Now this one makes me sad. Today WWD reports that Doo-Ri Chung has left her namesake label, which she founded in 2001.
So far there's been no explanation about why she's decided to leave and it all seems a bit strange. The brand has been doing so well over the past few years especially. Michelle Obama helped put the brand into the consciousness of the public when she sported one of her creations for a state dinner and most recently she had that successful collection with Macy's.
There was so much to love in Doo-Ri Chung's latest collection. While she is best known for her draping, season after season she continues to rework this signature and prove that she's not just a one trick pony.
Of course, the draping was there but this time it felt different. Her signature simple draped dresses appeared alongside new styles mixed with knitwear details on the sleeves or on the chest. Tops that came with a draped halter-neck style-wrap around the neck with knit sleeves were extremely elegant teamed with high waisted trousers with thick waistbands whilst also feeling inherently fresh.The introduction of olive tones on a leather and knitwear dress combo worked and added a modern feeling to the otherwise classic collection.
Macy's are on a roll at the moment with their designer collaborations. Last year saw Doo-Ri Chung (whose collection hasn't hit shop floors yet) and Karl Lagerfeld design collections for the store's Impulse department and yesterday Alberta Ferretti was announced as the latest collaborator. The collection will be full of the romantic, feminine pieces that Ferretti is known for and the 30 pieces will include summer party dresses, light knitwear and delicate blouses inspired from the designer's recent trip to the Almafi Coast.
According to WWD, Ferretti's collection will be amongst five designer collaborations set for release at Macy's this year.
2011 has been a great year for Doo Ri Chung. Back in April she gave birth to a baby boy, she was recently name as the latest designer to work with Macy's on their Impulse line and that came only two days after Michelle Obama sported one of her dresses to a state dinner.
Although having the two things happen within days of one another sounds like the hand of PR spin, it was actually a pure coincidence. 'Everyone thought it was planned, but it was just luck. I found out about Michelle Obama because a Washington Post reporter called my cell phone while I was in the car, and I was like, "She is?"' Chung told The Cut. 'It's the first time she's worn something from my collection, and it turned out to be great timing with the Macy's announcement. It was also nice that she wore it to the state dinner with the South Korean president — personally, I relate more to being American than being Korean, but it was a nice moment for my Korean family members too.'
Giambattista Valli's collection for Macy's hasn't even hit stores yet but the retailer has already announced their next collaboration. Doo Ri Chung is the latest designer to sign up to work with the retailer, WWD reports, on their Impulse line.
The collection - set to drop on February 15 - will feature the draping and signatures that she's known for but will be available at prices ranging from $39-$159. "The customer is very different from whom we’ve catered to before, but I really didn’t have to adapt,” Chung said when asked about the challenge of designing for a low price point. “Macy’s wanted to keep the design level high. I didn’t feel the challenge was very different.”
Doo-Ri Chung is the queen of drapery. It's what she's known for. But, as with any signature, there's always the fear of becoming monotonous and predictable but for her S/S12 collection, she proved that having such a strong signature does not always have to be prohibitive. The collection had a great start as Chung sent a model down the runway in a white shirt dress that gently draped around the models legs from the hips onwards, showing a more playful side of Chung. The incorporation of the drape instantly modernised the otherwise simple wardrobe basic, and will undoubtedly do well at retail.
Dresses often came with long sleeves but in lightweight fabrics subtly draped across the body, making them perfect for those cool summer days. The crisp white pieces like a look featuring a deconstructed silk jacket teamed with a simple sheer top and thigh grazing shorts worked well alongside a wide selection of printed looks. A dark purple 70s-style printed dress wasn't the most flattering piece in the collection and was in desperate need of a belt to add some shape, but all was forgiven when a model walked out in a beautiful grey leaf printed dress with spaghetti straps that oozed effortless chic.
If there's anyone that can do urban femininity it's Doo Ri Chung. This season she continued to play with her signature draping but for fall she added a touch edge. A navy batwing floor length draped dress was nipped in at the waist teamed with a statement leather cuff and effortless hair and make-up and dresses also came styled under structured urban jackets in charcoal. Draping also appeared most notably on a black dress with navy lace detail across the bust teamed with lace over the knee boots that would make Carine Roitfeld smile.
Tailoring also appeared on grey cigarette pants teamed with long cardigans in navy and sporty silk jackets with jersey sleeves. Knitwear also appeared such as a grey jumper with a think chain mail detail along the front teamed with a navy leather skirt and a head-to-toe grey look featured a floor length fringed cardigan with a similar scarf, teamed with a simple grey tee and cropped wide leg trousers.
Fashion can have a sense of humour: That's one of the major lessons we took away from the Spring '11 Doo.Ri show. When the David Bowie soundtrack at Eyebeam Gallery cut out and left a model walking in silence, the ever-helpful photographers at the end of the runway chimed in with music of their own. By whistling the rest of the tune.
Technical glitches aside (and this one only added charm), Doo-Ri Chung turned out a cleverly constructed collection of the monochromatic pieces she does best. Her smart, signature draping technique was fully present, though perhaps less so than in previous seasons. We particularly loved a frayed "mixed-media" draped minidress sent onto the catwalk. Other highlights? A cowl-back top worn with a button-front skirt (feeds our '90s-revival needs), and a sharp cream tuxedo blouse.
Straying from her ivories and nudes slightly, Chung snuck moments of ice blue and buttercream yellow into the collection, along with a bolder "kaleidoscope" print (as she called it), on a party-ready micropleated dress. Doo.Ri never disappoints, and we're sure those whistling photographers were happy to help her put on another successful show.
"That's a beautiful, beautiful dress," one editor gushed as the Doo.Ri closer look - actually a sleek camel-coloured, tie-back halter over a floorlength seamed skirt - was sent down the runway at Eyebeam Atelier. Dress or no dress, we had to agree. And paired with 28 other looks from a collection featuring lots of smooth draping (Doo-Ri Chung's specialty), slick details, and a bit of sequins, the look proved that this designer can deliver season after season.
The Doo.Ri show alternated between navy pantsuits with draped swashes; sheath minidresses encrusted with thick, brightly coloured sequins; and Tilda Swinton-ready full-lenth sleeveless gowns. To boot, Chung added the oversized fur coats (this time, embellished with sequins and embroidery at the neckline), bold crystal-splashed leggings, and the occasional velvet top. All pieces of great comfort, we say, for days when a woman needs to style her best. And the fact that Chung sent her models out with handpainted platform heels and lips covered with blue and green glitter? Well, that just proves Chung has a few playful tricks up her sleeve.
Like Doo-Ri Chung's signature style of draping? Us too. And no one could have guessed that nine years ago, the Parsons grad was stitching her jersey dresses in the basement of her parents' drycleaning business. Chung, former head designer at Geoffrey Beene, has earned the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Award for her signature line Doo.Ri, and in 2009 she expanded with the lower-priced collection Under.Ligne. Soft dresses with architectural details at recession-friendly prices? We'll take it.
Want to know how Chung does it all? This week, the designer lets you in for a little peek.