This story, originally published in Wynn magazine, was written by Michael Shulman.
The costumes in Awakening, designed by Soyon An, are dazzling and eye-catching. Drawing her inspiration from the iconic and timeless fashion that she has connected with throughout her life, An’s designs reference the work of such couturiers as Thierry Mugler, Paco Rabanne, Jean Paul Gaultier and Alexander McQueen.
Awakening is the story of a journey through various realms, so it was incumbent upon An to enhance the storytelling aspect of the show by making the costumes for each realm unique. To wit, the costumes for the Black and White realm were inspired by the runways of New York and Paris, whereas those for the Air realm feature a modern take on the Rococo era. Modern art inspired An’s costumes for the Earth realm, while the fashions seen at festivals like Coachella and Burning Man were the impetus for those in the Fire realm.
If there is a coherent theme in all of An’s costumes for Awakening, she explains that it is, “Avant-garde, couture, one-of-a-kind, high fashion.” Says An, “I wanted to bring artistry to every one of my designs and each piece that I built. From the headpiece to the body, and all the way down to the shoes, every piece was individually tailored, as it was extremely important to me that each of these pieces truly feels like wearable art while being unique and special. The result is that when you’re watching the show, you can see the detail, the care, and the attention in every stitch, every braid, and every piece that we hand-dyed, hand-sewed, hand-beaded, and hand-painted.”