Treasures from throughout Asia collected in Apgujeong-dong

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Treasures from throughout Asia collected in Apgujeong-dong

Lamove's window is so alluring that it instantly draws back-street wanderers in Apgujeong-dong to take a closer look. Curious, they spy a delicate butterfly pendant and a matching set of drop earrings embellished with coral, jade and garnet beads. The jewelry is handsomely set on an antique Chinese dressing table.

The window is so charming that people tend to drift into the two-month-old shop all day long. Lamove is the creation of a jewelry designer, Kim Kyoung, 34, who has sold her accessories to department stores for years.

Upon entering, visitors sniff the sweet scent of Indian incense and hear the lilting rhythms of Asian dance music. They weave past red and black lacquer chests and tables of natural wood from several Asian lands.

Every box, frame and bookshelf displays eclectic jewelry made locally or abroad from semi-precious stones, crystal or beads. The shop exudes an exuberant, creative energy.

Ms. Kim gets her ideas from books, Web sites and her frequent travels in Asia. Her favorite destinations are Tokyo, Shanghai and Bangkok. Some of her designs appear to be inspired by Victorian England and American Indian motifs.

Indian hoop earrings, from the subcontinent, are big sellers.

Like fashion designers, Ms. Kim presents her jewelry collection twice a year. This spring, she's introducing a flower series made of jade, coral, quartz, turquoise and pearls. "Pastel-colored stone, pink in particular, is the rage," Ms. Kim says. She expects turquoise to be popular this summer. Most earrings and necklaces cost 40,000 won ($35) and up.

Ms. Kim has long enjoyed traditional Asian furniture at home. Her favorites are brightly lacquered Tibetan chests. Chests and cabinets cost between 400,000 won and 600,000 won; a small Ming-style chair, 90,000 won.

Before opening Lamove, Ms. Kim used to envy the small curio shops she saw abroad. "I wanted to have a shop in Seoul that was so interesting that people would tell their friends, 'If you're in Seoul, you must check the place out.'"

by Ines Cho
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