This is for all those who love everything that sparkles and shines when the light hits just right. Several SFW designers showcased work with glistening textures and metallic silvers and grays to make fall’s stormy palette pop, each with their own distinctive taste set to appeal to their target audience.
GREEDILOUS, Yohanix and 1SUPERCOMMA B took on the urban wear side and gave us punchy quotes and hashtags along with some serious in-your-face glare. For the more modern and contemporary, How And What and NOHKE continued with favored boxy fits, but dressed up to glow. We also shared a couple inspirations for an evening out with Tiger In The Rain and LE QUEEN Couture.
Keep scrolling to check out the looks below and stay tuned as we continue to cover more Seoul Fashion Week excitement!
1. Urban Styles
GREEDILOUS, Image Courtesy Of SeoulFashionWeek.org
1SUPERCOMMA B, Image Courtesy Of SeoulFashionWeek.org
1SUPERCOMMA B, Image Courtesy Of SeoulFashionWeek.org
2. Contemporary Cuts
NOHKE, Image Courtesy Of SeoulFashionWeek.org
How And What, Image Courtesy Of SeoulFashionWeek.org
3. For An Evening Out
Tiger In The Rain, Image Courtesy Of SeoulFashionWeek.org
LE QUEEN Couture, Image Courtesy Of SeoulFashionWeek.org
By now, we all know about the popular Korean trend known as the “couple look.” To achieve the look, a couple coordinates their outfits with the same color, shirt, shoes. They can even go to extreme lengths and match head-to-toe in identical his-and-hers versions of an entire outfit.
Many couples have said they do this in an effort to show affection. Others say it helps as a clear sign for strangers to know they are off the market. Some even claim that they simply do it for fashion since it is so attention grabbing.
Whatever the reason may be, the matching trend has clearly been a hit for Korean couples. So what about American couples? It’s certainly not uncommon to see couples in the same color, but what about entire matching outfits?
Luckily for us, we don’t need to wonder. Refinery21 writer, Connie Wang, decided to go ahead and use this trend for her social experiment to see how it would play out for a couple in America.
“It’s hard for me to get embarrassed about what I wear,” Wang wrote. “However, upon receiving this assignment to test-run one of the most prevalent fashion trends in Korea, I broke into a cold, miserable sweat. When I told my boyfriend he’d be roped into it, too, he turned a similar shade of gray.”
The couple went through an entire week of matching and documenting their experience. On the first day, they admitted that the process of picking the outfit and getting ready was quite fun, but as soon as they stepped outside, things changed.
“Immediately after we left the apartment, I felt more self-conscious about my outfit than I’ve ever felt in my life,” she recalled. “It was like a joke, and like we were in costume instead of in clothes, and I wanted to hide.”
The next few days remained uncomfortable for the two. In fact, Wang’s boyfriend had a tendency to keep away from her in public to avoid the discomfort. The couple did prove one thing though. Some Korean couples claim that they matched to make sure others are aware of their taken status. That also seems to be the case in America.
“Note to all women who want to avoid being hit on: Dress up in the exact same outfit as one of your male friends. It’s like wearing a wedding ring on your entire body.”
Eventually the couple became a little bit more accepting of the idea, but “not so bad after all” isn’t exactly the best response you can get. There were various emotions involved. Wang’s boyfriend felt emasculated while Wang herself felt the need to put on lipstick to appear more feminine than the man sitting next to her. Oddly enough, the couple eventually stopped noticing.
“I can’t say I liked it,” Wangs boyfriend said on the very last day of the experiment. “But now I get it.”
For those of you who adored this past summer’s trend of dressing in monochromatic white, there’s some good news! While recapping style favorites from Seoul’s runways, it became clear that the all-white trend still continues for 2015. There’s an abundance of casual to elegant looks from several South Korean designers as they each revamp the crisp hue with their own personal tastes and inspiration. White may not be everyone’s favorite, but for those who want to try to lighten up their spring wardrobe to a degree, consider trying out a cream or ivory ensemble instead of optic whites. Perhaps mix and match all the different gradients of the non-color by layering separates and outerwear for a fresh take.
Below are some of our favorite all-white looks to draw inspiration from.
For the adventurous dressers, check out these structured and non-conventional cuts from Kwak Hyun Joo and Kaal E.Suktae or layered volume with graphic quotes like “Don’t Speak Loud” or “Make Sense Out Of Nonsense” by designer duo Steve J and Yoni P.
