Boutique Shopping…. The Full Spot Factory & Moeum

Seoul is truly a shopping haven. Unlike other destinations of Asia (where I haven’t been yet) Korea prides itself for its made in Korea label. Unlike any other metropolis Seoul has all of Michel Kors, Zara, Louis Vuitton, Salvatore Farrago, Forever 21, Burberry, H&M and all yet here exists a great behavior of boutique shopping trends. The best places of Seoul to check out boutique stores would be Itaewon (where I stay ), Appujeong, Gangnam and Garosagil . It was in Garusagil one day while I was wondering with my camera where I came across two stores about which I would like to mention in post today.

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The Full spot Factory – Now this is a popular brand from Italy. Though it has made its presence felt very much in Europe, its now in South Korea for some time. However unlike the trend of getting every single consumer centric name to the glitzy image of ruthless ‘brandism’ the Full Spot Factory is playing it quite and niche among the selective buyers in Seoul. I happened to have strolled into their shop, primarily because of the attractive colors and loved every bit of it. I did not know about this brand before. The Full spot factory Seoul outlet is mainly endorsing bags at the moment and they are worth a buy. Sleek, bright and different would be the 3 words I would like to describe them with. They have different sizes and are priced from $75 (US) and above. Check them out at http://www.fullspot.kr/shop/main/index.php or their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/fullspotkorea/info.

2 3 4 5 Moeum – Honestly, it was their very inviting walkway décor to the store, which got me. Moeum’s footwear style was classic and honestly was not anything I hadn’t seen before. But even the classic designs, which they displayed, were stylishly unusual. Specially the colors used and the intelligent use of leather. Their collection of summer flats and gladiator flats were very distinct which I have not seen in Seoul or other parts of Korea before. Check them out at https://www.facebook.com/moeum/timeline. The décor including the wall art was breathtaking. It will surely attract any buyer’s attention.

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Summer Foot Wears

It’s peak summer now in Seoul and humidity seems to be in its best form. Though this period is very short-lived yet it gives everyone a hard time to cope up with it. Apart from the experience of the lush green view, bright sunshine and a lovely outdoors culture the site of cool casuals and amazing summer footwears are in abundance to experience in the everyday life.

It was few days back I took my Canon T3i camera and went to try out my amateur photography skills.   I thoroughly enjoyed checking out the footwears worn by others. Sharing below some of clicks:

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8 Unconventional Far East Asian fashion sensibilities

It’s been almost 3 years I have been living in South Korea and with every passing day I realize there is a lot left to know about this nation and its culture. This place has an unexplained air about it.  Korea is a nation with a long and deep-rooted cultural history of Confucianism dating back to the 8000 BC roughly. However, modern Korea (South Korea) is a peculiar amalgamation of the past and present. When it comes to fashion the world looks up to the West, so does South Korea. Yet like any other country it has is own way of defining it. Fashion sensibilities of the North Asian countries like South Korea, Japan and certain parts of Northern China are completely different from their South Asian counterparts like Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines and others. There is a certain unconventional pattern in the appearance, which leaves behind clues from where they could have hailed from. Following few facts are some of the signature looks of Koreans and North Asians, which may lead any other foreigner to be curious.

Lack of creativity with Korean national dress – As I mentioned in my opening lines that Korea is a country with long history. Its traditional dresses too hold a strong place in it. ‘Hanbok’ is a beautiful traditional Korean wear worn both by men and women. Another traditional wear called ‘Hwarot’ worn by women is also very significant. Even at their weddings they choose to wear western style gowns. The use of traditional dresses in daily life can commonly be witnesses on the streets of Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, Kyoto unlike South Korea where the use of traditional wear is limited to festivities and tourism areas.

A Typical Wedding Image

A Typical Wedding Image

 

Covering up our upper body – South Korea is a place, which witnesses severe and harsh winters. Thanks to Russia, which passes on its Siberian air. The whole country could be seen in their overcoats, Jackets and fancy gloves, especially Seoul, which is the fashion capital of Korea. During January to April the scene is pretty much similar everywhere. Things appear to be different in late April and May and by the time the calendar page sets on June it’s all about flats, chappals, cute Korean hair buns, flip flops, huge bags and super short shorts. The strange thing is no matter how short their shorts are when it comes to their upper body they suddenly become very conventional. Any average Korean or North Asian women are very reluctant to reveal their shoulders. And there’s no way for a low-neck or deep back top.

