By Cathy Rose A. Garcia
Korean celebrities turned into fashion models for one night for the first-ever Hallyu Stars Fashion Festival held at Seoul Plaza, Saturday evening.
Shinhwa member Andy
, singers Son Ho-young
and Kim Hyun-jeong-I
and actress Park Eun-hye
, were only some of the celebrities who walked down the fashion runway wearing stylish creations of Korean designers.
While it is no longer unusual to find a celebrity strutting their stuff on the fashion runways, the Hallyu Stars Fashion Festival represented the Seoul government's efforts to promote the Korean fashion industry with the help of the popularity of hallyu or Korean Wave.
Seoul Fashion Center (SFC), a government center created to promote the fashion industry, hopes Korea's designers would also achieve the same level of success as its stars. SFC director-general Hahn Seong-hee said the Hallyu Stars Fashion Festival would help attract attention to the fashion industry.
Top designer Lee Sang-bong
, whose designs make use of hangeul or Korean alphabet, said hallyu allows greater cultural exchange between Koreans and other countries.
"The Korean wave is not just one-sided, but allows exchange of other countries' culture with our own", Lee Sang-bong
told reporters. Lee Sang-bong
's impeccable clothes featuring hangeul designs are a bit hit in Paris.
Han Seung-soo, a men's wear designer, is riding on the Korean wave in Japan. He said he designed the costumes worn by the characters in the musical version of "Winter Sonata"
playing in Japan.
Many Korean stars are often spotted wearing beautiful, trendy clothes designed by Korean designers. Designer Cho Sung-kyong's latulle collection, featuring pretty and feminine clothes, is a favorite among female celebrities and often seen in TV dramas and movies. She said she likes to design pretty, romantic clothes with a French twist.
wore a latulle dress in the film "Innocent Steps
", while Kim Jung-eun
wore a stunning red gown in a scene in the drama "Lovers in Paris
". Cho, who has a shop in Paris, said a French actress would be wearing one of her designs during this year's Cannes Film Festival.
, Han and Cho's designs were all featured as part of the Hallyu Stars Fashion Festival on Saturday evening. Other designers who participated in the event include Jinteok, Hwang Jae-bock, Park He-rin, Oh Eun-hwan, Chang Kwang-hyo, Sul Yun-hyoung and Lee Ju-young.
Many of the Korean celebrities who appeared during the show were well known in the country, but only a handful were known around Asia.
As expected, young female fans went crazy when Shinhwa's Andy
appeared wearing a suit by Hwang Jae-bock. Ex-g.o.d. member Son Ho-young
and Paran member Ryan also elicited screams from fans when they appeared on the runway.
, who appeared in the Asia-wide hit drama "Dae Jang Geum"
and Taiwanese drama "Silence", modeled a stylish black and white dress with Hangeul print by Lee Sang-bong
. Park Hae-jin
, who starred in the KBS drama "Famous Princesses
", also wore a suit designed by Lee Sang-bong
For latulle, actress Lee Yoo-mi and songwriter Joo Young-hoon looked every inch a happy couple as they modeled a matching outfit. Baby Vox Re.V. members looked sweet when modeling the feminine styles of designer E.J. Lee, although one member nearly tripped while wearing a long black gown.
wore a beige dress with a striped high neckline designed by Imseonoc, while Choo Ja-yeong wore a long white flowing gown by Jo Myung-Rye Haute.
The Hallyu Stars Fashion Festival also featured energetic performances by Psy, S.G. Wannabe, Bada
, Paran, Kim Hyun-jeong-I
and Son Ho-young
Seoul Business Agency tourism marketing director-general Park Nam-soon said the Hallyu Stars Fashion Festival, which is part of the Hi Seoul Festival, would be continued in the future to help attract more foreign tourists to Seoul.