It was the end of last summer, when I was walking around Quebec City with my then work colleague, Mitch. I had just met him a couple of days before, but we kind of got each other. He listened to me go on and on about being a fashion blogger and I listened to him while he was going on and on about his obsession with Korean culture. His love for everything Korean made him totally submerge himself in this culture, from the food he was eating and the music he was listening to, to the way he styled his hair and wore his clothes. So I asked myself: what is it about this culture that would instill such passion in someone that never even set foot in Korea?
I didn’t really know where to start and even mentioning my intention of writing this article to people, provoked hysterical laughter. After all, what would I know about Korean culture? It’s true, apart from my experience reviewing a few Asian fashion labels and designers, I didn’t really have much contact with that part of the world. So I thought what better person to enlighten me than, my Korean friend, Cynthia. We used to work together last year, just when I started my adventure into visual merchandising and my first thought after a spending some time with her was “oh my god, Mitch would just adore her!…and I am starting to see why.”
She didn’t hesitate to chat with me about my article and because both of us were so involved in the fashion industry, me as a blogger and visual merchandiser and her as a marketing contributor for a big fashion label, it kind of made sense that we keep things in familiar territory.
She made a point of explaining the fearless approach to fashion of the Korean people – the way they express themselves through what they wear, setting themselves aside by enjoying the idea of being different and even celebrating it in a unique way. Knowing her and remembering the first time I saw her, it all started to make more and more sense. I pretty much obsessed about her platform shoes for a whole week and absolutely adored the way she just threw two pieces together that didn’t separately make sense, but somehow, magically worked on her…
With her words still on my mind, I turned to Korean fashion magazines and was amazed to discover the same originality in combining basic Asian influences with rich multicultural references, interesting textures, smart minimal design and refined colors. Enough to say I started feeling like I was living in a bubble with a whole world beyond mine completely unexplored.
So I wondered: is it maybe our inner desire to stand out that makes us become fascinated with someone for whom all of this just comes naturally and effortlessly? It might just be, but all I know is that I might have just developed a little obsession of my own.
By Dora Cruceru
Fashion Blogger/ Content Editor