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Having flown into Seoul from NZ the previous night we decided to have a lazy sight seeing Saturday and go check out the famous Dongdaemun Design Plaza which I’d discovered had been designed by arguably the world’s most famous female architect, London based Zaha Hadid.
The pictures that kept popping up on my screen everytime I searched for info on the Design Plaza, coupled with the fact that I was feeling an odd sense of pride that this magnificent architectural masterpiece was designed by a woman (girl power and all that) had me pretty excited. Armed with our “his & hers” Canon DSLRs, we were ready to capture the architectural visual delights that previous online reviews had promised.
Little did we know, we’d chosen to visit on the very last day of Seoul Fashion Week which takes place annually at DDP. Now to some people this would have been an unwelcome interruption of sorts, ruining the snap happy tourist experience they’d envisaged. Well for me it was quite the opposite and I instantly found myself completely mesmerised by the crowds of Seoul’s most stylish street style set and the frenzy of photographers all vying for a spot to capture it all. The fact this was all happening against the backdrop of the Dongdaemun Design Plaza quite literally took my breath away. The beautiful silvery curves of the plaza & grey concrete textures made for the most striking backdrop to all of the incredibly genius streetstyle innovation that Seoul fashionistas had created. It was like this perfect marriage of art imitating life and life imitating art and to have accidentally stumbled upon it was sublimely serendipitous.
After living in Tokyo for the previous four years I was well aware of the reputation that Tokyo had of being the cool kid in the global fashion scene. Of course I can confidently say after personally pounding the pavement and conducting many hours of serious retail “research” Japan certainly offers one of the most unique and best shopping experiences in the world.
However, there is a new cool kid on the block. Over the past two years, my visits to Seoul, Korea have captured my fashion/beauty junkie heart and in my opinion Korean fashion is in a league of their own. If you love streetstyle fashion, prefer edgier more urban type inspired looks over the super feminine girly frills, that a majority of Japanese girls favour, then YOU HAVE TO GO TO SEOUL!!
Don’t get me wrong, I still have my favourite Japanese designers and shopping destinations, but I often find myself more drawn to Japanese menswear retailers which luckily for me tend to have much smaller sizes, so a mens xs/s will do the job – BTW if you’re a NZ/AUS size 8-10 be prepared to be sometimes told in a Japanese women’s store that they don’t have your size. Yup, Japanese women are considerably tinier than your average Kiwi or Australian girl which can often be a bit of a confidence killer when trying to find clothes that fit.
Aaaanyway back to Seoul and their insane sense of style, put simply they are gamechangers. Instead of harping on about it and trying to find the words to describe the wonders I witnessed, let me show you instead. Sit back and take it all in, Seoul style is about to steal your heart…….