South Korean fashion

I like fashion. However I’m not a fashionista. I like to observe the trends rather than wearing them. I think that you need to find your own style and stick with it till you realize that that’s not you anymore. Well, at least this is what I do.

I love to observe the new shapes and colors. It’s like my imagination is „on fire”. I can see who should wear those kind of clothes. For example, the youngsters or a pair-shaped persons, or a really wacky person. Its quite easy. This „imagination”came after I watched for a long time GOK (I loved his show and his attitude in “How to look good naked”) and other shows like this.

Anyway, after I discovered k-pop and Korean culture, I’ve started to see what is the fashion trend there. These are a few things  that I discovered during my research and my opinions regarding South Korean fashion and its designers.

Fashion: an overview

          Wikipedia says that fashion design is the art of the application of design and aesthetics or natural beauty to clothing and accessories. The fashion industry is based around firms and fashion houses run by individuals, usually male designers. This industry was born in 19 th century when Charles Frederick Worth (1826-1895) made his own label. His name was sewn into the garments that he created.

Before the former draper set up his maison de couture in Paris, clothing design and creation was handled by largely anonymous tailors and seamstresses and high fashion descended from styles worn at royal courts.

So, Worth’s success was linked to the reason that he was able to dictate to his customers what they should wear, concludes Wikipedia. If you want to know more .. LINK

These three paragraphs define what fashion is and who the first who made its own label. But, fashion is much more complex than a simple definition.

Fashion is seen in many ways:

-as a non verbal communication. It indicates the occupation, the rank, gender, sexual availability, locality, class, wealth and group affiliation.

– as sign system. It means that is a form of iconography to express individual identity.

-as a barometer of cultural changes. How we perceive the beauty or ugliness of our bodies is dependent on our cultural attitudes to physiognomy. For example, the accepted beautiful female that Rubens painted is not desirable nowadays.

–  as the desire to strive for differentiation

-as a role. Sociologists borrowed this term of “role” from theaters because, we, like the actors, play many parts during our lives.

These characteristics can go on and on. So, you can notice that fashion is so complex. At first, I thought that wearing some clothes is something you need to do, because you cannot go naked on the street. In your house, you can do that (hahah). But, after my readings and observing the trends, I can see that is so much more beneath it.

South Korean Fashion

According to Madame Nora Noh, who is the first Korean fashion designer, the first fashion show took place in 1954 in Chosun Hotel. From 1961-1987 fashion shows are seen as “archetypical luxury” and it became impossible to stage. This happened because there were several political incidents. In 1987, the fashion shows could be held again and its culture started to develop rapidly. In the 90s, the country is opened for regular fashion shows, mostly in Seoul. These fashion shows are trying to nurture the local talents.

Regarding the tastes, I read that the Korean type of fashion is linked with the Japanese fashion styles, but this is slowly changing. One important factor is Korean wave. The Hallyu stars are bringing a new trend in South Korea. And even better, this trend is well promoted abroad through dramas, k-pop idols and a very powerful online fashion business

Here are some street styles:

  • Guys in skinny jeans
  • Girls in heels
  • Lacy/frilly/poofy tops
  • Drirts
  • Suits
  • Long skirts
  • Short on the bottom, covered up on top
  • Guys in uniform/half-uniform
  • Man purses/guys holding girlfriend’s purse

For more LINK and here LINK

Korean fashion designers

These are some fashion designers. You can find out more here  HERE

Lee Young Hee

She is a Hanbok designer of fame. She has worked and designed beautiful Korea traditional clothes.

Here is her fashion show Fall/Winter  2012/2013  LINK

Jae Hyun Kim designer for Jardin de Chouette LINK

 Seung Gun Park designer for The Pushbutton LINK

Ji Choi designer for Johnny Hates Jazz LINK

Here are some videos from Seoul Fashion Week. I hope you will find some inspiration for your style.


This article is more about visual than writing. Why? Because you can understand more if you watch it than if you read it. Fashion is highly subjective. It always depends on your personal tastes. For example, I might like a design but for others is totally wrong or they can hate it. So, I hope you will tell me your favorite fashion shows and why.




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