We left Austin in July, 1994. I was 10 years old. There were four of us piled in our white Lincoln town car, as my dad drove onto the interstate and toward the Texan border. We would spend three months on the road, crossing the country from New York to Yosemite, our family field trip, captured in film photographs and in the more fleeting images that still flicker through my mind.
My dad appears most of all, dressed in the blue hiking vest he wore every day for three months, as though he were ready to climb any mountain we might pass. It’s how I remember him still. ( Rok Hwang,Rokh )
These cherished moments resurfaced once more as I shaped this collection. They have been embedded, like impressions, into the fabric of the clothes to flash before you like my own fragments of memory. The clothes themselves belong to the women of my generation, who were born in the ’80s and came of age in the ’00s. For them, everything goes. Even a skirt suit with sneakers. Even a polo shirt with a couture gown.
The Rokh trench coat returns, but even sharper than before. It closely recalls the clean lines of the work clothes that I saw on the street in New York, ’94. This season, it also gets a twist from Yosemite: the cotton and wool is coated in a weatherproof Teflon and embellished with blue reflective tape along the pockets and sleeves. It is a nod to my dad’s hiking gear; so are the built-in backpack straps. The collection’s earth tones also come from the mountains. The acid prints and other colors were pulled from my old family photos.
There is a new range of leather bags for Rokh’s File series. Each one is hand-carved by a master craftsman in Spain. They come in mustard, black, and cream backed with taupe. Some have top handles, others shoulder straps, but all are slender bags that fall by the side of the body. We have a new series of skateboards, too. I was never a cool kid in school, but loved skate culture all the same.
Rokh continues to work with a rawness that speaks to the sensitivity of youth, the scars that remain through adulthood. Tailored garments are slashed. Coat closures are left open like exposed nerve endings.Unfinished seam marks suggest our imperfections, though of course they are finished in their own way.