Get your wardrobe out of neutral with a South Asian flair

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Get your wardrobe out of neutral with a South Asian flair

Want to stand out when you dress up? Think Bollywood.

Inside Coco Club shopping mall in Namdaemun Market is a new boutique, Pak Dream Land, where you can find all kinds of exotic fashion accessories.

The shop is the third opened here by the owner, Faheem Muquiem, who came from Pakistan five years ago. Mr. Muquiem, his three brothers and a Korean partner have two other shops in Dongdaemun, one each in the Migliore and New Zone shopping malls. Their Pak Dream Land opened three months ago.

Mr. Muquiem imports bags, clothes, semi-precious gemstones and accessories from India; caps and shoes from Pakistan; and earrings, scarves and fabric from Thailand. He goes on buying trips once or twice a year.

The tote bags he sells feature ethnic motifs, and can easily perk up a bland outfit. The most popular items at the shop are bags and earrings. The accessories are hand-made with natural stones.

Mr. Muquiem says Koreans like dark-colored stones, such as garnet, tiger's eye and sun stone, while Japanese tourists prefer light-colored stones, such as peridot and tourmaline.

In the summer, decorative, flat shoes called "Aladdin Khusa" are popular, he says.

Not all the merchandise at Pak Dream Land is sold as it was imported. Mr. Muquiem often adds his "designer's touch." He buys traditional fabric from Thailand and fashions dresses to suit local tastes. The fabric is decorated with gold and beads, and the designs are simple and modern. Dresses cost 60,000 won ($50) and up.

Mr. Muquiem points at some fancy jean skirts with glittering gold elephant embroidery on the front. "I bought these ethnic embroideries and patched them on used Levi's jeans. Many people like it," he says in fluent Korean with a foreigner's cadence.

Jean skirts are 40,000 won. A wire necklace of tiny turquoise beads is 7,000 won, a tiger's eye pendant on silver is 20,000 won, a string of garnet beads is 6,000 won and tourmaline beads are 15,000 won.

by Ines Cho
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