Personally, I’ve always wanted to live overseas. Spend a few months in a foreign place, bask in its sights and sounds, then move onto the next. I’ve embarked on this voyage by spending close to a year in sleepless Seoul.
From 24-hour PC방 (PC-bang, rooms), 찜질방 (Jjim-jil-bang, saunas), 노래방 (No-rae-bang, karaoke rooms) and 식당 (Sik-dang, restaurants), to clubs that stay open till noon, it is easy to kill time with friends till dawn breaks, or 밤새 (Bam-sae, stay up all night). The night is ever young, and the young are always on trend, from tech wear items, to blinding neon pieces — Seoul is rife with style influencers, local designers and multi-label stores.
This year, I had the opportunity to attend Seoul Fashion Week, courtesy of the lovely friends at Momentum Seoul — they are an upcoming magazine focusing on emerging artists and designers, Korean café culture, design and quality lifestyle. It is without a doubt, exhilarating to attend fashion week. Street fashion alone boasts an eclectic assortment of colourful characters.
We attended a few shows together, rushing from show to show, hall to hall, squeezing past the crowds of people. Hoards of young fangirls would clamour to catch a glimpse, or a photo, of their favourite models. Fashion influencers would be dressed to their nines, paying attention to every detail of their outfit. Photographers are constantly scouting for their next shot, and there somehow never seems to be a shortage of people lined up against the railings along the slopes, posing for anyone. Every now and then, we would also pose for a couple of photos when asked, and hung out with friends along the slopes of Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP).
What happens when you’re stringing together an outfit for fashion week? Shopping, matching, choosing, and more shopping. But where exactly do you go when you need an outfit?
Yes, the likes of fast fashion are a quick fix, generally affordable and mostly on-trend, but when there’s a huge buffet spread laid out for you, would you really get an ala carte item off the menu? What that analogy is meant to suggest is that maybe, there are also other places to look. Where do I go when I’m looking, window shopping, ogling? Well, here’s a short list of personal favourites.