Seoul Fashion Week: March 2019
Seoul is a city where image matters. A place where for better or worse, how you look is highly connected to who you are. However, this emphasis on one’s outer appearance has allowed for Seoul to be one of the most fashion forward and trendy cities in the world. Seoul style is easily on view during Seoul Fashion Week, with the autumn/winter 2019 designs being easily on display. Seoul fashion week, which began on March 19th and ended on March 24th, brought Dongdaemun Design Plaza(DDP) to life with numerous designers, models, celebrities and average citizens displaying their own unique aesthetics and personalities to onlookers. According to Vogue, the common theme throughout many of the fashion shows was a combination of Eastern and Western styles as Seoul further exemplifies itself as another fashion capital of the world.
These days Korea’s soft power is clearly on the rise, as K-pop, K-beauty and K-dramas are being increasingly desired by international audiences and consumers. Following this influx of demand for Korean goods and arts, it seems that the next big thing is going to be Korean fashion. Numerous fashion magazines have highlighted how Korean fashion is a mix of sophistication and street style, a mix of East and West, cool but put-together. Korean fashion fully embodies and is a reflection of Seoul and Koreans themselves. Seoul is modern, but still grounded in its past; Seoul is a working city, but at the same time is alive with youth; these themes of Seoul seem to translate and be reflected in Korean fashion. This transition of Korean culture into Korean fashion is even more apparent in the expression of Korean pride within Seoul Fashion Weeks. Koreans are proud, not only of themselves but also of their accomplishments, which is why it seems like this fashion week highlights the works of Korean fashion designers like Bona Kim and Jae Hyuk Lim. Although Seoul is becoming an ever increasingly globalized meatropolis, Koreans will always take pride in their heritage and culture, and this pride is not only evident during Seoul Fashion Week, but also what makes it truly special.
One of the most interesting fashion combinations that fully exemplifies the uniqueness and mix of high fashion and street style that marks Seoul fashion would be the debut of Pharrell Williams Chanel collaboration on March 28th, four days after the conclusion of Seoul Fashion Week. Chanel, one of the world’s most luxurious brands is known regularly for its collaborations with Hollywood starlets and its mystical perfume Chanel No. 5. However, with the opening of a new Chanel flagship store in Seoul, it was also the debut of the collaboration line “Chanel Pharrell.” According to Hypebeast, this opening and launch of this line demonstrates Chanel’s transformation from more haute couture to a focus on a more casual approach. This combination of high fashion and unique streetwear perfectly encapsulates the uniqueness of Seoul style as well as the desire to be luxurious, but not mainstream. Seoulites know the importance of a brand name, yet they desire a different take regarding their high end fashion and this perfectly encapsulates the essence of Seoul fashion.
Seoul, and South Korea itself, is on the forefront of modernity. A leader in the new, hip, fashionable, and trendy. However, despite being trendy, Korea is still grounded in its tradition and national pride. Seoul Fashion Week is an event that fully displays the beauty in the dichotomy of Seoul through the works of many promising and rising Korean designers. Seoul Fashion Week is an event so undoubtedly Korean that it stands apart from all other fashions weeks and it is what makes Seoul Fashion Week truly amazing.