For full blog entry click here!
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.