Fashion Festival Aims to Put Korea's Stamp on Style

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Fashion Festival Aims to Put Korea's Stamp on Style

If you're sniffing for the scent of spring in the air, it may dishearten you to know that in the fashion world, preparations for fall and winter collections are already well under way. But do not despair - there's fun to be had before the year escapes completely in the form of Korean Fashion and Culture 2000, the year's largest fashion event, organized by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The event will take place in May and June at Gyeongbok Palace and the National Folk Museum (on the palace grounds).

The event is the first of its kind in that it is attempting to fuse features of both contemporary and traditional vogues to define 2,000 years of Korean fashion. The 41-day cultural festival, promoting "Visit Korea 2001," will feature fashion shows and seminars. Organizers are hoping to attract not only Koreans but also foreigners living in and visiting Korea.

The opening ceremony will be held outdoors near the Jagyeongjeon building in Gyeongbok Palace, and will be attended by VIPs, foreign dignitaries and fashion-related professionals. The ceremony will be followed by a gala fashion show that will take its inspiration from traditional Korean costumes from as early as the Three Kingdoms period in the 3d century, the Koryo and Choson Dynasties, the apparel of today - and even the future.

The main event, to be held between May 6 and June 11, will include an exhibition, Fashion Road Show, and a seminar titled "Strategies to Incorporate Korean Culture Into Fashion Merchandise" on May 17. There will also be the SFAA Collection fashion show on May 3 and 4, the Korean Traditional Fashion Show on May 5 and 6 and the KFDA Collection on May 7.

The Fashion Road Show is a display of fashion and dance accompanied by a Korean samulnori percussion troupe. Together they will perform classic Korean tales such as "Simcheongjeon" and "Chunhyangjeon." The troupe will circle the grounds of the palace. The exhibition will show over 100 garments from various historic periods and costumes that originated in North Korea, and natural dyeing procedures will be demonstrated.

Admission to fashion events will be free of change although visitors are asked to pay a small fee of 700 won (55 cents) to enter the palace and the museum. English and Japanese pamphlets will be available from late March. For further information, contact Kim Yea-gee at the Organizer of Korean Fashion and Culture 2000 at 02-2263-6036 or 016-708-4587 (English service available).

The Seoul Collection ( will put on a show of 2001 fall and winter fashions from April 10 through 13, featuring the works of 24 Korean fashion designers at the COEX Convention Hall. The Korea Fashion Association aims to organize a 2002 World Cup Korea-Japan Gala Fashion Show under the auspices of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Energy and the Seoul Metropolitan Government. Through cultural exchanges between Japan and Korea, the association hopes to establish the Seoul Collection as the representative of Korea's fashion commerce and industry, and also to provide opportunities for Korean designers to seek out new markets abroad.

This will be the second showing of the Seoul Collection, following one held at the Marriott Hotel last year. Organizers are trying to forge a name for Korea on the international stage by inviting fashion buyers, professionals and journalists from Japan, U.S. and Italy again this year.

A detailed program and tickets will be available from late March. For more information, contact Shin Hee-jin at the Korea Fashion Association at 02-528-4750.

by inescho

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