 

On the streets of Garo-sa-gil

On the streets of Garo-sa-gil

 

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Men use bb cream & lip balms – Korean men, especially the youth are very soft spoken and polite in their behavior. Rarely a Korean man could be spotted making eye contact to a stranger without plausible cause. They are almost always very well dressed and accessorized wearing a layer or two of beauty balm creams. I first noticed it during my first year of working at my workplace when one of my male colleagues asked me to come over his workstation to check out a detail in a power point presentation we were working on. While speaking as I took a very close look at his face I saw him wearing thick layers of foundations that was making the natural color of his neckline prominent. I suggest just pick any Korean drama and see it for yourself how men are into heavy make-up giving women serious competition.

 

Beautiful Korean Men

Beautiful Korean Men

Matching couple dresses – Wearing matching couple dresses are more a part of their casual dressing. But this is a very common sight in South Korea to spot young couples wearing top to bottom matching attire and cozying up in cafes.

Artificial collars – Collars are huge within Korea among women and other North Asian countries. Tops, T-shirts, Sleeveless Shirts (rare), Jackets, dress almost everything comes with Collars. Loose collars can also be bought in different garment markets. These come in various kinds, like plain collars, textured collars, textured collars, designer collars with pearls and laces etc.

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Skirt-Leggings – Well, I could not find out an exact name for this skirt cum leggings even n the shopping streets. They are everywhere in Seoul. Basically these are a pair of leggings with a short skirt attached to them. These are more popular with high school and college students. Young girls in their late teens and early 20s can be easily spotted wearing them in university areas like the Ehwa Women’s University narrow streets, Yonsei University are cafes etc.

Skirts Leggings

Skirts Leggings

 

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Super tight Skirts – Now this is more corporate or formal dressing. During my two year stint of Working in Seoul and mingling with men and women with all kinds of Client servicing industry I noticed women are very much into Skirts for formal occasions and almost never do they wear trousers or pants. But the skirts worn are so obnoxiously tight and cause tremendous trouble in movement. This concern becomes more evident when Korean people, who just love to eat out, go out for lunch. Though not all, but majority of the Korean restaurants have tradition sitting on floor arrangements. The women just struggle to somehow eat their lunch and stand. Guess they invited the idea of “no gain without any pain” too seriously.

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Lace Lace Lace –  Korean and Japanese girls have huge fascination with Lace. One of my friends said it is called the “Dating dress” in Korea. They wear it everywhere. Korean wear even pumps made of different designs of Lace during the summer and honestly it is very comfortable with an elegant look. However lace t-shirts, clutches, hairbands and shrugs is a bit too much.

White Lace - A national obsession

White Lace – A national obsession

Hanbok – The Korean Wear

 

We all have our share of liking for traditional dresses. They can never go undesired. In today’s post I am going to talk about Hanbok, literally meaning Korean clothing. But Hanbok is not just any Korean clothing with a history from the Joseon dynasty.

On reading a bit about Korean culture and its history I learned that the upper class of the society, which included rulers and aristocrats wore a different kind of dressing style whereas commoners opted for Hanbok. The fabric for commoners were restricted to cotton only by law, whereas the privileged class of King, Queen and their court members experimented with numerous kinds of Silk for winter, spring and autumn season and preferred high quality light cotton fabric for warmer days.

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During the course of history very minor or negligible alterations were made to this dress by foreign influences. By and large this attire remains as it was during its historical time. The only visible impact was made by Mongolian culture when a Mongolian princess had got married to a Korean king.

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Interestingly, colors and prints too had different meanings or significance. For example a woman who wore a Hanbok, of a deep shade of blue implied she is a mother whereas only members of royal family only could wear Hanboks with golden leafs printed on the lower part of the long skirt. Koreans say that a Hanbok looks most beautiful when the wearer practices traditional etiquettes.

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The other name for Hanbok in the other Korea is Chosŏn-ot. Hope both the nations and the dress have one name someday.

