by: Catalog

Soft-spoken, energetic, and clearly passionate about what he does, Kim Choong-Wilkins unassuming demeanour is in stark contrast to his dark, gothic take on menswear. Spiked pullovers and coats woven to resemble the tactile and visual appearance of human hair is his signature. CATALOG speaks to the man about the inspiration for his dynamic and arresting debut collection.

Bodybound is an interesting name for a collection, how did it come about?

The macabre photography of Joel-Peter Witkin and this particular verse by Christina Rossetti are the inspiration for "BODYBOUND". Together they inspired my collection, and then my label of the same name, on the human condition, desire, and the perverse. Referencing both the anatomical drawings of Vesalius and the eroticism of Hokusai, the collection revolves around the concept of skin, sinew, muscle, and bone.

What aroused your interest in fashion?

I have always been fascinated, at first in art and later in fashion. I grew up with it all my life. My mother’s family was involved in bringing the most avant-garde European fashions to the Far East. From the earliest age, and certainly before I could tell the time, I have been sewing.

For me, Fashion, is very much a medium for rallying against mediocrity in the world. The beauty of this industry is that at the end of each concept we have something that exists in the world that demands to be addressed because of its existence. It allows us to give an answer to questions that are addressed in our environment, that then become accessible to a wider audience.

Where did you study fashion?

First at Central Saint Martins, and then at the Royal College of Art.

You used computer technology to create the woodgrain effect on your sweaters. How did that come about?

The textures were all programmed stitch by stitch, row by row manually into a computerised knitting machine. It took about a week of programming!

Read the rest of the interview in the July issue of CATALOG, out now!

Text by Pakkee

Image courtesy of Bodybound