By Cathy Rose A. Garcia
Shanghai, China ― Korean stars Lee Da-hae
, Kim Jeong-hoon
and Jang Geun-suk
added a touch of star power to top designer Andre Kim's fashion show here Tuesday.
Kim presented his 2009 spring/summer fashion collection during the opening of the Korean textile and apparel trade show "Preview in Shanghai 2008" at Shanghai Mart.
Hallyu, or the Korean wave, seems to be alive and kicking in this exciting Chinese city, as the audience eagerly awaited the appearance of Korean celebrities at Kim's show.
Cameras flashed in the hall as Lee, who appeared in several hit dramas like "My Girl", and Kim, best known for his role in the MBC drama "Princess Hours
" (Gung), hit the runway wearing Kim's unique designs.
Jang is one of the hottest young actors in Korea, having appeared in recent dramas like "Hwangjin-i
" and "Hong Gil Dong
". Dozens of Chinese fans waited for him to arrive at the airport.
Kim's fashion art collection was once again well received in Shanghai. His elaborately detailed gowns showed inspiration from the rich culture, art and history of China, as well as Korean culture.
The audience was captivated throughout the show, which had five sections such as "Beijing Festival" and "Chinese Legend". The spring/summer collection's color palette featured purple, orange, green, blue, yellow, red and pink, as well as metallic shades of gold and silver.
Kim showed his unique vision for modern-day Korean royalty through the "Fantasy of Korean Palace" stage. Lee and Kim ― who played a prince in "Princess Hours
" ― looked like a modern-day royal couple in matching Oriental-inspired robes with golden dragon embroidery.
There were some melodramatic moments on stage. Lee and Jang appeared to play star-crossed lovers who were going to offer each other a tearful goodbye, much to the delight of the audience.
The final stage, "My Everlasting Love", featured Kim's exquisitely detailed romantic wedding gowns. For the finale, Lee was breathtaking in an embroidered and jeweled wedding gown, accompanied by Kim, who wore a white suit.
After the show, Kim and his celebrity-models held a press conference attended by dozens of Korean and Chinese media. The fashion show was also meant to celebrate Beijing's hosting the Olympics in August this year. This is Kim's 11th fashion show in China, having staged star-studded shows in Beijing and Shanghai in the past few years.
Preview in Shanghai is an annual event organized by the Korea Federation of Textile Industries (KOFOTI). In a press conference, KOFOTI chairman Ro Hee-chan said the event is aimed at increasing cooperation between Korean and Chinese textile companies.
The three-day event, which ends Thursday, also features fashion shows by brands Pro Specs, EXR Korea, Indibuni, Arte, Morine Comte Marant, Joinus and Tomboy. There are also seminars on spring/summer fashion trends, fashion brand value strategy and strategies on how to advance in the Chinese market.
Ro said since Preview in Shanghai was first held in 2003, Korean brands have made inroads into the Chinese market. This year, there are 120 textile companies and fashion brands participating, slightly fewer than the 130 companies that participated in 2007.
Much of the Korean brands' success in China is attributed to hallyu. Many brands use Korean star power through product placement in Korean dramas, movies and music.
Thanks to Korean stars' popularity among Chinese audiences, Korean brands have also become popular. Incidentally, hallyu is a term that originated in China and used to describe the popularity of Korean stars, dramas, movies and pop music outside Korea.
Actors Lee Da-hae
, left, and Jang Geun-suk
grace the finale at Andre Kim's fashion show in Shanghai, China. / Yonhap
South Korean actress Lee Da-hae
wears Andre Kim's fuschia-toned evening gown. / Yonhap