Hanbok Market offers hip, trendy designs

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Hanbok Market offers hip, trendy designs


Singer and actor Hur Young-ji poses in a trendy hanbok outfit at the Hanbok Market in Culture Station Seoul 284, central Seoul, on Thursday. Hur, who was recently appointed honorary hanbok ambassador, participated in a special event about how to style hanbok for formal occasions. [HANBOK ADVANCEMENT CENTER]

The Hanbok Market, an annual fair all about Korea’s traditional clothing, kicked off this weekend with many trendy pieces on discount just in time for the Chuseok harvest holidays.

The festival started last year under the direction of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the Hanbok Advancement Center, and invited hanbok businesses to come together to display and sell the latest hanbok trends. Hanbok is traditionally made of silk, and are worn by both men and women during traditional festivals like Chuseok and Lunar New Year as well as weddings.

This year, 71 businesses are selling hanbok and related accessories like hair ornaments through Sunday at the Culture Station Seoul 284, located in front of Seoul station. Every kind of hanbok imaginable is on view - modern hanbok skirts with tropical patterns, hanbok-style coat jackets with a high-waist ribbon and even funky and futuristic pieces made by the top 10 contestants of an annual hanbok design competition. Items on sale go for as low as 70 percent off their regular price.

To foster interest in hanbok among young people, four celebrities were selected as honorary hanbok ambassadors for 2019, including Hur Young-ji, a singer, actor and former member of girl group KARA.

On the opening day on Thursday, Hur and musical actor Kim Ho-young, a fellow ambassador, held a special “Wedding Hanbok Styling Show” where they gave useful tips on how to style hanbok for couples on their wedding day and even for casual dates.

After the show, the Korea JoongAng Daily got a chance to sit down with Hur, a self-professed hanbok fan, and hear her thoughts on the traditional outfit.

“I’ve never felt uncomfortable wearing hanbok. Even with my current outfit, I feel like I can go grab something to eat without having to change,” she said. Hur was donning a modern hanbok outfit consisting of a dark blue wrap skirt over a lacy white one-piece dress during the interview.

“If traditional hanbok was beautiful and elegant, the modern trend adds comfort. I hope more young people can learn about these merits,” Hur continued.

Hur also dished out some practical advice for people looking to spice up their hanbok outfits.

“Brooches are nice if your top seems too simple, but I’m not a huge fan of earrings with hanbok. For footwear, I recommend formal shoes with or without a little heel, but not open-toe shoes or sandals.”

The Hanbok Market opens daily through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Entry is free.

BY KIM EUN-JIN [kim.eunjin1@joongang.co.kr]
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