There have been many attempts to translate elements of traditional Korean culture into fashion. The most notable works have come from designers such as Lie Sang-bong, whose designs are often decorated with Korean calligraphy, and Lee Young-hee, who endeavored to introduce hanbok to the West with modern versions of the traditional attire.
Since the two designers came to the attention of the global fashion industry in the late 1990s, aspiring young designers have attempted to follow in their footsteps with designs that inject traditional Korean concepts into modern-day outfits infused with Western elements.
But a group of Korean students from the Esmod Seoul fashion school is attempting to create a more organic blend of the traditional and the modern. They demonstrated this concept in a recent exhibition called "Meot, Jitda", which ran from Oct. 27 to 29 at the school's Art Nouveau Hall in Sinsa-dong, southern Seoul. Their goal, they said, was to "create modern fashion that dwells in Korean culture, history, art and tradition".
The exhibition title is a combination of the words meot (style) and jitda (build).
To prepare for the exhibition, the 100 participating second-year students took special lectures on traditional culture in addition to their regular coursework on art, history, design, textiles, pattern making and construction. They also visited museums representing Korean culture and learned traditional handicraft techniques.
Many students seemed to have gained inspiration for their creations from exposure to these traditional forms. The exhibition included dresses inspired by the beauty of Korean ceramics, jackets based on the geometric structure and construction techniques of hanok (traditional houses), and lingerie that uses cloisonne metalwork techniques.
One of the designers in the exhibition, Kim Yoo-eok, 27, used the Bukcheong Lion Dance as a model to create an outfit that resembles a lion.
A jumpsuit with hanbok-style pleats (top) created by Kim Bo-mi and Lim Hee-won was part of an exhibit by students of Esmod Seoul fashion school last month. A pair of booties (above), created by Choi Han-gyul, 24, was also part of the show. [JoongAng Ilbo]
The Bukcheong Saja-nori is a traditional dance performed during the Lunar New Year celebration to scare away evil spirits.
"Through this process, I was introduced to the traditional Bukcheong Saja-nori", Kim said. "The folk painting of a lion's face appeared too frightening, so I redesigned it to make it seem more humorous".
His design consists of a playful shirt printed with a colorful yet abstract-looking lion's face and a feathery jacket that looks almost like a lion's mane.
Meanwhile, Choi Han-gyul, 24, created booties in the style of traditional armor. To create the design, Choi attached to the booties 24 pieces of brass that were originally used to make furniture. The bottoms of the boots are also stunning. Choi affixed nuts and bolts to give them the feel of antique furniture.
"I realized that the traditional materials that we encounter in our daily lives can be used endlessly in modern fashion", Choi said.
By Kang Seung-min [[email protected]]
Source : koreajoongangdaily.jo... ( English Korean )
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