28 September 2014

Seoul's melting pot of Fashion

I write as sort with regards to Seoul Fashion Week that's happening in October as well as from observation that I made while I was in Korea (I'm still recovering from that, yes. I miss the food.)

I suppose it's common knowledge that the four major 'fashion capitals' lead the world (Paris, Milan, NYC, London if you were familiar) into new trends of the season; additionally Tokyo, Melbourne, New Zealand and Stockholm follow closely behind. However, I saw a whole new world of trends while I was in Seoul and it's completely out of this world - thanks to online networking and blogging, Korea and its creative minds are gathering a lot of attention for their unique visions and occasionally over-the-top into designs and ideas. In general I think that Asia is slowly catching up to the rest of the world with new fashion talent and trends and it's been predicted that China will actually overtake the United States as the largest apparel market by late 2016- that's a huge deal considering that the majority of Asia is finally melting away from the traditional outlook that it's always been known for to now becoming more up-to-date and modern. Back to Korea though. I've always been impressed with the luxury and runway talent that poured from Korea- from the likes of Juun.j and Kaal E Suktae, who both are internationally famed designers who take advantage of fresh tailoring skills, as well as textiles and apparel production that's surpassed the likes of Western designers.

But from Myeongdong to Apgujeong to Itaewon, it's physically impossible to even begin to try to explain what I saw and how amazed I was at the citizens who dressed themselves up no matter the weather, day or event in the most eye-popping attire. Tote bag and bucket hats are the current trend for this year, it seems, for both guys and girls. That Korean (fashion) culture is incredibly diverse and unique; its expanded so much in the past few decades and no doubt that it's still developing and transforming.

Low Classic Flagship in Garosu-gil 

I don't think I've ever fallen in love with shopping as much as I did while I was over there, whether luxury or casual wear, I was really just in awe from the range and variety to choose from. If I felt like taking a look at luxury designers, all I had to do was go into luxury malls like Shinsegae and I could walk onto the 2nd floor and be surrounded by Valentino, Marni, Celine… but if I felt like going for something more trendy, I could just walk out into shopping districts and have twenty small stores to choose from with the latest styles. I really am still recovering, I was able to try on of Valentino dresses and look at new arrivals from Salvatore Ferragamo, something I'd never be able to do back in Melbourne since the atmosphere is that different.

While I was exposed to all of this, I think my mindset of how to dress changed dramatically- I picked up a lot of different pieces that I'd normally never consider buying while in Melbourne, but it really called out to me and I hope that I'm able to wear what I bought well back at home. Being in Korea has taught me to become a chameleon too with my daily attires, I noticed that I went from being mature and classy one day to looking like I was about to go play a round of basketball the next. I think the aim of this post was just to pour out my feelings of how impressed I was with the boys and girls of Seoul who were able to mix and match (coolly, I must admit) luxury pieces from the likes of Saint Laurent and throw on a pair of Converses or vans without looking shabby.  From the tucked-in shirts to the dainty rolled up jeans and obnoxiously stripey socks,  these kids really know how to grab attention and hopefully become tomorrow's international fashion stars. (I should have taken more street snaps to share because I was constantly taking sneaky subway pictures of couples in matching shirt and shoes.)

I thought I'd share ten of my favourite designers/brands that I discovered while sticking my head into a handful of stores, I was given the lucky chance to talk to some of the designers so I was really able to communicate with them about their thought process. It's really changed my perspective on trends and the (fashion) industry in general, so much that I've even considered shifting my career goal from luxury designers to working with independent designers (Cres. E Dim is on my possibility list). Enjoy! 

1. Cres.E Dim 

2. Knave

3. Peace, Love and Understanding

4. Nohant (the trend lately for this brand has been their city shirt prints)

5. Outstanding Ordinary

6. Low Classic (locle)

7. Arche Reve

8. Margarin Fingers

9. &w Studio

10. ZOD