Monday, November 29, 2010

Fusion: The Modern Hanbok

It's the 21st Century and an all new take on the traditional Korean costume, the hanbok or 한복 has arrived. The hanbok, traditionally composed of a jeoguri or a blouse jacket and a chima which is a full wrap-around skirt tied at the chest with the goruem, a long, wide ribbon, has recently emerged as a more modern piece -- embracing light airy fabrics and unconventional compositions. Dating back to the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) the hanbok was worn for both formal and informal occasions. Influenced by Korea's nomadic lifestyle and harsh terrain, the hanbok was designed to facilitate the ease of movement. Korean designer Kim Min Jeong débuted these dresses with a more feminine and ethereal feel, bringing a breath of fresh air to the heavier and more conservative hanbok of the earlier years. The hanboks shown here are wedding dresses; the neutral colors symbolize heaven and earth or yin and implicit values. A Korean culture website describes the hanbok from a cultural perspective: "Hanbok forms a highly effective expression of Korean identity and changes in hanbok design from the past to the present parallel the nation's historical development. Moreover, forms, materials and designs in hanbok provide a glimpse into the Korean lifestyle, while its colors indicate the values and world view of the Korean people." For centuries the hanbok has flourished as the national costume, striking, vibrant and purposeful. Today the fusion of new and old is more fluid than ever: the fusion of the modern hanbok.


  1. i would like to wear this hanbok....its really nice to see the modern impact to the traditional culture...