By Cathy Rose A. Garcia
Top Korean fashion designer Andre Kim gave recognition to Korea's most beautiful and popular stars during his 2007 Best Star Awards at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Seoul, Monday evening.
Actress Lee Young-ae
, who starred in the hit MBC drama "Dae Jang Geum
" (Jewel in the Palace), received the grand prize for helping lead the Korean Wave or "hallyu" around Asia.
Since 2004, Andre Kim has handed out Best Star Awards to top stars in TV, film and sports who have helped boost Korea's profile around the world.
This year, award winners included kwon Sang-woo
, one of the most popular Korean actors around Asia; Lee Joon-gi
, who rose to fame for his role in the hit film "TheKing and the Clown;" and Park Hae-il
, who starred in the recent films "Paradise Murdered
" and "The Host"
Kwon, whose TV dramas such as "Stairway to Heaven
" are widely watched around Asia, attracted dozens of Japanese fans to the event.
Stars of the SBS drama "Love Story in Harvard
", Kim Tae-hee
and Kim Rae-won
were briefly reunited on stage when they received their awards.
Also given Best Star Awards were actresses Song Yoon-ah
, Lee Mi-yeon
, Sung Yu-ri
, Lee Bo-young
, Han Da-gam
and Go Ara
; and actors Lee Wan
, Joo Dong-hyeok and Jo Hyun-jae
. All the awardees wore beautiful gowns and stylish suits specially designed by Andre Kim.
Special commendation awards were given to world-renowned director Im Kwon-taek
, Pusan International Film Festival director Kim Dong-ho
and actress Teresa Sheen, for their contributions to the Korean film industry.
Im has received numerous awards from international film festivals, and recently released his 100th film. Kim Dong-ho
is credited with founding the PIFF, which has become one of the top film festivals around the world. Teresa Sheen is a famous Korean actress who starred in numerous films in the 1940s.
The event also served as a fashion show for Andre Kim's intricately designed gowns with lush embroidery and dreamy fabrics. Models wore elaborate gowns with beautiful embroidered flowers in various shimmering shades of yellow, purple, pink and green.
Two rising stars Huh Yi-jae
, who starred in the MBC drama "Prince Hours
", and Shin Dong-wook
, who starred in the MBC drama "Soul Mate"
, were the featured star-models during the Andre Kim fashion show.
During the finale, the two stars wore beautiful wedding outfits as part of the show's romantic theme. Heo and Sin also won Best Star Awards.
In the sports field, awards were given to figure skating star Kim Yu-na and Olympic speed skating champion Lee Kang-seok. Kim Yu-na won Korea's first gold medal at the International Skating Union Grand Prix in Paris last November.
There were some no-shows during the event, such as soprano Sumi Jo
, and hallyu star Bae Yong-joon
, who wasn't able to make it since he was shooting his current drama.
Past recipients of Andre Kim's Best Star Awards include hallyu stars Jang Dong-gun
, Won Bin
and Choi Ji-woo
, and award-winning film directors Park Chan-wook
and Kim Ki-duk
Top fashion designer Andre Kim appears on stage with actress Huh Yi-jae
and actor Shin Dong-wook
after the fashion show at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Seoul, Monday evening.
Actress Lee Young-ae
, star of the hit MBC drama "Dae Jang Geum
" (Jewel in the Palace) receives the grand prize during the Andre Kim 2007 Best Star Award at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Seoul, Monday evening.