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Jumpsuits

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The feeling satisfaction of cool water on your skin in the peak of June is so nice. It gets nicer when you can casually drench yourself purely in joy without giving a second thought about anything. This one piece wonder called “Jumpsuit” makes it absolutely real. The light & soft fabric, a pair of comfortable flats, my glasses and my bag was everything that made my evening so blissful by the Han river in the evening. The continuity of this wear gives it a wonderful look which is classic and would remain so for future generations too.

Guess the pop icon who made this piece a rage among men’s fashion scene – no candies for guessing – ELVIS PRESLEY . Currently Forever 21 has the coolest collection of jumpsuits of all the other clothing brand. They are very ’21ish’ and more ‘street fashion’. however I wish they had more chic designs.

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FurFreeFashion

 

No, never really I did think what I am wearing, matters. Fur to me was just something soft. Visually wearing fur is not very appealing. Primarily a winter-wear, fur is usually worn in most mild and cool climates around the world due to its superior warmth and durability. Ethnically indigenous people like Inuit peoples of the Arctic, Russia, Scandinavia and Japan wear fur. Fur is surely not an exclusive winter-wear choice but for decades it had continued to be sought-after and premium.

 

Some common animals, which are the main source of extraction for fur garments, include fox, rabbit, mink, beaver, stoat, otter, sable, seals, cats, dogs, coyotes, chinchilla, and possum. Prizes fur jackets, overcoats, headwear and scarfs greatly vary depending on their color and texture.

 

This post voices the opinion that fashion should be fur free. It is fundamentally very unstylish to wear a life for fashion. For the sake of debate, it is surelyl unacceptable to consume lives as well, however that is altogether a separate discussion. Fortunately we are living in a very equipped era for all kinds of climatic hassles compared to tribal groups who took to wearing fur garments to combat the harsh winters. Because of such fashion preferences for a niche group of people animals are ruthlessly killed to fulfill the unexplained quest for exclusivity and style. In such industries often barbaric instances like dog and cat fur being sold and labeled as Mongolian wolf takes place to disguise the buyers. Furriers often sell fur of exotic animals like raccoon dogs.

Buyers pay thousands of dollars to buy garments made of fur from Red fox, Golden jackal, cats, minks, and rabbits.

Is it all worth it?

Celebrities are one of the key drivers behind the rise of this practice, yet equally there are celebrities who are responsible. It is the pick of the followers which path they are eager to take.

 

Supports Wearing Fur

  • Lady gaga – Her Mtv award meat dress says, how much animals are unsafe around her
  • Jennifer Lopez – Animal prints always
  • Paris Hilton
  • Kim Kadarshian
  • Beyonce

 

Against fur

  • Paul McCartney
  • Khloe Kardashian
  • Kate Winslet
  • Victoria Beckham
  • Ke$ha
  • Pamela Anderson
  • Angelina Jolie

 

See below some of the anti-fur campaigns from around the world :

 

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(Source – http://www.behance.net/gallery/Anti-Fur-Campaign/1793390 )

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(Source – http://www.tree-nation.com/trees/588785)

 

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(Source – http://fashion-lab-birmingham.blogspot.kr/2010_03_01_archive.html)

We have all come to world with equal rights. It is our moral right to protect the vulnerable and the innocents as much as possible which are within our rights. Each conscious step taken in our every life creates a massive collective impact.

Fashion is flamboyant not fragile.

#Kimye Wedding

Yes, the media stalked, paparazzi-bitten, hated but followed by all international media Kimye a.k.a Kim Kadarshian & Kanye West got married on May 24th 2014 in Florence. I clearly have no interest in infamous Kanye West or Kim Kadarshian, but this woman’s sense of fashion seriously shuts everyone up.

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Throughout my growing up years I never disliked, hated or wanted to change my body as such, but I surely did feel uptight about my love handles and deposited fat in different parts of my upper body.

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Off course the Internet is flooded with “love your body” messages, however nothing struck me, as Kim Kadarshian’s pictures. She is large and heavy in true sense and very relatable. Her personality is gentle and sharp, so is her makeup. It never came across through her pictures as if she’s trying to make a point. Every dress appears to be just right on her broad shoulders, heavy breasts & butts, feminine legs and bronze skin tone.

I wish she did not wear fur.