I was invited by Korea Tourism Organisation (KTO London) to fly to Pyeongchang, South Korea. The purpose of this journey was to promote the ‘Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games’ and to get an insight into South Korean culture. This pre-visit to the Gangwondo Province which includes PyeongChang,
I am very familiar how Asia can design fashion but the region is so under the radar when it comes to creative fashion. They are a breed of their own regarding accessories and everything bling. Asian people are bold, in colours, bold in statements pieces and adventurous when it comes to clothing collections. I only had a few hours to explore the city of Seoul. So I wanted to head to a section where I could see what is the up and coming fashion in Seoul and South Korea. To give you an understanding how powerful South Korea is regarding Asian fashion, many shop owners from Singapore, Malaysia and Bangkok flock here every few months, taking massive bags of clothing. In speaking to a shop owner who flew in from Bangkok, he explained to me that,
“No other Asian culture does fashion so well as South Korea”.
apM Place in Dongdaemun Seoul is a wholesale fashion mall that is open 24 hours 7 days a week. It has 8 floors full of fashion and has over 1,000 designers using 150,000 models to design new clothes to lead the development of the fashion market.
The presentation throughout the mall is like tiny posh boutiques. It’s spotless both environment and in how the clothes are worn. The whole building has a real buzz to it. It’s a great place for women and the best thing it never shuts. I could explore as long as I liked and I did. Regarding the shopping experience, the shop keepers left you to your own devices until you wanted something. This is very rare when it comes to shopping in Asia.
It’s been trending for awhile but I can see thanks to these whopping 150,000 designers the print collections are been printed on T-shirts and trench coats. The messages are loud, strong and in your face. Colours are used to get the message across. The quality of the collections vary but all in all it’s truly value for money.
Please note it’s a wholesale place so you have to buy two of the same piecespieces
Clutch Chanel Bags
I am a huge fan of how Asians take the Haute Couture like Chanel and create their own spin on it. I have to say the quality is not bad at all. What I am inspired by is that, they do create quirky little messages on the clutch bags. I noticed that the designers have adopted the detail approach when it comes to sports luxe. Comfort wear is a huge factor here but the standard sports luxe wear here has been given a very chic added look to it.
I love the ribbons and bows, added to each collection as it makes it look very feminine. I am a big fan of cotton chunky ribbons used here on the sleeves and I noticed many collections were doing the same. I will adopt this in my own funky way, during my luxury travel. I was searching for personalized ribbons for my handmade clothes and this place was an inspiration for it.
Face & Hand Masks
Korean sheet masks are all the rage in the beauty industry right now. They are some of the most versatile skincare products to come out of South Korea. The choice is endless and I had no idea where to start so I just went for funky packaging.
Aside from their convenience and ease of use, these masks are often infused with all sorts of nutrients to feed your face. They are also perfect for those who have issues committing to one product while also remaining relatively cost effective. It’s for these reasons that these handy masks have made it into an essential skin routine whenever we need a little R&R time. There’s a sheet mask for practically every skin ailment too. There are masks to hydrate, detox, draw out impurities, brighten, whiten, soften, reduce pores, reduce signs of ageing, even ones to make you look as cute as an animal (because of course there is).
SNP animal masks are fun masks which come in four colourful animal themes and are made out of natural pulp and hydrating coconut water. Every animal mask has a specially designed pattern each with its own unique benefits. Absorb in all the nutrients in the mask while looking fierce as a tiger or as cute as a panda!
Korean women are stunning both in nature and skin care and natural beauty. It’s a culture where it has mixed with both China and Japan and the combinations are amazing.
I am a lover of bling and here in Seoul, you are saturated with it. They make the best bling phone covers, mainly for Apple and of course Samsung and LG. They also add a lot of bling to their clothing as well as handbags.
Seoul and South Korea are obsessed with socks it’s just part of their DNA. From short, knee high and to everything you can think of regarding colour and design. You can buy and find them everywhere. So much fun and very cool indeed.
Jogyesa Temple – Free Entry
This was the coolest street style cultural experience I have seen amongst Asian youth ever. To enter Jogyesa, for free you have to dress in the traditional Korean costume. The youth adopted this very well and took it very seriously. It was one selfie heaven and for me very edgy indeed.
I literally had a few hours and if you have only a a small amount of time then head to apM Place to get a real understanding of South Korea and its fashion culture. Forget the tacky souvenirs, buy yourself some unique clothing that no one else will even be able to match let alone have back in the streets of London let alone Europe. Go to the Jogyesa Temple to see traditional dresses in action.