Casual Class

Bringing together a relaxed casual look and hand made detail, Yuri Choi is looking to offer an elegant capsule collection with her brand Yuri & Yuri

Article by Rupert Watkins

Elegant casualwear remains a problem for many men. Whether it’s the nebulous “smart casual” or a more relaxed, laid back look, this arena of dressing continues to be a tricky one to pull off. With her new range of casual clothing looking to offer one complete look, every piece harmonising with the others, Yuri Choi is looking to offer an elegant one stop solution with her new brand Yuri Yuri.

After a brief career in pharmaceuticals in her home country of South Korea, Yuri followed her creative instincts coming to London to study tailoring for four years at the Savile Row Academy under the guidance of Andrew Ramroop, “everyone has heard of Savile Row so it was the natural place to head for” she remarks. However, having always had an entrepreneurial streak, even before she came to the UK, Yuri knew the aim was to run her own company.

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Yuri Yuri is based around what could be described as a capsule collection, “it’s one complete look” Yuri enthuses, “everything is created to harmonise and be worn with the other pieces.” Consisting of five pieces of knitwear, two pairs of trousers and one field jacket, “the clothing is casual ready to wear but handmade with bespoke levels of detail.”

Starting with the outer layer, the field jacket is in flannel, Yuri is experimenting with various waterproof flannels and she is looking at introducing a lighter, linen example in spring 2019. It has a distinct classic safari or bush shirt edge to it though it’s more tailored and shaped across the back. The jacket is given structure by carefully placed darts at the waist and it’s designed to be worn with a belt. “The aim was to make it clean and uncomplicated” Yuri explains, “it has a strong silhouette – visually re-enforced by the one-piece non-separate collar – along with simple detailing.”

Alongside this jacket, Yuri offers five pieces of knitwear. Made by mills in South Korea using Ermenegildo Zegna merino wool, there are round, polo and roll necked jumpers alongside a long-sleeved pique polo shirt and one-piece collared shirt. All garments will be completely seamless, she believes Yuri Yuri will be the first whole garment knitwear label in menswear. Currently for the brands’ launch, the knitwear comes in a more muted winter palette though come spring, Yuri will look at more vibrant colours to work alongside the linen version of her field jacket.

The final component of the Yuri Yuri wardrobe are the trousers. Classic trousers are certainly having a renaissance and Yuri is also a fan of a more tailored and elegant shape. Two trousers are offered, cream in 300g mohair and grey in 300g flannel. Cut to be traditionally high waisted with side adjusters and no belt loops, the cream trousers are cut in the contemporary flat fronted manner though the grey flannel have single forward-facing pleats and, in a nice nod to 1930s menswear, both have turnups.

With menswear such a crowded arena, Yuri has taken an intelligent choice in producing a small but balanced capsule collection. In an era of over purchasing and increasing focus on the sustainability and environmental impact of fashion, investing in a calculated but versatile spread of clothing makes ever more sense. Whilst the extreme capsule wardrobe choices of say, the late Steve Jobs or Barack Obama may not be to every man’s taste, knowing that every trouser, shirt and jumper combination will always work with each other, does mean you can focus and invest on the quality.

Given her bespoke training, Yuri hopes that her brand will evolve into custom made focused firm, though for the moment she wants to make it an initial web-based platform for her to show off her skills. Like many who have trained in professional tailoring, she has no plans for womenswear, “there is a logic and precision to menswear and classic men’s style that female fashion just doesn’t have” she remarks.

With the precise capsule concept informing her selection, Yuri is being very careful with additions to the range. She is pondering a gillet as a future edition due to its flexibility. With prices ranging between £560 for the trousers, £250 for knitwear and £750 for the field jacket, Yuri Yuri may be pricey but is offering a curated and understated way of refreshing and harmonising your wardrobe. riddle_stop 2



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