STARSICA: To Infinity and Beyond

This article was originally published in an issue of Pioneer magazine, a joint publication by Fashion Scout and The Fashion Conversation produced for London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2018. 

Enthralled by the fashion documentary Marc Jacobs & Louis Vuitton, Ike Seungik Lee was instantly drawn to the collaborative possibilities of fashion. This marked his departure from sculpture and fine art, as he went on to pursue a BA in fashion design at the prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, and most recently an MA in fashion at Kingston University in London.

This season, Lee makes his London Fashion Week debut as his label STARSICA claims one of the four winning spots of Fashion Scout’s One’s to Watch. “Being a part of Ones to Watch is a great stepping stone to show my brand's identity at LFW,” says Lee. “I believe that it is the perfect opportunity to grow my brand STARSICA to an international level.”

The name STARSICA originates from Slayn Starseeker, a fictional character from the fantasy novel franchise, Record of Lodoss War. Lee describes his clothes as “everyday luxury wear with the anxiety of modern society”, which translates to the sensibility of the STARSICA woman – she’s nervous, but she conceals it with an unapologetic courage to embrace the diasporic experience.

STARSICA Spring/Summer 2018 Lookbook | Image Courtesy of STARSICA

STARSICA Spring/Summer 2018 Lookbook | Image Courtesy of STARSICA

Entitled ‘Visitor’, STARSICA’s SS18 line-up transports us to the liminal state between native and foreigner. A deeply personal take on Lee’s experience with New York and London, the collection invites us to empathise with the often-disorienting process of assimilating oneself in a new cultural environment. While the STARSICA muse takes on the persona of a charming alien, the collection conveys anything but a culture shock. Instead, Lee brings an astute humour with his styling – picture her in the latest working suit teamed with intergalactic light-up wedges and a massive trunk to store her collection of mortal bits and bobs.

Ike Seungik Lee on the Fashion Scout SS18 runway | Image courtesy of Vogue UK

Ike Seungik Lee on the Fashion Scout SS18 runway | Image courtesy of Vogue UK

With all its futuristic inclinations, experimentation is at the crux of STARSICA’s ethos. Expect a directional palette of electric cobalt and chartreuse rendered on a range of both sculptural and lightweight textiles. Laser cut to precision, accessories are similarly otherworldly but ultimately, a lot of fun. “As designers, we have to question society and the larger condition,” says Lee. “Go out there and be open to everything, because anything can inspire you.”

In addition to his label, Lee has also worked alongside creatives who inform his approach to design – from the likes of fashion designer Lie Sang Bong to 3D printing designer Seong Tae Cheon. Citing FashionScout alumni Eudon Choi as a key inspiration, Lee sees Choi’s path as a roadmap to success. With its strong brand identity and constant desire to challenge, STARSICA is certainly headed in the right direction.