Hanbok Evolves with Modern Designs, Materials

  • By Choi Bo-yun

    January 27, 2020 08:30

    Traditional Korean attire or hanbok is a beautiful sight on traditional holidays like Seollal but has not always been the most practical attire on a daily basis.

    But now new designs and materials are transforming hanbok to fit into the day-to-day lives of Koreans, and even foreign fashion designers have started featuring hanbok-inspired designs and materials in their collections.

    Pants on global runways have become baggy like the ones in men's hanbok. Fashion designer Chang Kwang-hyo said, "We are seeing wide pants become more popular, which shows that a growing number of foreign designers are being inspired by the lines and curves of traditional Asian dress."

    Chanel, Dior and Carolina Herrera have all praised hanbok and featured designs inspired by it. New materials are being used to make hanbok that is wearable in everyday life.

    Kim Young-jin, who designed the costumes for the 2018 hit TV series "Mr. Sunshine," said, "By using new materials, I wanted to create clothes that work in day-to-day life while still retaining the DNA of hanbok."

    A growing number of people are buying accessories to go with it. According to Lotte Department Store, sales of retro scarves, hats and other hanbok-related accessories rise 30 to 40 percent during traditional holiday seasons, from less than five percent in other times of the year.

    Even hanbok-inspired pet clothes are in vogue, with sales up 40 to 50 times.

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