Hanbok with Hangeul (correct) and Hanja (remaining) calligraphy by hanbok designer Lee Rhee Za are on display at the Seok Ju-seon Memorial Museum at Dankook College in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province.Image © Hyungwon Kang

Clothing is an extension of our self-picture. It aids outline who we are.

5 hues of nature — blue, white, purple, black, and yellow — are observed in traditional Korean hanbok, including marriage ceremony garments.

The shades in children’s dresses bring stability with mother nature: blue for spring, white for drop, pink for summer time, black for winter and several shades of yellow representing the land.

“In record books, Koreans ended up explained to have clean apparel, to use silk dresses and to revere white apparel. In the Goguryeo murals and the drawings of the Goguryeo, Baekje, and Silla envoys browsing the southern Yang Dynasty in China in the sixth century, Koreans surely appear advanced in comparison to diplomats from lots of other kingdoms,” according to Yi Ki-hoon, who researched the Chinese-Korean historic romance at the Beijing Language and Lifestyle University in China.

Children’s hanbok with the five colors of nature -- blue, white, red, black and yellow -- are on display at the Seok Ju-seon Memorial Museum at Dankook University in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province.Photo © Hyungwon Kang

Children’s hanbok with the five hues of nature — blue, white, pink, black and yellow — are on screen at the Seok Ju-seon Memorial Museum at Dankook College in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province.Photograph © Hyungwon Kang

Hanbok have developed into different models during heritage. They derive from an historic Korean garment layout prototype, with the left flap of the upper garment generally heading over the right facet of the flap. This function stays to this day.

Currently, most Koreans wear hanbok only on particular situations these types of as weddings, common vacations and memorial anniversaries for ancestors.

Specialists and performers in common Korean artwork and songs also have on hanbok on stage.

“Until about 10 a long time ago, gisaeng, who wore hanbok each day, were my major consumers,” remembers Kim Younger-hee, 72, a hanbok maker who now tends to make hanbok for customers of the National People Tunes Center. Kim has been generating hanbok for 43 many years.

Gisaeng were women who had been trained to give creative amusement, provide meals and converse with males at upscale restaurants.

“The hanbok had a number of trend adjustments for the gisaeng sector. The duration of the jeogori, the upper garment, adjusted continuously in accordance to the craze,” said Kim.

For the duration of the Joseon period, the royal courtroom was the epitome of vogue. Some 3,000 folks lived and labored in a Joseon palace. What people wore showed their roles and identities.

A section called Sanguiwon built hanbok for the royal family.

Joseon-era burial chambers preserved a substantial number of hanbok.

A 16th-century skirt from the graves of two wives from a yangban (ruling class) loved ones, identified at a development internet site in Osan, Gyeonggi Province, in May well 2010, appears remarkably fashionable even right now.

Various sets of garments have been buried with the deceased wives subsequent to their partner. These survived generations underground along with mummified remains of the two women of all ages. It was not unusual for a yangban man to have numerous wives for the duration of the Joseon era.

Two sets of children’s socks called taraebeoseon, worn on a baby’s first birthday, are on display at the Seok Ju-seon Memorial Museum at Dankook University in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province.Photo © Hyungwon Kang

Two sets of children’s socks referred to as taraebeoseon, worn on a baby’s very first birthday, are on show at the Seok Ju-seon Memorial Museum at Dankook University in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province.Photograph © Hyungwon Kang

Korean vogue trends are almost nothing new in East Asia.

“Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Seoul’s Dongdaemun clothes current market was overflowing with Chinese retailers who fed China’s on line outlets. On Chinese social media, you can see a lot of curiosity in youthful Korean trend tendencies,” reported Yi, who is at present training Mandarin at the Myung-Duk Foreign Language Substantial Faculty in Seoul.

The decrease of donning hanbok started with the introduction of Western clothes in the late 19th century, when Emperor Gojong requested his ministers to have on Western suits when getting into the palace.

During the Japanese profession, the colonial governing administration experienced policies that discouraged Koreans from wearing hanbok with no much less than 5 authorities directives.

Hanbok designer Lee Rhee Za (1935-2020) had a considerable impression on hanbok trends in the 20th century.

Korea’s initial to start with girl, Francesca Donner Rhee, had her hanbok created by Lee Rhee Za. Rhee was buried in the purple hanbok that Lee made for her.

Lee released “marketable” hanbok layouts that have won a lot of awards and established the normal for today’s hanbok.

From left: Lee Ui-young, Song Ju-young and Kim Soo-jin walk up the steps to a pavilion at Changdeokgung in Seoul.Photo © Hyungwon Kang

From still left: Lee Ui-younger, Music Ju-young and Kim Soo-jin wander up the actions to a pavilion at Changdeokgung in Seoul.Photograph © Hyungwon Kang

The elegance of hanbok is that it is so multipurpose. “You can tailor made make it to your liking. The jeogori lengths can vary dependent on preferences. The sleeve ends can have regardless of what shade finish either matching or mismatching (the colour of the gown),” explained hanbok maker Kim.

“During the Goryeo Kingdom, sophisticated Goryeo style and food stuff trends, referred to as Goryeoyang, dominated Yuan China’s funds, much like how Korean-style manner tendencies are top the Chinese vogue trend right now,“ mentioned Yi, who has examined international cultural exchange in historical China.

Whilst hanbok is no for a longer period worn as everyday apparel, Seoul’s royal palaces waive entrance fees for guests wearing a entire set of hanbok, which is rather popular among the the young generations who hire conventional apparel and get their photographs taken at the palaces.

By Hyungwon Kang ([email protected])

Korean American photojournalist and columnist Hyungwon Kang is presently documenting Korean heritage and tradition in illustrations or photos and text for potential generations. — Ed.

By Korea Herald ([email protected])