Known only by a small coterie of followers who hunt down his soft, classic looks at local department stores, Canadian designer Alfred Sung no longer intends to be unsung in Southern California.
A recent party launched a shop bearing his name in South Coast Plaza's Crystal Court. Although Sung stores crossed Canada's border six years ago and have been doing a brisk business in the East, this is his first venture on the West Coast.
The new shop opens with the designer's holiday collections for both the Alfred Sung label, Sung Sport, and an accessory grouping of belts, scarfs, gloves, watches and hose.
The soft-spoken designer, in town for the event, says: "Less is more when it comes to clothes. When you use fine fabrics, you don't need to put on frills. The cut, the fit and the workmanship make the look."
Throughout his holiday and spring collections, Sung says he follows a slightly more feminine feeling, with a closer-to-the-body cut in more fitted fashions. Suits are more important, he says, with longer jackets measuring as much as 32 inches over shorter skirts.
Sung shows his skirts at 19 inches, but sells them at 21 inches. This is a knee-grazing length that he feels is more acceptable to his tailored and classics-seeking clientele.
Sung's color themes of brown or navy with white tend to emphasize the cut and the overall mood of simplicity. But it's hard to overlook his shorter, flippy-skirted dresses in taffetas, textured silks and georgettes, as well as the pants that he feels are becoming more important.
For the less-formal minded, Sung Sport offers looser, easier styling with soft, draped blouses and a layered look using lightweight fabrics. Colors too are more carefree, with hot pinks and bright emeralds standing out against the mostly white decor of the new store.
Sung should wear well in Southern California, where his particular simple and soft interpretations of the new shorter, more feminine looks seems suited to the life style.
The clothes are priced from $150 to $800, with Sung Sport slightly less.