Fashion in South Korea
Fashion in South Korea has transformed in recent years as a result of influences from Western culture, affluence, and social media activities, as well as the country's growing economy.
Despite these influences, South Korean fashion has remained distinctive, influencing global trends. South Korean style is recognized for being expressive and displaying a feeling of personality, qualities that are lacking in North Korea's style.
Furthermore, the Korean Wave (the global admiration of South Korean culture) is beginning to have an impact on the fashion industry. Some Korean pop singers, for example, have lately made visits in major cities such as New York. Journalist and novelist Euny Hong expect that this fashion craze will soon spread throughout the globe.
Many Korean fashion labels have earned international prominence as of 2021 as a result of collaborations with Korean pop singers and other celebrities. This is especially true for many Korean streetwear firms that cater to young people as their target market. For example, in 2019, BTS was named as Fila Korea's model, Suzy Bae was named as Guess Korea's ambassador, and Twice was named as the model for Acme de la vie (ADLV).
Many agencies have used a "debut showcase," which comprises web marketing and television broadcast promotions rather than radio, to introduce new idol groups to an audience. A name, an "idea," and a marketing hook are provided to groups. These are the kinds of visual and musical themes used by idol groups when they make their debut or return. Between debuts, conceptions can shift, and fans frequently discriminate between male and girl group concepts. General concepts and theme concepts, such as adorable or fantasy, can also be distinguished. To ensure a good debut, new idol groups frequently launch with a well-known idea. Existing members can sometimes form sub-units or sub-groups. Super Junior-K.R.Y., which consists of Kyuhyun, Ryeowook, and Yesung from Super Junior, and Super Junior-M, which became one of the best-selling K-pop subgroups in China, are two examples.
Music videos uploaded to YouTube are used in online marketing to reach a global audience. Teaser photographs and trailers are released before the release of the real video. Even if the performer or group in issue did not go on sabbatical, promotional cycles for the following songs are referred to as comebacks.
Seo Taiji and Boys' debut in 1992 opened the groundwork for the formation of modern K-pop groups. By combining rap and American hip-hop norms into their music, the trio transformed the Korean music landscape. The boy band's clothing also acquired a Western appearance, with the members adopting a hip-hop flair. For the promotional cycle of "I Know", Seo and his bandmates wore colorful streetwear such oversized T-shirts and sweatshirts, windbreakers, one-strap overalls, overalls with one trouser leg folded up, and American sports team jerseys. Baseball caps worn backward, bucket hats, and do-rags were among the accessories.
Many performers that followed Seo Taiji and Boys adopted the same fashion style since K-pop "was born of post-Seo trends." Deux and DJ DOC may also be seen in their concerts sporting on-trend hip-hop styles such sagging baggy trousers, sportswear, puffer jackets, and bandanas. In the mid and late 1990s, as Korean popular music evolved into a youth-dominated medium, manufactured adolescent idol groups debuted, dressed in coordinated outfits that represented current youth fashion trends at the time. Hip-hop fashion, which was the most popular in the late 1990s, continued to be popular, with idol groups H.O.T. and Sechs Kies donning it for their debut songs. Accessories like ski goggles (worn around the head or neck), headphones worn around the neck, and giant gloves worn to enhance choreographic motions were extensively employed to raise the idol's look from everyday fashion to performance costume. Each member wore a designated color and accessorized with face paint, fuzzy oversized mittens, visors, bucket hats, and earmuffs, and used stuffed animals, backpacks, and messenger bags as props in H.O.T.'s 1996 hit "Candy," which exemplifies the level of coordination taken into account for idol's costumes.
While the clothes of male idol groups were designed with similar color schemes, materials, and designs, each member's attire retained their individuality. Female idol groups of the 1990s, on the other hand, wore uniform clothes that were generally stylized in the same way. During their early advertisements, female idols' clothes frequently concentrated on projecting an innocent, young look. "I'm Your Girl," by S.E.S., and Baby Vox's second album smash, "Ya Ya Ya," by Baby Vox, both had the females dressed in white clothing, while Fin."To K.L's My Boyfriend" included idols dressed in pink schoolgirl costumes, and Chakra's "One" and "End" featured Hindu and African-style costumes. The accessories were confined to huge bows, pompom hair decorations, and hair bands in order to depict a natural and rather sweet picture. With the development of female idol groups and the disappearance of bubblegum pop in the late 1990s, the sets of female idol groups shifted their attention to following current fashion trends, many of which were exposing. These trends of hot pants, micro-miniskirts, crop tops, peasant blouses, transparent clothing, and blouses on the upper half of the torso are exemplified in the newest promotions of the girl groups Baby Vox and Jewelry.
Starting in the late 2000s, as K-pop evolved into a contemporary blend of Western and Asian cultures, fashion trends within the genre mirrored variety and difference.
In Asia, K-pop has a tremendous effect on fashion, with youthful fans following trends set by stars. G-Dragon and CL, who has often collaborated with fashion designer Jeremy Scott and has been dubbed his "muse," have established themselves as fashion stars.
"K-pop favors slim, tall, and feminine appearances with teenage or sometimes quite charming facial expressions, regardless of whether they're male or female vocalists," says professor Ingyu Oh.