This blog is a little something different from my usual blogs! Candice (Candii for short) is currently a Fashion Management student at George Brown College. She reached out to me to contribute an article about Korean Fashion Trends (as well as the ones that integrated into Japanese fashion trends) to help towards her program internship. So, here it is! The photos and content of this blog were arranged by Candice and I have left my own commentary as well. You'll see quotation marks on the parts that Candice wrote (like how I format my interview blogs).
Fashion Management was also one of the programs I was enrolled in! The fashion management program focuses more on working within fashion companies, fashion teams, and shops (such as working retail, marketing, visual merchandising, ect.) while the fashion business industry program focuses on how to actually create your own business, learning about accounting, entrepreneurial, and more. Many of the classes overlap, to allow students to have the broad knowledge, alongside the specialized courses offered for each. (Like running the student store for Fashion Management!)
Here is a photo of Candice rockin' the GHOSTOWN Hooded Tee, which she snagged at Kei Con 2019!
I asked Candice a few questions, starting off with why she enrolled in the fashion management program:
(Photo by @imnotmysterious )
"I enrolled in the fashion management program because I wanted to know more about fashion and the industry itself. Before entering the program, I really actually didn’t know a lot. The names Balenciaga and Crooks and Castles were foreign to me. However, I found that fashion is more diverse than just designer and streetwear brands. There’s kawaii fashion, goth, alternative and other types of niche specific treasures you can find out there. Fashion is a hidden art, and that’s why I like it so much. You can learn so much from yourself through it."
Secondly, I asked her about an important aspect of fashion.
"An important aspect of fashion for me is versatility and creativity. Again, fashion is both used for comfort and personal expression. There is the trendy aspect and then there is the originality aspect. In fashion, you can choose who you want to be and how you want to express yourself. Are you wild? Add some neon colour in there! Or perhaps do you want to try a style from a music video? Fashion is so much more than appearance and there’s so much in the industry. It will only become bigger from here."
Lastly, I asked her a harder questions.....about goals and dreams!
"Oh damn... as of right now I want to become a fashion and makeup writer/journalist. I love travelling to new places, trying new things and meeting different people. Being able to combine my knowledge for fashion and my curiosity for the whole world will be a dream come true." (Photo by @evelyntrista)
Alright, lets get started~!
"According to Amarca, South Korean fashion has gained global prominence starting from 2015. Monica Kim, the editor of Vogue reported to Amarca that Korean pop (abbreviated as K-pop) had taken the world by storm which led to the increasing popularity of K-beauty. As a result, the interest and curiosity for K-fashion grew among the international audience. Unlike other major fashion cities in the world, Seoul street fashion is known for its innovative appearance and support for emerging new designers. The colours and outfits that define K-fashion can be spotted a mile away by any fashionista."
I feel, here in Canada, I definitely noticed when the spike in Korean beauty products and shops (like The Face Shop) started to pop up more and more. While I was in Japan last year and the beginning of this year, Korean shops and style were taking over Takeshita Street and within the areas of Harajuku!! (alongside the dozens of bubble tea shops). A lot of these styles that will be discussed have already been noticeable for a while now, but its interesting to see how much they've grown in popularity!
Candice highlighted some Korean fashion trends, which I've also seen multiple times in Japan, especially from the shop WEGO. These trends focus on silhouettes and pieces!
Comfortable and Chic
"Want something simple and comfortable? Fear not! Leisure wear is taking over the streets in South Korea. A simple outfit consists of comfortable long-sleeved tops (or short-sleeved sweaters) with jeans and sweatpants. The clothes are easy to throw on and combine with different accessories. If you’re in a rush to go to class and run errands, try out the chic style!"
Trench Coats / Big Coats
"One of the key defining pieces of Korean fashion is the trench coat. The reason why the design is super popular is because of its versatility in function and styling. The coat can be worn for both spring and fall seasons, and sometimes even winter as well (depending on the weather). Many Korean-inspired fashionistas style the coat as a pop of colour, or as part of a monochromatic outfit."
"A more common and reappearing design among dresses, blouses and shirts are ruffles. If you are a fan of flowers and flowing textures, owning a ruffled cardigan or blouse is a MUST. Nowadays, South Koreans are also wearing more clothing with flowy designs and textures to complement their attire. The balance between femininity and youthfulness is the epitome of South Korean street fashion. Regarding Japanese fashion trends, ruffles can be observed mainly through Lolita fashion, but also when browsing cardigans or blouses. The prominence of ruffles is now starting to enter Japanese fashion for the more feminine and energetic looks. On skirts, the ruffle textures add an additional ‘bounce’ and ‘flow’ to the design."
(Mugas, 2019) (AliExpress, n.d.)
There are so many shops that I love in Japan that have super cute ruffled pieces! Shops like Liz Lisa and Ank Rouge have many ruffled skirts, dresses, tops, and more! And, of course, 100% of the lolita shops have at least one piece that is filled with ruffles.
"What is an easy way to feel comfortable and look different? Over-sized clothing is one of the answers. Among the streets of Seoul, over-sized clothing is a huge trend. Young adults and teenagers mix and match their outfits with sweaters, jeans, or shirts. A common match is wearing an over-sized sweater with shorts. However, the over-sized trend does not end there. A lot of people are now starting to wear baggy jeans with a neatly fitted top. Similar to South Korea, Japanese fashion trends are starting to focus more on styling with over-sized clothing such as shirts, sweaters, and jeans."
(Top: Finch, 2019, Anas S, 2019) (Bottom: AliExpress, n.d., LbC, 2016)
I really enjoy the over-sized look myself and have tried to incorporate it into more of my GHOST GiRL GOODS designs. The GHOSTOWN PARADE collection is the perfect example of such! To be honest, these garments also allow for many people of different sizes to wear it and I think its great. Yes, clothing can still come in sizes, but if they come in one size, many people can still enjoy!
Mix and Match
"Remember the 80s when colour was a big trend? South Korea is now making a colour-coded come back! Although other styles are clean and monochromatic, young adults are still adventurous and love to express themselves. There are no rules when wanting to wear multiple colours other than to have fun and express your personality. A common trend among Japanese fashion is to mix and match clothing in a variety of ways with different colours and layers. This trend is perfect for the individual who wants to express himself or herself through fashion. However, in Korea, the trend of using contrasting colours is also emerging."
(House of Coco, 2019) (Tokyo Fashion, 2018)
There are so many trends, including something like fairy kei and decora, that include mixing and matching lots of different items! The whole of Harajuku style has always been about matching many different items, purchased, handmade, or recycled/repurposed. All the way up until today, its still trendy!
So there you have it! These trends can be found in various ways in both Korea and Japan.
Thank you for your input Candice! And thank YOU for reading! Be sure to check out our other blog articles, including events in Japan, Mini Kawaii Interviews, and more!