On The Left: Kaal E.Suktae S/S 2015, On The Right: Kwak Hyun Joo S/S 2015
Steve J And Yoni P S/S 2015 Collection
Not quite into the super edgy styles? Try for more contemporary looks with asymmetrical hemlines and boxy, cropped shirts like How And What Seoul presented or consider reinventions of this fall’s beloved crew neck sweater such as this oversized version from pushBUTTON to pair with modern bottoms.
On The Left: How And What Seoul S/S 2015, On The Right: pushBUTTON S/S 2015
Need a dress for date night? Here are some flirty and feminine styles with more modest cuts. We love the details and patterns that help the dresses from appearing too bland.
On The Left: How And What Seoul S/S 2015, On The Right: KYE S/S 2015
By now, we’ve pretty much seen all kinds of braids — fishtail, french, milk-maid, you name it. Recently though, Marie Claire China brought to our attention an adorable hairstyle that was popular a few years ago and is now back — braiding a thin scarf into your hair.
Just as there are many types of braids, there are, of course, many ways you can wear this look, as seen in Indian American fashion designer Rachel Roy’s fall/winter collection at New York Fashion Week last year, as well as the recent Honor show.
Honor Fall 2014
For a more casual look, you may want to try a more-toned style like this one, inspired by actress Bella Thorne.
Here is a step by step guide from the Chinese fashion site 17mr.org:
And once you’ve mastered the basics, you can attempt to braid the scarf into a fancy french braided bun, like this Weibo user below:
Even if we don’t understand it, we’ve all seen it before– the strange trend in some Asian countries to wear surgical masks.
So what’s the reason behind this phenomenon? In some cases, the justification is perfectly understandable. For instance, residents in China are often seen wearing masks because of the poor air quality. In some cases, this is even a requirement. During a runway show in Jiangsu province last year, models were forced to wear surgical masks because the smog was far too dangerous to inhale.
So what about Japan? According to Rocketnews24, there are 5 main reasons for the popular mask trend.
1.) For health purposes. While China residents wear the mask to protect themselves from the unfit air quality, Japanese residents wear the mask for any sort of contagious disease. However, the mask is not used to protect themselves. Instead, it is used to protect other people. Because Japanese residents often come in close contact with one another, it is common courtesy to wear a mask if you are sick.
2.) To avoid social awkwardness. Rocketnews24 reported that the mask is sometimes used by an individual who simply does not want interaction. A Japanese psychologist added, “When we deal with others, we have to judge whether to do things like smile or show anger. By wearing a mask, you can prevent having to do that. The trend of wearing a mask to prevent directly dealing with other may have roots in the current youth culture in which many of them are more accustomed to communicating indirectly through email and social media.”
3.) For warmth.
Tired of wrapping a scarf around your face to keep it warm? Why not try a surgical mask?
4.) For the lazy.
Have you ever wanted to go out, but you’re too lazy to put on make up? Or maybe you have a pimple and you’re just too tired to cover it up. Maybe its just one of those days when you just want to leave the house for a quick errand and dolling yourself up seems like a hassle. Apparently, Japanese women have decided that a quick way around this is the surgical mask.
5.) In the name of fashion.
We certainly expected this one. As the popularity of the mask grows, more and more people are finding ways to incorporate it into their outfit. Black masks and printed masks were created for that very purpose.
The idea of being paid to eat sounds great doesn’t it? It will sound even better once you find out that this South Korean woman makes over $9000 a month just for eating dinner. I know what you’re thinking– where are the job applications!?
But before you go and quit your day job to become a full-time eater, you should probably know that there’s a catch. Seo Yeon Park, the beautiful 33-year-old who makes a living off of eating, must spend her dinnertime in front of a webcam to appease hundreds of adoring fans.
A little awkward? You bet.
But many of the Koreans who tune into Seo Yeon Park’s live-channel argue that paying to watch Seo Yeon eat is perfectly reasonable. We want to emphasize that although Park is noticeably attractive, there is no nudity or sex involved. Many people are quick to assume that her popularity is due to some strange fetish among viewers, but fans argue that they primarily watch Seo Yeon Park to heal their loneliness and their hunger pangs.
“People enjoy the vicarious pleasure of my online show when they can’t eat that much, don’t want to eat food at night, or are on a diet,” Seo Yeon told Reuters.
