Seoul is undoubtedly a city with a unique sense of identity. The vibrant energy of the younger generation is particularly noticeable. The creativity I have seen in Seoul has never been more prominent than when I visited Seoul Fashion Week. The event was held in Dongdaemun Design Plaza, which is commonly referred to as the DDP. The plaza itself was designed by Zaha Hadid and stands as an impressive testament to Seoul’s modern and innovative approach to design and functionality. The plaza is home to a countless number of events held in Seoul and serves as a hub for the cutting-edge.
Although I did not attend any of the fashion shows, I was still able to see a lot of inspiring and unique fashion. My friends and I were extremely pleased with the coffee and ice cream samples given away as well as the number of people who randomly ask to take your photo. One photographer who took my photo said he was making a documentary on Korean fashion, so who knows? Perhaps I will end up in a random documentary in the near future. We also saw some stern-faced models who appeared to be posing for cover photo of some sort. Generally, I would say the fashion was distinct from fashion in the United States. The colors were rather muted and based on earth tones and I found that the symmetry of the outfits was designed to elongate features differently that what you might see in New York City. The makeup on the models was focused more on a clean line and was less dramatic than most fashion icons in the States.
Although I am not a fashion expert, I really enjoyed seeing the creativity that people put into their own self-expression. I respected how many young people were there dressing against traditional social norms and deviating from pop culture in a way that was refreshing to see. Despite the fact that Korea is an extremely technologically advanced and modern country, I have noticed that in Korean culture, the opinion of others matters quite a lot in comparison to the United States. It is not necessarily a bad aspect of society, it is simply different. But I think it can put pressure on young people at times to meet the standards set by their own peers. Here it is common to always dress nice for class and wear makeup every day, whereas in the United States I often walk around in a t-shirt and jeans, bare-faced, and with my hair tied back. But the Seoul Fashion Week proved that self-expression is still encouraged, and in fact fashionable around the world.
On a slightly different topic, I saw my first snow fall when I attended Seoul Fashion Week! Thankfully it did not delay any of the shows scheduled that day, and it was truly a memorable experience seeing my first snowfall in Korea. According to my Korean friends, snowfall in late March is uncommon, so I suppose I witnessed a small miracle.