Wednesday, 5 February 2014


An interesting article relating to the previous post about K-Pop and current fashions in Korea.

The Rise of Korean Fashion: Is this social change good or bad?

They say life is simple. I totally agree with that if I am just one of those natives who lived thousands of years ago. The only thing that they worry about is how to find food for their survival. But in our generation today, that’s totally different. One of the many things that we involve ourselves to self-debate is on choosing the clothes to wear for the day and how to look good and presentable to the public.
The Rise of Korean Fashion
In terms of aesthetics, in general, the whole world look up to Western style as the best and most prominent. But there also came a time when the rest of the Asian countries and even Westerners looked up to Japan for unique and new fashion trends especially their street style. “And now, it changed once more. Japan, who used to dominate the Asian continent in the world of fashion, is replaced by Korea!” (Korean fashion for Men, 2013, para. 2).
Because of the drastic boom of Korean dramas as well as Korean Popular Music (Kpop), Korean fashion (including korean hairstyle and their fancy accessories) became so famous around the world. People, especially teenagers, are going crazy about their colourful, trendy, unique, and impeccable style which perfectly fits their age array. There are three basic trends which best describe Korean clothing:
  1. Loose fitting – This is just one of the common features of Korean fashion. We all know that Koreans or Asians in general, have slimmer body frame compared with Americans or Europeans. Korean designers do not make their clothing such that it’s totally loose, “somewhere along the look they will streamline it nicely or have some ‘tight-fitting’ designs” (Fashion Blog, 2010,What’s so special about Korean fashion/ Korean clothing, para. 4).
  2. All things asymmetrical - Korean designers love to innovate things that’s why they have a knack for the weird and whimsical. Korean dress with asymmetrical hem creates an illusion and elongates your body.
  3. Laces – Laces are commonly used for lingerie or for the clothing of older women. But now it is a new fashion statement with younger ladies as lace comes in all kind of colours, patterns and texture these days.
Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) Senior Deputy Director Jung Chang Wook says that, “Korean stars are very stylish, fashionable, and have attractive faces. In the Philippines, hallyu (Korean wave) and K-Pop are the most powerful tools to promote Korea.” He further added, “For Koreans this hallyu wave should be sustainable. There’s no culture that stays alive forever – it goes up and down – but so far the Korean wave has been getting better every year. Koreans always propose new versions of their creativity each year, and that’s why the Korean wave develops and is sustained.”
Is this social change good or bad?
Basically, let’s admit that we are now in a modern world of inventiveness, distinctiveness, and complexity. Humans’ sense of fashion is one of those dramatic changes which can be easily seen in our society. For me, to be a fan of Korean fashion is not a bad thing. Many people imitate someone’s style to have at least a pattern or guide on what to wear or not. If you don’t have an eye for Korean fashion then it is fine as well. The good thing about this social change is that it is not imposing and it does not totally affect other people’s lives. The sole benefactor of this is the individual itself. Some people might think that this kind of “Korean invasion” is a dangerous thing in disguise because of the great impact it marks on the population of the youth. But think of it, does the government have to even interfere with the youth’s sense of fashion? Do they have to impose the youth on what television show or music genre to like? Of course not! It’s totally outrageous. What I’m trying to say is, let’s not make things so complicated to the point that even in the simplest things man can exercise his freedom will still be an issue of the society.
One thing is for sure, nothing can be bad as long as it does not affect the primary aspects of our lives. Too much is never ever good. It’s a good quality if you want to be presentable to the people you come in contact with. But we must not forget that our everyday life is more of a casual thing. Korean fashion may be over the top if you don’t know where and when to execute your style. As a Korean fashion site says, “however you will have to know what can be viewed in the public as appropriate or just plain crazy.” Let’s not look at our adornments as costumes but instead, let’s look at it as a part of our inner self. “Don’t be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quite spirit, which is so precious to God” (1 Peter 3:3,4).