For this reason, Seo Yeon only eats top quality food that costs about $3000-$5000 a month. Seo Yeon will spend several hours eating (trust us, this girl can eat!) and spend a few more hours chatting with her fans. The entire show is roughly 4-6 hours and available every night. The show contains a live chat room and has become very interactive for her fans.
“For Koreans, eating is an extremely social, communal activity, which is why even the Korean word ‘family’ means ‘those who eat together,'” says Professor Sung-hee Park of Ewha University’s Division of Media Studies.
This is precisely why the show has become extremely popular among individuals who don’t want to eat by themselves.
“One of the best comments I ever received from a viewer who said that she had gotten over her anorexia by watching me eat,” says Park. “That really meant a lot to me.”
As a token of appreciation, many fans send in money. Seo Yeon Park gets paid so much that she was able to quit her day job at a consulting agency and now puts her full attention towards eating.
Lucky for her, Seo Yeon’s metabolism seems perfectly capable of adjusting to her job. Fans have watched her consume 4 whole pizzas in the span of a few hours and still maintain a fit body. Now that’s impressive!
If you still find yourself puzzled by all this, you’re not alone. In fact, Seo Yeon often receives harsh criticism from people who don’t support her channel.
“I get some really awful commenters who make me reexamine ‘why am I doing this again?’ but at the end of the day the positive feedback overwhelmingly outweighs the bad, so I am happy to continue.” she says.
And she’s not the only one! Over 3,500 people have been doing similar online programs sponsored by restaurants.
We’re not quite sure that this is a fad that will work in America, but we’re certainly interested in seeing how this progresses in Korea.
We know what you’re thinking. Why would anyone want to wear such an uncomfortable and unattractive accessory to the beach? Well not only is this product simply available in China, last year this was the summer craze.
Now before you begin judging China’s fashion sense, it is important to know that this garment choice has absolutely nothing to do with fashion (clearly). The full head mask, nicknamed the “face-kini” and often paired with a long-sleeved body suit, has become a hit in China because of its ability to protect its user from the sun.
The need to protect one’s skin is a much deeper issue in Asia than some may realize. These extreme measures are not simply to avoid skin cancer. Instead, these measures are taken to satisfy Asia’s obsession with pale skin.
Here in California, it is not uncommon to find women spread out on a beach towel with coconut oil and a burning determination to get tanned. In fact, we even have a number of tanning salons which do the job without the hassle of sand in your hair. There are aisles of spray-on tans and tanning oils just to achieve the perfect California glow.
This is the absolute opposite of Asia’s ideal.
The New York Times spoke to a woman sporting the face-kini. “I’m afraid of getting dark,” she explained. “A woman should always have fair skin. Otherwise people will think you’re a peasant.”
As you can see, pale skin is not merely viewed as someone who hasn’t been out much. Traditionally in Asia, darker skin represents the physical labor of rural areas while lighter skin is a sign of wealth and beauty. As such, whitening products line the shelves of store in Asia.
Just how far will this go? People are found walking around with parasols and gloves just to avoid the sun for a 5-minute walk in the street. Asian media pushes the idea by clearly having a preference for light skinned women. Companies are reaping the benefits of whitening products.
We don’t know when this judgement of skin will stop– or if it ever will– but the creators of these face masks seem to have no problem perpetuating the idea that lighter is better.
We live in a world of social media trends, but we don’t always seem to enjoy them. Planking, a trend which had people literally imitate a wooden plank, gave us a few laughs, but eventually died down when everyone realized its stupidity. Cone-ing, the act of ordering an ice-cream cone at the drive-through and stunning the worker by grabbing the soft-serve rather than the cone, thankfully ended. Saying the term “YOLO” became so over-used that people finally retracted it from their vocabulary.
Often, we shake our heads at these trends, but eventually come to accept it. We see the humor in it and even partake in some of the trends ourselves. However, a new trend has risen that we refuse to accept. Unlike the trends previously mentioned, we see no humor in this shameful new act.
Insensitivity is an understatement for the new trend “trayvoning”. The goal is to imitate the dead body of Trayvon Martin which was aired during coverage of the George Zimmerman’s murder trial. You read correctly. Teens are finding humor in imitating a murdered 17-year old.
The trend had teenagers lying motionless on the ground with skittles and iced tea. Needless to say, the public is rightly outraged. We can only hope that this inappropriate and disrespectful trend meets its end soon enough.
Audrey Magazine is an award-winning national publication that covers the Asian experience from the perspective of Asian American women. Audrey covers the latest talent and trends in entertainment, fashion, beauty and lifestyle.