Friday, October 24, 2008

Seoul Fashion Week, S/S 2009 - Picking Up

In all fairness to Seoul Fashion Week, let me write a quick update. Today is the last day, so check out some of the events if you can.

The last couple of days have been better. The crowds have increased and the energy is up. It's still not the crazy huge standing room crowds that were VERY frequent last time. However, the shows are good. It's great seeing the hard work of these designers come together on the runway.

What's been greatest in boosting the energy were the off site events I mentioned in my last post. The events at Daily Projects and De Vill Hwa Soo Mok have lots of young and enthusiastic talent. Also, the Woo Youngmi, 우영미, show at COEX I heard was amazing. I missed it because after a day of work, I'd already rushed from my office to the venue listed on the press info only to find out it had been moved to another location. After that, I was just irritated and wasn't up for running from a show in Apkujeong to another in COEX and then back home. Unfortunately, that was a mistake because I heard the show and the small after party were just amazing.

However, the issue of me running to one venue to find out that it had been moved is part of the mass disorganization that's staining the event. I just don't have the energy to chronicle it any further.

I did make it to Ha Sang Beg's runway show and after party. His shows are always fun and that jacket he had on was in the show. I loved it. Of course, being the designer, he had dibs on wearing it at his party.

I had a chance to speak to and interview Diane Pernet last night before the screening of the A Shaded View on Fashion Film (ASVOFF) at Daily Projects*. During our conversation, she asked me why the paper I write for, the Korea Herald, hadn't bothered to cover the events? She asked because the paper has been delivered to her hotel room daily and there have been no mentions of the events in the paper. I have no clue how the culture desk runs, so there wasn't much of an explanation I could give her beyond my theories as to what was behind it.

It's just not good for such a major event be ignored by all the Korean papers on a daily basis. Again, I think it comes from this "if we build it, they will come" mentality that Koreans have where they think that just planning something and pouring money into something that alone is sufficient.

No, it's a big world and you've got to let people know what's happening but, beyond that, you've got to give them a reason to care that it's happening. Part of upping the profile of Seoul Fashion Week is getting the local media to care enough to cover it. That would pull in other media. However, it's the last day, and I lack the energy to wax analytical on how to promote this event. It would be much different if it was my job, but it's not.

*A note - ASVOFF is an interesting selection of various films expressing fashion from various points of view and differing techniques from interviews to animation. It was fun to watch. If it comes to a city near you, make the effort to go see it if film and fashion interest you.

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  1. Hi my name is Will White and I'm a recently graduated Fashion Merchandising major from Howard University in Washington, D.C. I'm currently an English teacher in South Korea and am desperately looking to reconnect myself with the fashion industry while out here...and wanted to know if you could tell me how you go about finding out what fashion events are occurring in the area. I'd like to thank you in advance and I hope to hear from you soon...but if not thank you so much anyway.

  2. Well, you didn't leave your email in the comment. If someone leaves their email, then I don't publish the comment and I just answer them via email.

    The depth of your involvement is going to depend on how well you can network (if you don't have any connections to the Korean fashion world) and it's always easier when you know the language.

    I'm not in the fashion business. I don't know how internships or other opportunities work within the Korean fashion houses. I'd think it probably would be easiest linking up with a young designer, you'd just have to find them. A lot of Korean designers have studied abroad, which means they have some English and you'd be able to communicate with them.

    I don't go about seeking out fashion events to be honest. I hear about them or I don't. I first realized there was a Seoul Fashion Week maybe two years ago by reading a sign that was advertising the event. From that, now I know it happens twice a year. There was another one after Seoul Fashion Week S/S 09 that just happened, but I didn't bother going because I didn't want to give them positive reinforcement for loosing sight of the big picture.

    Basically, there was a dispute between the two main designer groups, so the other group did their own fashion week. However, if you're talking about maximum exposure they ought to have just worked it out or agreed to disagree because international buyers and press are going to come to one. They're not going to make two trips, so that's just them shooting themselves in the foot over a dispute. (for coverage of that go to FMS:

    Anyway, I digress. I would say just keep up with the fashion oriented blogs, like FMS, and other media here (there isn't a lot, unfortunately, in English.)


Hey there! Thanks for visiting my blog. It's my first blog, and I'm glad folks are still stopping by even though I'm no longer living in South Korea. Feel free to comment. If you want a personal answer, leave your email, and I won't publish the comment. Nasty comments and spam links will not be tolerated.