Fashion week has just ended in Seoul, and although it doesn’t get as much publicity as New York, Milan and London it could possibly be one of the next fashion capitals of the world. Seoul is quickly transitioning into a fashion hungry city, with new designers and trends constantly emerging on the scene. Korean Fashion is on the verge of becoming huge!
Many South Koreans theorize that individuality and expression are two very important things- they believe in creating fashion controversies for the greater good. Fashion in South Korea is moving in a new direction; mainstream style is eradicated and new visions are retained. This system allows Korean Fashion to evolve and thrive; giving it everything needed to get to the next level.
Young South Korean adults are becoming more comfortable with the idea of experimenting, this not only distinguishes them from the rest of the world but it gives them the personal freedom to break the rules of society. Things that would be considered a norm in Western countries are frowned upon in South Korea, for example having tattoos are considered illegal and having plenty of piercings are highly unusual. Designers are using this ideal to break stereotypes and instead create a new culture that will progress within the environment. A lot of the fashion inspiration comes from everything that’s going on around South Korea, be it political or personal.
People love South Korean fashion because of how different it is. The norms (that we’re used to) can become mediocre and that’s why fashion editors and buyers from around the globe are slowly turning to South Korea to view the epiphany in fashion. Street wear here has a complete twist to it compared to the street wear you’d find in New York and Milan, it has character and behind every collection is an inspiration or an untold story. The thought process going into each of the designer’s items is one of the many reasons the world is slowly becoming obsessed with Korean Fashion. Everyone wants to be part of the fashion movement, where boundaries are broken and each piece represents something different.
Clothing pieces are bold and colors and textures play a big role when putting an outfit together. Generally speaking, outfits (in Western fashion) usually have to match or at least complement each other, but not in South Korean fashion. Different pieces are put together to set out a mismatched look, for example a formal suit pants would be worn with a sweat pants and so on.
South Korea has many promising designers and brands. One such designer is Yong Kyun Shin, who runs the brand called Blindness with his girlfriend Ji Sun. Shin, like many other young South Korean men had previously served the military for three years and now uses fashion to express his time in the military. His brand Blindness is described as “medieval street wear” as it creates strong visual contrasts.
Bringing a whole different scene to the table is Kiok, a label run by two sister, Coco Lee and Crayon Lee. Their brand is inspired by animation and their spring/summer 2018 collection took on the theme of childhood memories and characters from Beauty & the Beast. Clothing items were created in cartoon like shapes and different fabrics were used to attain a twist to what South Korea is used to seeing.
These designers find constant reason to create and bring something new to buyers all the time. Woo Youngmi, from the label Wooyoungmi took her inspiration from art and architecture. When she was young her father traveled often and brought home international magazines which contributed to her curiosity about life outside of South Korea. Her fashion label has been one of the most successful in South Korea and she has also opened her own boutique in Paris.
It’s clear to see what all the hype about Korean Fashion is as designers conceptualize so differently and that’s what makes them so unique. It’s truly fantastic the way they tell a story from an event that occurred in their life and turn into a beautiful collection. It’s safe to say that this country has taken a new direction and designers are in the middle of revolutionizing the fashion world. Seoul certainly is developing into a fashion mecca!