The model and DJ surprised guests by jumping onstage for a live performance.
Model and DJ Soo Joo Park found her voice in the most unexpected of places: on the runway. More specifically, at the Chanel Métiers d’Art 2021 show.
On December 7th the longtime Chanel ambassador cruised the catwalk in the new Le19M building in Paris, which acts as a working museum of sorts, housing the several hundred embroiderers, feather workers, goldsmiths, shoemakers, milliners, and other experts who are grouped together in a Chanel subsidiary called Paraffection. After her romp around the runway in one of the more subdued looks of the night — a floor-length, glittery, black tweed coat (only at Chanel can this be considered minimal), she suddenly took to a microphone to sing the finale song.
For those who are slightly befuddled, you’re not alone.
To borrow an overused phrase, historically, models were meant to be seen and not heard; to act as breathing yet static mannequins, displaying the newest assortment of designer garb. Thankfully in recent years, these gorgeous women are now encouraged to speak their minds, and fulfill their passions, whether it be a skincare line, activewear collection or a musically inclined ambition.
Case in point: Soo Joo. The model made her musical debut in June 2021 under the name Ether.
“I’ve been working on music and have been DJing for several years,” she told FASHION’s Editor-in-Chief Bernadette Morra in November at the Chanel Cruise Show in Dubai. “But my big passion is creating music, singing and producing. Currently, I’m writing and arranging my own music under a musical moniker, but I learned piano and flute as a kid, and I used to sing in school in Glee Club and choir.”
She added how eager she is to learn and absorb musical history, genres, sounds and artists. Still, her own musical M.O. is “to express myself in my language, meaning my musical language, though I am singing in both Korean and English.”
Park’s first release was a cover of the Korean rock song “Haenim.” However, for her coming-out performance at the Chanel Métiers d’Art 2021 show, the track “12.21” was specifically written for the finale. Chanel’s musical supervisors Michel Gaubert and Ryan Aguilar described the orchestration to Vogue as “exquisitely detailed music-making” and “sonic vignettes that kiss each other.”
A yearly tradition, the Chanel Métiers d’Art show differs from the French house’s seasonal ready-to-wear and couture collections by presenting a tribute to the traditional craftsmanship of the brand and celebrating the talented artisans it employs. Although the most straightforward comparison is to haute couture — which is defined as hand-crafted made-to-order garments that become wearable pieces of art — Métiers d’Art is available through Chanel boutiques, which couture is not.
The word ‘meticulous’ can perhaps best summarize this year’s sumptuous display as there were meticulously crafted cardigans, gowns, handbags and accessories, all decadently embellished and showing the prowess of the hundreds of artisans who created them. While this meticulousness is to be expected for a luxury conglomerate as carefully curated as Chanel, the surprise performance was a welcome candid moment after 18 months of pandemic-related isolation. It would appear, we’ve all got the music in us, it’s just the simple matter of finding it.
Keep scrolling to see some of our favourite looks from the show.