Pots and pans, piles of shirts and sneakers, jewelry-laden tables, and bins brimming with bric-a-brac. In the tangle of streets in close proximity to exit 3 of Seoul’s Dongmyo station, hundreds of suppliers sell almost everything from outdated Instamatic cameras to publications, baggage and vinyl information.
Positioned in the South Korean capital’s historic district of Dongdaemun, Dongmyo’s bustling flea industry is scattered close to a shrine built in honour of an historical Chinese military commander. But there is more to the neighbourhood than bargains, vintage clothes, and retro treasures. It also serves as a cultural hub for the city’s senior citizens to shop, socialise and present off their exceptional design.
“One working day, I seen a senior gentleman searching for apparel just like me. His type blew me absent,” remembers Seoul-based photographer Kim Dong-hyun, 29, who spends his days documenting the city’s vivid senior street fashion scene, much of which he shares on Instagram.
Above the many years, Dongmyo has been through a whole lot of alter, becoming a desired destination for younger people’s newfound appreciation of classic garments on a spending budget. At its main however, Dongmyo has usually been a playground for the city’s aged populace.
“I’ve achieved some individuals who have been heading there every single week for 30 many years,” Kim states, dependent on the lots of conversations he has had with the folks he has photographed. South Korea is a fast ageing culture. By 2050, the amount of aged folks could account for almost 44% of the country’s inhabitants. Though many senior citizens come to feel more healthy than at any time and do not regard them selves as aged, aged loneliness is a important issue.
“In Korea, there are not quite a few destinations where elderly individuals can go and have exciting. But in Dongmyo, they can go shopping, they can enjoy, meet up with close friends and drink makgeolli [rice wine]. It’s their area, and they really do not will need to treatment about what other individuals assume.”
“From their hairdos to their glasses and shoes, they know how to search superior and consider care of by themselves. They go after their very own types and special means to categorical their individuality. Several of us think that trendy folks are just young people today, a concept even more amplified by the media. But fashion has no age,” he states.
Among the senior citizens that hang out in Dongdaemun is Lee Seok-ki, one particular member of a group known as the “military crew”. The team is comprised of a few gentlemen whose variations are diverse from every other: Lee prefers a minimalist traditional armed forces search, whilst his buddies like to reinterpret army type in a modern day way, decorating clothing with colourful embroidered patches and badges.
If nearly anything, senior style is more refined, Kim claims. “It’s like wine. In your 20s, you just flavor all the things, but by your 70s, your style is sharper – you know what you like.”
As a youngster, Chae Myung-hee, 74, designed a passion for trend that led her to work as a women’s dresses designer for 40 yrs. Even for the duration of the pandemic when some folks dressed down and prevented make-up, she suggests she designed an hard work to constantly glimpse great, irrespective of whether she was putting on a mask or not. “It’s always been a portion of me,” Chae claims.
In his forthcoming e book, Mut – Avenue Manner of Seoul, Kim presents a glimpse into the planet of senior style. He hopes the e-book will supply a new point of view on a demographic that is typically ignored or below-appreciated. Kim suggests older persons must be recognised for their amazing and flair, which is regarded as meot in Korean, or as Kim likes to stylise it on the web and in his e book – mut.
“It’s much more than the English term ‘cool’,” he states. “Sometimes it can suggest a thing is excellent, occasionally it can signify great, sometimes it’s gorgeous or fabulous. I can’t specific it in different ways or translate the phrase, and never see the require for it.”
The visuals provide hope, he suggests, and a new way of wanting at ageing. “I feel some people today have hope when they see my pics. They can see that they also can continue to be fashionable when they mature older.
“When a headline utilizes the term ‘grandfather’, we immediately suppose a thing unfavorable … I want to clearly show that seniors have individual personalities, that they way too can have their have meot.”