London, Milan, Paris. The better known “important” fashion weeks. Honestly, to me they sometimes feel drab and underwhelming. I have followed Seoul’s fashion week for many years and every year I feel more surprised and more intrigued than the last. Each collection offers more than your average catwalk; it offers an experience. It is one of the most important and busiest weeks in South Koreans’ diary. Some might say that Seoul is the most rising fashion city in Asia (Madsen,2018)
SFW is a global fashion week which runs twice a year, normally in March and October for Spring/Summer and Autumn/Winter seasons. The fashion in Seoul really took off in the 1999, close to the millennium it was a time to be alive for designers as famous brands started to be seen more and more.(Korea Times, 2007)
SFW is split into three unique parts.
- The Seoul Collection – This collection is one of the most important and biggest collections in Korean fashion and is a high-fashion event.
- Generation Next – A new design program for the new and upcoming Korean designers. Usually, these designers have less than 5 years’ experience in the industry and have a unique and creative aesthetic.
- The Seoul Fashion Fair – Built to grow Korean’s core fashion companies by developing and improving partnerships so they’re able to compete in the global market.
As Seoul sits on the border of one of the World’s lesser known and deadliest countries, SWF has created a safe haven for younger designers. SFW is said to have ‘sent winds of change through its emerging fashion industry as young designers such as Blindness, D-Antidote and Kiok added defiant glamour to a city at the cusp of the North Korean conflict’ (Anders Christain Madsen, Vogue 2017). For the new and upcoming designers of Seoul, this is incredibly important for their passion as well as their culture.
During SFW the streets become a catwalk for everyone from the elderly to the newborn. People across the country are able to use fashion as a way of expressing their personality, art and opinions and they come out in waves.
SFW has one of the strongest ‘street styles’ archives imaginable (Vogue 2017). They seem to pinpoint the latest trends and tricks and present them in such a fashionable and fabulous way. The street style at SFW can differ from simple double denim, fetish-inspired catsuits and boldly printed co-ords.
I feel SFW is much more open-minded than the other mainstream and more common fashion weeks. It allows designers to create with whatever vision they have and follow any path they need to. Each collection and garment tell a story which I think is very unique to SFW.
‘Seoul – a city that takes fashion seriously’ – Madsen 2017.
Korea Times. Unknown. (2007) Warning over Economic Crisis. [Journal] Policymakers Should Take Actions to Rid Uncertainties. Available at: https://web.archive.org/web/20160304115153/http://koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/opinon/2007/04/137_1534.html
Madsen, A. (2018). In Seoul, Young Designers Flourish In An Unstable Political Climate. [online] Vogue.co.uk. Available at: http://www.vogue.co.uk/gallery/seoul-fashion-week-anders-christian-madsen [Accessed 10 Feb. 2018].
Madsen, A. (2018). In Seoul, Young Fashion Talent Turn A Blind Eye To Politics. [online] Vogue.co.uk. Available at: http://www.vogue.co.uk/article/seoul-fashion-week-review [Accessed 25 Apr. 2018].
Wear and Conquer. (2018).[Blog] K-Pop: K-Collection. Available at: http://wearandconquer.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/k-pop-k-collection-in-seoulfashion.html [Accessed 13 Mar. 2018]