Hanna Song, artistically known as SONGHANNA, is a rising multimedia designer from South Korea. The multidisciplinary creative has been active in fashion since 2018 when she presented her graduation project. Despite initiating her career only four years ago, Hanna has successfully crafted a signature style — one that’s best described as a blend of architectural, structural, and experimental forms. Abstract at first glance, her pieces are recognized for creating stunning compositions in editorial photography and performances

Chatting with EnVi, the artist gets real about the meaning of her work, what inspires her, and how she envisions the future. 

The Beginning of Her Artistry

Hanna Song felt her calling to create art and make clothes at a young age. As a child, she was passionate about creating things by hand, from paper craft activities to altering her clothes so they fit exactly how she wanted. This hobby slowly lit a fire inside of her. “Every time I looked at clothes, I began seeing more and more things to be altered and ended up thinking I should just make [clothes] myself,” she says. 

As she grew older, her love for creating never faded and Hanna went on to formally study fashion at university. After honing her skills and artistry, she is now dedicated to creating work as a freelance designer while also exploring her ideas through other mediums. Despite her continuous growth, Hanna still produces all her work on her own, only enlisting the help of friends when she needs an extra pair of hands.

To keep herself inspired, Song looks at various sources of inspiration. However, she mentions one specific designer that influenced her at the beginning of her career. “The fashion brand I was most influenced by when I first started fashion was Thom Browne,” she tells EnVi. “The fine and witty details in Thom’s childlike ideas made me want to challenge myself to [create] unconventional yet elaborate designs.” 

Inspiration and Influences

With most of her work focusing on forms and silhouettes, it also makes sense that Hanna finds architecture and everyday objects fascinating. “Because my vision is focused on silhouettes, the biggest inspiration to me is something — movement, shadows, etc. — found in architecture, furniture, and everyday life objects that are layered in a complex way to form a single silhouette,” she explains. In tandem with buildings and interiors, Hanna also reveals her interest in traditional Korean culture and furniture.

SONGHANNA’s architectural pieces, which contain explorations of folds, lines, and silhouettes, reflect this affection for lines and geometry — distinctive traits of any Hanna Song piece. This structural style shines even brighter thanks to the refined craftsmanship her pieces flaunt. As the artist explains, the sleekness in her work comes from her natural desire for order and clarity. “My designs are clear and strong with a softness underneath, and I strive for order and moderation.”

In addition to her love for architecture and abstract forms, Hanna also gets inspired by objects with distinct lines and curves. “I find inspiration from the sharp geometric designs like bones, architecture, and anything with organic curves. The most impressionable moment was three years ago when I read a book on animal anatomy. The various figures of different skeletons and outstretched lines still have a place in my memory.”

How Art and Fashion Collide

Although her main field of exploration is fashion, Hanna Song doesn’t want to be boxed in as a fashion designer. As a lover of arts, she enjoys other mediums of expression, including pottery, painting, and sculpture. Art and fashion have always been intertwined, so the designer finds that this connection between crafts helps her widen her artistic perspective.

“I first loved clothes, and then I loved sculptures. My eyes went to painting, and I fell under the charm of pottery. In the end, what I liked was the art of creating something that stirred my heart,” she shares. “Art and fashion interact with each other, and at the very least, art broadens and diversifies fashion. Furthermore, from a fundamental point of view, only the means and materials of expression are different, but everything we express is art, so I think fashion is a part of art.”

Working with the Stars

Boasting a portfolio of one-of-a-kind, artistic pieces, it’s no surprise that SONGHANNA’s designs have caught the attention of renowned names in the entertainment Industry. Some famous faces that have donned her pieces include NCT’s Taeyong, EXO’s Kai, and GOT7’s Mark Tuan

For a relatively private person, working on high-profile projects came along with a surprise — but it was a positive one. “What surprised me the most about working with famous K-pop idols were the fans. […] The most interesting experience was feeling their influence through their fandom,” Hanna says.  

About the creative process, the designer shares that she keeps rediscovering her love for fashion with every new project. “A few months ago, I stayed up all night working in the studio with a team member, and that was a moment where I felt genuinely happy. Even though I’ve been making clothes for a long time, I felt especially good because that moment was when I realized anew that I could still be thrilled and breathless just by designing.”

With her unfading love for the creative industry and an ever-growing desire to expand her horizons, Hanna wishes to collaborate with other creatives in the future. “It would be nice if the people that wear my designs match the creative direction I want to pursue, but in the future, I feel stronger toward collaborating with artists of various fields to actualize and make more creative and elaborate designs,” she shares. 

An Exploration of Movement

In the meantime, Hanna continues to strengthen her resumé with solo projects that push the boundaries between fashion and art. Last year, the designer organized a showcase titled, “MOVEMENT WITH FREEDOM.” She came up with the name after watching a dancing scene and realizing that freedom can be limited to what the human body can achieve.  

“Because the human body has limits to which one can stretch, turn, and bend, unless there is a change to our physical properties, there cannot be movement of ‘complete freedom.’ I think freedom is the act of breaking a mold and creating another mold, so movement defined by shape — the shape of the human body — gives us a sense of stability,” she elaborates. “I think [that] to a certain degree inside societal molds, human nature aligns with the human desire to be free, and I defined movement as a part of the process of creating every individual’s own mold of freedom. In conclusion, I came up with this title to set a new mold by transforming the standardized mold of the human body and to ask the question ‘what is the form of freedom you define and where is it headed?’”

The Ideal Future

While Hanna hints at preparations for a long-term project on Korean aesthetics, she admits that the ultimate goal is to evoke thoughts and reflection through her work. The artist wishes to leave a lasting impression with her designs, one that makes people revisit her body of work and feel emotion. “They can laugh, be intrigued, be in awe. I hope my designs aren’t something the audience sees once and moves past, but rather, something that lingers in their heads like a scent that brings the design to mind again,” she says. 

What kind of artist does Hanna Song hope to become in the future? “I currently have a big desire to seek learning and strengthen my inner worth. So even if I’m a little slow, I’m planning to throw myself into working with an inquiring attitude.” The artist elaborates, “I want to be wise in recklessness. Because recklessness requires quite a bit of courage and drive. My ideal future is [being able] to consistently present to people the small but special things in my vision.”

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