Me? At a Fashion Week? I’ve not even been to any of the London ones!
But, as I am Seoul this year, I felt that I should experience it once or twice at least. You can have a look at my instagram over at @Swanzig_X where I’ve saved it all as a highlight (it’ll likely be up there for at least around a year or so after this post goes up).
I sort of had an outfit in mind for this particular week, but I didn’t have time to go out and shop to make it even better so the resulting ensemble was just my regular level of extra made to match my glasses (which are the kind that changes into sunglasses when needed!). My blouse was actually made with ties in front, but I tucked them in to show off my collarbones. My makeup is my recent go-to combo of NYX’s skin tint and Lilybyred eye paletteLilybyred eye palette, both reviewed here on the blog as well. The lipstick, if I remember correctly, was Clinique’s Icon Pop.
I felt like I was overdressed when I was walking to the subway, riding the subway, even getting off, because the regular fashion didn’t really change outside of Fashion Week. However, when my friend and I turned the corner from the station, the path was packed full of people, most in amazing outfits. I realised that I was not dressed up enough. So many outfits were different and stood out a lot, and the amazing people in these outfits *wanted* their picture to be taken. SO many photographers were there too, ready to snap.
Now, as for getting your picture taken, there were many ways of going about this:
- Your outfit stands out in some way.
- Your outfit doesn’t stand out, but you look like a model.
- Get your friends to take a picture. If you’re already posing, some photographers might spot you and join in.
So really, the only real rule is to make yourself look good somehow. None of these tricks worked for me, though my friends got snapped a lot! They seem to really like seeing foreigners joining in as well.
I am not sure how to describe typical Korean fashion in Seoul, but I noticed that my kind of style almost fits right in. Seoulites like to dress up. There are mirrors everywhere for you to keep check of your look, and you’ll see girls sitting on the subway with a roller in their fringe. I notice Korean women figured out the secrets of midi skirts long before I did. They make my short height look much better, hide my chonky legs and accentuate my smaller waist, not to mention they’re super airy in heat.
Street fashion can lean towards the sporty side, with many young people sporting all-black items from head to toe. I am told this can also be called ‘techwear’ where function meets fashion.
On the other end of the spectrum, there is the truly lazy, yet smartly put-together look – think oversized shirt meets loose trousers. Or a large jumper thrown on over jeans. Maybe a large pink cardigan over a pretty, frilly floral dress and boots. My lecturers here happen to really like giant shirts or shirt-dresses over their work trousers.
What I like about shopping in Korea so far is the number of small shops which still have quality items. I love how many smaller stores will have sale racks with things I actually want to buy! My skirt and top for my Fashion Week outfit were both bought in Seoul, at 10,000won each! In pounds, that’s under £14. crazy, right? Of course, there’s expensive items too, but a bit of hunting never hurt.
I also love that most of the items I see are my kind of style, so I can actually see myself wearing them! Sometimes I find fashion at home to be a little too much for me or not quite my aesthetic in other ways.
Since Seoul is the capital city, it makes sense that there’s far more than one hotspot to shop. In Seoul, I’ve loved shopping at Hongdae, Edae and there’s more, like Myeongdong! In Birmingham, I’ve not really found much cause to shop outside of the city centre, because all the shops are the same. Here, I don’t HAVE to go into Zara or H&M to find something that I want to wear.
That said, as fun as it is to be fashionable in Seoul, it has its drawbacks. For one, the body acceptance movement hasn’t really made it here. Many clothes outside of the big chain fashion stores will only stock one size, which will fit if you’re lucky enough. Oversized is also a happening trend right now, so you can fit into more than you’d expect. I can’t even try my chances in denim jeans, but I am lucky enough to fit into most tops and skirts (if they’re not pencil or mini).
In hindsight, there were a myriad of ways that I could have elevated my own outfit more so that it was worthy of Fashion Week. I think my hair was fine, but letting it down and wearing a matching hat might have been more fitting, and showed off the purple colour more although it might have hidden my neck. A low side pony might have been good. A more off-shoulder top would have been perfect as well.
Fashion Week was a surreal experience, and I know I’ve only touched the surface of it despite being right there! I hope the next fashion week isn’t right around midterm exams like they were this time, and that I’ll be able to attend more days. I felt so inspired by going, and it’s really encouraged me to improve my ensembles going forward. There’s so much that I can try out!