Hera - Seoul Fashion Week is a remarkable event for fashionistas all over the world. The streets are packed with people rocking their best styles. Wherever you look, there are people who look like models and act like it.
South Korea is a rapidly growing country and, undoubtedly, the world's attention has turned to look at them with eager eyes. The world of music has been taken over by the huge success of the k-pop group BTS (which had huge media attention at this year's AMAs). Part of the appeal of these bands is the balance between their ancient culture and traditions with a uniquely eccentric and modern lifestyle. Yet, I would dare to say that it is also their looks and attires that have stolen the limelight of the international fashion scene.
For the West, K-pop groups have provided a small window into this world: everything, from their costumes to their makeup that even male idols wear, is strangely captivating. However, it’s not only k-pop that is making waves. Fashion plays and important role in South Korean lifestyle, allowing this industry to experiment unique and groundbreaking styles, taking fashion to the next level.
It shouldn't come as a surprise that, when Fashion Week was celebrated in Seoul, the sky seemed to be the limit. South Korea is the perfect place for talented designers to showcase their new collections for the whole country and the world to see. Yet, the main attraction are not necessarily the new collections but rather the spectators. People, either guests or pedestrians, prepare their best outfits and walk around the Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) as if this were just an extension of the runway.
The square is a hub of visitors and there is an army of photographers following those who come not only to see but also to be seen... South Korea is setting the bar high and we better be there to witness it set another milestone in the industry where art meets attire.
What exactly makes Seoul’s Fashion Week so special and unique in comparison to Paris, New York, or Milan? For starters, the shows are not exactly private. Everyone can watch them live on the big screen, right outside the hall, so you do not need to pay an entrance fee, or to stand in line to get in. People gather around the screen and watch the fashion shows and music performances. Everyone shares their fashion likes and dislikes, while taking part in it, which being completely honest, I haven't seen anywhere else; this is a truly remarkable experience.
From the moment you step out of the Dongdaemun station, you are thrown into a hustled crowd of fashionistas and busier photographers; synchronized dance poses versus camera angles take and place and you’ll find yourself moving forward only when the craze of a photo shot has died down.
Once you get used to the flow of the crowd, you can start taking in the scene around you: children, posing better than I’ve ever posed in my entire life, take the spot light soon, because -really- who can resist toddlers and preadolescent kids perfectly dressed? The older trendsetters take both sides of the hall/road looking at the horizon (or at their phones) waiting for an interested photographer, who in turn attracts the rest until a swarm of them surrounds them in a blizzard of flashes. Most of these people are not amateurs, they know exactly how to move and pose to highlight their carefully planned outfit.
Designers dress to promote their own brands and there is no shortage of foreigners trying to impress the locals with their creativity and unique style, sometimes new and baffling for Koreans that they may feel immediately eager to give these looks a chance.
This event not only proves that there are still innovative people in the world of fashion, but it also shows that you don’t need to be rich or famous to stand out. Anyone with vision and talent gets their moment in the spotlight to take the limelight and prove it. I heard people saying “you can literally wear anything outrageous and people will still surround you and take pictures” to which I partially agree.
I did see some crazy pieces that I can’t imagine wearing, but the confidence with which they wore them and the work and planning behind them were such, that people would knowingly stare and take a picture without a second thought. Here, nothing is too reckless, too extra, too bold. People express their personality and emotions through art that just happens to be wearable.