Korean fashion trends, the type which can be seen on the likes of Girl’s Generation (SNSD), 2NE1, Miss A, T-Ara and others of their ilk, are particular popular in Japan. As such, it is not an uncommon site to see the markets in Seoul (including Mokdong, Namdaemun and Tongdaemum) crowded with Japanese tourists visiting Korean to pick up as much of the latest trends as they possibly can. The reason for the popularity of Korean fashion is the fact their designs are familiar in that they often take a Western design as a launch pad but twist the style so as to incorporate a youth friendly streetwise edge and combine it with an elegance and sophistication whilst not shying away from eccentric flourishes.
For this fall, some of the most influential high end designers have incorporated these stylistic flashes into their ranges as they look to establish their growing influence on global fashion. Lie Sang Bong, oftentimes referred to as the “Korean McQueen”, has launched his latest Fall/Winter range by incorporating traditionally Korean culture with Western fusion. This range, apparently taking inspiration from traditional Korean stone walls made by stacking stones of different sized together called the Dol Dam, features a range of different materials including leather and furs, in a variety of bold colours. Lie’s theatrical background is reflected in his dramatic styles and has seen him gain favour with a variety of Western pop singers; he has previously dressed Beyoncé, Rihanna and Lady Gaga. Doii Lee is another designer who is critically lauded in Korea; her uniquely feminine shapes adorned with arrays of embellishments turned heads during recent fall fashion shows.
On the High Street, however, “Tunic Tops” are expected to remain one of the most popular items this season. The item is, in fact, a piece of clothing which resembles something similar to a cross between a shirt and a dress – an item too long to be a shirt and too “shirt-like” to be a dress and is often teamed with either trousers or a separate skirt. This trend also features another uniquely Korean style which focuses on featuring a loose-fitting top half an item connected to a much tighter below. The Tunic Tops are incredibly fresh and vibrant in their appearance.
Brands such as Haru are set to continue to successfully tap into the Japanese market by providing them with cute “Kawaii” styles. Their shoe ranges are amongst the most charming available and remain incredibly popular for children and ladies. As with other items, these shoes will often take Western templates as the starting point of their design but will twist the actual features; over the summer elongated beaded thong sandals were amongst the most popular whilst heeled ankle boots are expected to prove incredibly popular throughout the fall and winter. Another trend which looks unlikely to abate is the increase in popularity for androgynous footwear. A recent development has been to give a wedge-type sole to the traditional Oxford lace-up design; once a classic design of the British gentleman, the Oxford is now finding its home amongst the most fashionable ladies in Seoul.
Author Bio: Kieron Casey is a UK based fashion blogger who writes about the latest trends across the globe. He has written this article on behalf of Barratts.co.uk.