for my overall design background; all my graphics, movies and art directions come from this philosophy.
What does that “Nostalgia Shop” title mean to you?
In a Nostalgia Shop, the out-of-season and out-of-trend products get accumulated. They can vary from a few months old to as long as many-year-old vintage products. I find this space to be very romantic. These products may be old and worn out, but they just sit and wait for their fate endlessly.
Vintage items cannot be replicated by a computer as they are mostly handmade. There’s something warm about these products that you cannot see in our modern times. These Nostalgia Shop images, as well as the feelings and emotions you get, is the overall direction and inspiration for BIRD CHE. I hope people can experience this warm reminiscence of the past in this Nostalgia Shop through BIRD CHE.
What can you tell us about your latest season, “I’m a Stranger with Constant Daydream”? Influences, background, etc.?
BIRD CHE’s second season’s story begins with “I’m a Stranger with Constant Daydream.” The dream is a result of the repetition of random recurring memories. BIRD CHE’s artwork and styling are drawn from a stranger’s vivid memories and reminiscence from his dream. The dreamy beauty, the intertwining of memories and the beautiful fantasy of a dream were expressed by analogue artwork, incorporated into BIRD CHE ’s signature pleats, distressing and “aging” details.
How did you settle upon the analogue artwork used in the pieces? What do these pieces mean to you?
BIRD CHE’s season concept and mood are determined by the artwork. This is reflected in the design on the garments as well as the lookbook and online content. This artwork’s image and mood and the simple beauty of the concept are used as the media to reach out to the customers.
What do you hope these photographs by photographer Jung Hyunwoo capture about BIRD CHE?
The images are not to be cold in tone and manner, soft shadows to reflect the lookbook images as if they are on a stage of a play.
Outside of fashion, what is your relationship with nostalgia?
Cherishing. Good and bad things all remain as memories. I want these to be beautiful memories. These memories are important for me and I want to fill these memories with beauty.
What does the future have in store for BIRD CHE?
BIRD CHE’s ultimate goal is to develop into a high-end brand with exceptional quality and workmanship reminiscing the warm nostalgic space. I wish to create a better future with customers who agree with BIRD CHE’s philosophy and inspiration.
all clothing. BIRD CHE