When Brandon Sun designed his Fall 2012 Collection for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York, he looked to the Silent Assassins based on Kung-Fu epic films he grew up watching, because "silently is the best way to assassinate someone," according to the designer. Sun juxtaposed elegance with violence the same way these elements are placed side-by-side in Kung-Fu films.
Sun's Fall collection show was held in the Box in the tents at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center, but it wasn't your average fashion show. Instead of runways and catwalks, the show was oriented in a giant circle with models standing on platforms arranged in rings as smooth beats like Rain by Missy Elliot played ambient.
The 16 looks were predominately comprised of fur by SAGA Furs, gauze maxi dresses and wide-leg gabardine trousers that covered the model's feet, clad in booties by Jean-Michele Cazabat. Coiling mohair and cashmere stoles, Tibetan lamb vests, shearlings with Reptilian lace trims and ozone-dyed raccoon conduit scarfs were present in dusk-rose, black, gray and brown. Blizzard cracked leather in derivations of black added a tough element to the collection.
"It was all about the contradiction between beauty elegance and grace," Sun told the International Business Times during the presentation. "This very soft subtle violence and the contradiction came through with the leathers and the harder fabrics versus the soft hand knits and the fur."
It comes as no surprise that fur was the underlying texture used by Sun, as he worked for five years at J.Mendel and singlehandedly was responsible for the re-launch of Blackglama, which featured Janet Jackson wrapped in beautiful mink furs.
"[Fur is] a medium that I've worked with since he very beginning of my career outside of school," Sun said during the presentation. "It's something that I've kind of held onto and its apart of me just the way I think design the silhouettes...are just amazing."
With a collection dominated by fur, adverse attention is a given from animal rights activists, like PETA who staged a protest at one of Janet Jackson's concerts in the Philippines in April last year. The activists donned grim reaper outfits with signs reading, Janet: Animals suffer and die on fur farms, Janet: Fur is Dead, and Fur Shame.
However, Brandon Sun is independent in his thinking, regardless of what unfavorable opinions are in his presence.
"It's always a thought in the back of my mind," he said backstage. "Everybody's entitled to their opinion. I think that's perfectly logical what they think. The only thing I dislike is when they pose that onto my decisions but you know you understand that everybody a little bit different. You have to respect what people say and do as well."
Brandon Sun's collection actually is all about respect. Drawn from a Kung-Fu film about a hero throwing knives, the collection caters to women who are today's initiators, leaders and innovators fearlessly, just like the heroes in Kung-Fu films, who triumph after lengthy battles.
While it could be said that the collection is a representation of conquest within Kung-Fu films, with models standing proudly on platforms almost as if they were victorious, for Brandon Sun, it's all about the journey.
"I'm glad that everyone's apart of my journey right now," Sun said. "It's been pretty amazing."