It was a scene that left an impression on us in the underpass and on the street. Many Koreans he saw on the street were wearing clothes with the names of brands that had nothing to do with clothes, for example, TV channels such as Discovery and National Geographic. He even said he saw a brand called CNN. The previous two broadcasting stations may have a justification for being associated with outdoor activities because they are related to activities or adventures abroad, but it was difficult to understand why CNN became a clothing brand.
But more interestingly, the film director I was with also fell into a similar trap. A few days after this conversation, to get ready to go out, he put on a jacket he had bought in Jeonju, and the brand of the jacket was Kodak. According to his story, during the film festival, many foreign colleagues were enthusiastic about the fact that there was a shop selling clothes with the logo of a brand famous for film. Kodak went bankrupt in 2012, but recently Kodachrome film is back in vogue. It is said that a film director from France even bought a hat, travel bag, jacket, and key chain. At the same time, he said that these products were popular in Paris, so they could easily be sold at two or three times the price when he went to France. He said that even if he didn’t sell it and used it himself, he would become the most stylish among his friends.Watching all these situations made me think about how Koreans dress. Some foreigners visiting Korea expect the streets of Korea to be full of outfits that would appear in K-pop music videos. However, the percentage of people who actually wear clothes like this is extremely low. Rather, in the country where these foreigners were born, more and more people dress up as cartoon or anime characters or dress up like K-pop singers on a daily basis. Koreans would rather not understand this. Westerners wear eye makeup to look like Asians, and Asians do double eyelid surgery to look like Westerners. It’s like a revolving door in the fashion world where a lot of people get trapped.
Most Koreans I’ve seen wear clothes of achromatic colors and classic cuts, which is called Normcore in fashion terms. It’s a very boring style in my eyes. Even if you wear very expensive brands, you prefer basic things, so in the world of designers, Korea is called ‘quiet luxury’. However, there are Gucci and Balenciaga stores in every department store in Korea. It seems to be the opposite of the general taste of Koreans, but I wondered who the hell lives there.
By the way, in Korea, there are people who pursue Balenciaga-style flashy designs but buy clothes at affordable markets rather than luxury stores in department stores. They are the elderly who freely combine colors, patterns, and materials. Of course, they would say that it was because they bought and wore practical and inexpensive clothes rather than thinking in terms of fashion. It is not surprising to hear that avant-garde fashion stylists visit Namdaemun Market to prepare collections inspired by their fashion ideas. Middle-aged men who wear hooded suit jackets or mountaineering vests over shirts and ties are sure to be a source of inspiration for Prada. Again, these are all products of the energy emitted by capitalism, a mysterious revolving door between East and West.
Not long ago, photographer Donghyun Kim published a book about Koreans not being afraid to express themselves through clothes. It is a photo book titled ‘MUT’. This book is filled with portraits of men and women in their 60s and older taking a walk on the streets of Dongmyo. When I look at the fashion of those who have deviated from ‘Norm Core’, I think of scenes in the morning where they are deeply concerned about how to dress that day. What the accessories and hats they wear make it clear that they are not victims of fashion. They are people with a natural and phenomenal fashion sense that goes beyond brands, trends, prices, and designers. Recommended for Koreans who are bored with everyday fashion. If you visit artist Donghyun Kim’s social network service (SNS) account (mut…jpg), you can see that there is a world beyond normcore and monotonous luxury in Korea.Andres Solano Colombian Novelist
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