We can’t exactly pinpoint when this fascination with Korean fashion started, but Hallyu fever is heating up the retail markets, especially in Asia. In fact, Korean fashion is a force to be reckoned with these days, even here in Singapore!
So, what makes Korean fashion so special? Is there really a Korean ‘look’? Here are some of our observations and reasons why we like Korean style.
Korean fashion is fueled a hundred-fold by Kdrama and Kpop. Korean celebrities are watched as much on, as well as off stage. The latest Lee Min Ho and Kim Soo Hyun fan meetings tickets were sold out faster than Elton John and the Rolling Stones concerts in this region!
They endorse everything from airlines to handphones, cars, makeup and even massage chairs! One might venture as far as to say that anything they put their face on sells! Crazy fans notwithstanding, there are dedicated bloggers and fan clubs (not just the professional papparazi) that scrutinize every minute detail, and once they catch onto a ‘good scoop’, people publish whatever they want at the click of a button, no permission or vetting necessary ;)
Let’s take for example the latest Kdrama “My Love from Another Star”. Gianna Jun’s outfits from the first to the last episodes were systematically listed in so many drama and fashion websites as viewers wanted to look exactly like her in the hope of snagging an alien too! The show has ended months ago, but the fashion impact of that show is still going strong.
Designers from the West seem to style clothes primarily based on the notion that you have a model’s body to wear their fashion. Let’s face it, if we all have bodies like Kate Upton, we can wear a paper bag and probably still pass off as stylish, if a little eccentric. The sexy body conscious styles favoured by Versace, Dolce Gabbana and Helmut Lang doesn’t really show most of us in the best light.
Korean fashion on the other hand, tend to showcase legs paired with loose or layered tops. The devil is in the details - interesting prints, surprising sewing techniques, and the combination of different textures give the overall look more personality.
Korean styling is more versatile and forgiving in terms of silhouette for ‘mere’ mortals like us. Hence, it is no surprise that more and more local ladies gravitate towards it.
Korean fashion is as fun as it is practical. We know skirts and leggings but do we know skeggings? That’s a Korean fashion invention. Skirt + Legging = Skegging! We wear leggings, but we are self conscious of our hips, especially when we pair them with shorter tops. Usually, in order to cover our bottoms, we wear longish tunics over our leggings, and then we worry that we look like an ‘Auntie’. Here’s the brilliant Korean solution! Skegging.
They come in 2 styles, leggings with skater skirt or leggings with mini skirt, sewed together at the waist. Both options will do away with all our worries about the hip because either way, they are well covered! This Spring, the latest addition is skeggings with a lace skirt that pair perfectly with this season’s cropped tops and sweatshirts.
Like Korean skincare, Korean fashion is affordable for the everyday woman. They are not the cheapest entry into the fashion arena, but their quality standards are good. In fact, they are generally better than some international mass market fashion labels.
Korea has its own fashion manufacturers and because its domestic economy is large enough to sustain production, they are not too dependent on external demand. The Korean government is also very supportive of their fashion industry, offering many incentives for fashion designers to showcase both locally and abroad. All these factors combined, ensure that Korean fashion remains affordable to all, adding to their growing attraction.
The thing is, most South Koreans are unaware of the fashion buzz their country is creating on our shores. They are living their busy lives and dreaming of a better tomorrow, perhaps even of a unified country someday. They work, they shop, they go home and watch their Kdrama, probably just like we do… to unwind from a long day. Korean fashion is already embedded as part of their lives. Perhaps therein lies the secret of their charm.
VEIL has a special KPop-up store at 02-09 Hitachi Towers. Handpicked, and limited pieces. Drop by soon to make your selection!