Fashioning Ethnicity

Updated on Jan 02, 2012
light orange Hong Kong hat - dark green H&M jacket - black H&M vest
Light-orange-hong-kong-hat-dark-green-h-m-jacket-black-h-m-vest Light-orange-hong-kong-hat-dark-green-h-m-jacket-black-h-m-vest Light-orange-hong-kong-hat-dark-green-h-m-jacket-black-h-m-vest
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stylenomad 's Thoughts:

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An element of fashion I find fascinating is the concept of racially embedded style. The idea that you can shift people’s perception of your ethnicity merely by the clothes you wear is pretty neat.
It may sound rather arrogant to define race by their fashion choices but I find it interesting living in Hong Kong, locals address me in Mandarin or Japanese. On the plane to Seoul I had to chase down the Korean air hostess for a customs form after she assumed I was a citizen.

Hong Kong long has an obsession with Japanese fashion which recently morphed into all things Korean. Indie boutiques pump out Korean pop music while insisting all their clothes are ‘fresh from Seoul’ (lies!).

But what defines Korean fashion vs Japanese fashion?
When expats say they dislike ‘HK style’ what elements do they find distasteful?
Why is it that when I see a girl in HK with a permed bob, New Balance sneakers and a MCM backpack I want to say “Annyeong!”?

Though I’m not a Korean pop culture junkie the style appeals to me more than Japanese and Chinese fashion. While Japanese fashion can be perceived as more of a lifestyle with a prescribed set of rules than merely a fashion choice (see Mori girls, Gothic Lolitas, gyaru), Korean street fashion is relatively accessible from a wearability standpoint. With its romanticized and tailored perspective on American basics, I wouldn’t need a closet overhaul that most Japanese fashion subcultures require.
But when it comes down it, Koreans know how to layer with a basic wardrobe.

Comments (8)

tanfizzle on July 02
You make very interesting cultural commentary. I love your style and especially love your blog!
AncaScridon on May 07
ha ha ha, nice cap
mills on January 09
hi :) well, i'm starting a blog about fashion on tumblr and i was wondering would it be okay with you if i share some of your photos there? i'll make sure to put your chictopia account's link so that they can view your account here too. hope to hear from you :))
Bibi_S on January 04
that's why I love koreans style trendy,edgy and stylish :) love the rock-military combo
irisanddaniel on January 03
Always love to read your posts! =) Great outfit + awesome layering.
immadi on January 03
very cool, love the layers
Mery_ivy on January 03
adorable look !
boredstephanie on January 02
super cool outfit, love the layering!
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