On the streets of Seoul, plenty of fashion inspirationWhere exactly do trends come from? To create the sizzling hot looks of the future on Paris, Milan and New York runways each season, fashion designers, stylists and art directors find their inspiration in the past and present.
For the year 2004, top designers have suggested a few important themes: the Roman warrior look, retro-chic preppy and deconstructive modernism. The new generation designers, such as Rick Owens, Nicolas Ghesquiere and Ann Demeulemeester, have continued to lead the scene with nouvelle couture, the new luxurious fashion embellished with novel proportion, innovative materials and interesting details.
Often, though, the most expensive concepts come straight from cheap vintage, club and street fashion.
In the Seoul neighborhood known as Hongdae, every last Friday of the month is Club Day. With a purchase of one ticket at 15,000 won ($12), clubbers can enter about a dozen small underground clubs in the area near Hongik University.
According to club owners, no less than 2,000 clubbers from all over the country and world mill about, drinking and dancing throughout this night.
With fashionably dressed hipsters spilling out of ubiquitous clubs, both main and back streets in Hongdae become virtual runways of real fashion, as the high-spirited young contemporaries of Korea create their own individual styles.
Instead of following a mainstream formula or celebrity look, Seoul street fashion is all about going retro (circa 1970s), casual (a lot of distressed jeans) and eclectic (department stores, boutiques, markets and even borrowed items).
Brand names sported by partygoers were as ostentatious as medusa-bearing Versace shades to vintage Adidas to fake Levi’s.
The IHT-JoongAng Daily hit the streets of Hongdae last weekend to catch a glimpse of these clubbers’ lives in Korea, their fashion and the future.
by Ines Cho