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Posts Tagged ‘Cho Hyo-sook’

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Reconstructed woman’s hanbok (traditional Korean clothing) based on a 16th century garment. Ramie, polyester, and silk. From Couture Korea exhibit, San Francisco Asian Arts Museum 2017.

Traditional Korean clothing is imbued with many kinds of beauty: natural, understated, symbolic, elegant, and exotic. Of these, natural beauty is the most important. Since ancient times, Koreans have found pleasure and happiness in nature rather than in attempting to conquer nature, and this may be reflected in Korean fashion. As seen in its full-flowing and ample shapes and rhythmical curves, Korean clothing stresses comfort and natural style, unlike the closely fitting, structured silhouettes of its Western counterparts. 

Cho Hyo-sook – vice-president of Gachon University in South Korea.

This is a quote from Hyo-sook’s essay Clothing in Harmony with Nature, which I read in the catalogue for Couture Korea, the 2017 fashion exhibit at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco.

One year ago this month I traveled to Seoul, South Korea on a ten day textiles tour. What an adventure it was and still is as I continue to read and learn about Korean history and culture, in particular the traditional crafts.

I like Hyo-sook’s comment about the importance of nature reflected in traditional Korean clothing and the idea of enjoying nature instead of conquering it. I think we are now, with Climate Change, suffering from the results of decades of trying to control nature.

As I see natural beauty in Korean clothing, I also see control and restriction in western clothing or at least western clothing of the past such as tailored suits, fitted dresses, buttoned up shirts and ties, vests, and so on. Modern clothing is much less restrictive but the production of it is a major polluter to our sadly ailing earth.

 

 

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