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Fashion Meets the Hallyu Wave

Fashion Meets the Hallyu Wave

  • The Korean wave has been sweeping across the world. Be it music, drama or movies, a key element is fashion. CHRISTINE KARAN shares some iconic looks and fashion must-haves from her favourite K-Dramas

This scene does not need an introduction for any Korean drama lover. For those who are not, let me introduce you to an iconic and a revolutionary 2012 Korean soap, “My Love from Another Star” starring Kim Soo Hyun and Jun Ji Hyun. As the title suggests, the drama is about how a 400-year old alien (played by Kim Soo Hyun) falls in love with a human Cheon Song-Yi, played by Jun Ji Hyun. 

But, the point in case are the stilettoes our dear Cheon Song Yi is holding. The sparkling silver pair is a Jimmy Choo from the ‘Abel’ collection titled ‘Anthracite’. When the shoe started flying off the shelves in Seoul, Shanghai, Hong Kong and fueled bhy social media frenzy, the demand for the brand and this shoe raged through European and the US. The luxury shoe maker had difficulty supplying. This is when fashion houses in Paris got a taste of the ‘Hallyu Wave’ or the wave of Korean Culture/ Entertainment and truly understood the power a 16-episode weekend drama could have on luxury products.  

Since then the love for Korean entertainment been growing at a mind-blowing speed. Now, thanks to BTS and BlackPink, who have made KPoP a part of everyone’s playlist and thanks to Netflix series’ like “Crash Landing on You”, Korean entertainment has crash-landed into everyone’s lives. 

As the popularity of Korean dramas grew, fashion brands approached popular production houses with bankable projects to feature their latest, ‘off-the-runway’ pieces’ into stars’ wardrobes. Here are some of the most distinct pieces worn by stars in popular Korean Dramas. 

1. Crash Landing on You

Let’s start with everyone’s favorite “Crash Landing on You”. While Yoon Seri, played by Son Ye-Jin, is the charismatic, practical, smart businesswoman we all love, she donned some iconic looks that amplified her strength and powers. Starting with Episode 1, when she visits her father, the owner of a conglomerate or as the Koreans call Chaebol, she wears the power dress from Balmain. Can we get a Hallelujah for those strong shoulder pads?

While that may be a power dress to demand the attention of the room, my favorite look was this cream-colored sweater with a detachable golden chain from Bottega Veneta with matching chunky chain Yoon Seri wore on her apparent ‘date’.

2. Goblin

While fairytales and Harry Potter told us that ‘Goblins’ are gruesome-looking creations, Korean Drama creators challenged the notion and made the ever-enigmatic Gong Yoo, the darling of the superhit series ‘Goblin’. 

In one of the iconic scenes when ‘Goblin’ summons his powers to save his ‘bride’ from the trouble makers in a secluded street, he makes self-assertive walk in a Burberry Technical Wool Military overcoat. 

3. Her Private Life

Her Private Life is every K-drama fan girl’s dream-come-to-life on-screen. The protagonist, Sung Deok-Mi, portrayed by Park Min Young, is a very diligent, detail-oriented chief museum curator by the day and a fan girl of a (fictional) KPoP group White Ocean by night and in secret. While her work leads her to collaborating with her favorite idol, we see her doll up and accessorize with the very distinct Dior Saddle Bag. 

4. Vincenzo

Currently airing globally on Netflix is a stylish mafia Korean drama Vincenzo. The prime reason to watch the soap opera, of course, are the power suits worn by the main actors but especially the female lead, Hong Cha Young. One of my favorite looks is when Hong Cha Young, played by Jeon Yeo Bin, a ruthless lawyer, mixes her look with a suit from Moon Choi, pumps from Aquazzura and my favorite pouch bag from Bottega Veneta. 

5. It’s Okay to Not Be Okay

Apart from the compelling story of #IOTNBO, the Korean drama gained attention for its very real portrayal of mental health and its ill-effects when not taken care of at the right time. A traumatizing past sculpted the eccentric character of Ko Mun Young, which was brilliantly portrayed by Seo Ye Ji. Matching her eccentric character and every mood was her fashion wardrobe. While Ko Mun Young outfits were from various designers, one look that really caught my eye was the Sheer Orchid pink dress from Alexander McQueen. 

While I do love this pink explosion of a dress, I’m a sucker for dramatics and Ko Mun Young really served in one particular dress, which she picked for an intimate picnic. 

This black and white dress by Korean Designer Min Ju Kim, the winner of Netflix’s ‘Next in Fashion’, truly showcases the dramatics and unconventional character of Ko Mun Young. 

While the Korean fashion has become a genre of its own, I can’t wait to see more global designers dressing Korean stars and Korean designers getting some spotlight at the fashion capitals of the world too!

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