Aalto University: Aalto fashion graduate Boram Yoo wins Designers’ Nest Award

The Designers’ Nest fashion competition Award Winner 2022 is Aalto MA graduate Boram Yoo. Fashion BA student Leevi Ikäheimo is the Exhibition Prize winner.

For her collection, Boram Yoo has explored the history of the forced labour uniform in Korea. One of the staple garments worn by Korean elderly women are trousers with eccentric floral prints, which were originally black attire used in forced labour in the colonial era.

The cheerful floral prints were applied after the war to overcome the horrible past as hyper-eccentric design of an imagined positive future. With floral prints overlaid on the military garment from the Korean War, Boram juxtaposes the stories of war and the optimistic re-appropriation of garments.

The collection captures the sublimation of hardship into eternal value and beauty through hopeful imagination. As her main technique, Boram has “painted” with fabrics by merging fabrics with contrasting characteristics and prints together 3-dimensionally as a de-contextualisation of both the military elements and floral prints.

‘Boram Yoo is a designer whose work exhibits exceptional attention-to-detail, a keen sense of historical investigation, and emotional depth’, states the jury.

‘Her designs speak to fashion’s power as a tool for self-reclamation, and communicate a spirit of eccentricity and optimism – of hope in the face of hardship. Bringing together opposing aesthetic tones and textures – the hard functionality of Korean military garments with plush velvets, or painterly florals with blurred digital prints – Boram’s vision is rigorous, vibrant and undeniably contemporary, making her a truly deserving recipient of this prize.’

Yoo wins 50.000 DKK (ca. 6.700 euros) as early support for her work, receives a study trip to UEDA College of Fashion in Osaka, Japan, and is awarded a ceramic artwork created by Danish artist Karl Monies.

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