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HOW KOREA’S HANBOK INFLUENCES INTERNATIONAL FASHION Hanbok, korea’s traditional dress, has not figured in the international fashion scene compared to the japanese kimono and chinese cheongsam, but it’s slowly gaining widespread attention. Top foreign designers around the world made hanbok an inspiration in their designs in the past few years. Carolina herrera and dior showcased handbook-influenced designs in their 2011 spring collections, while miuccia prada and giorgio armani are also huge fans.

HOLLYWOOD POPULARITY Hanbok has also captured the hearts of many Hollywood celebrities. Britney Spears made a public appearance dressed in a pink hanbok and a jokduri headpiece during her 2003 visit to Korea. According to reports, the singer-actress made a last decision to wear a hanbok instead of her pre-arranged outfit. Nikki Hilton also donned a hanbok with a black chima and jeogori top during a trip to Korea in 2005. She said in an interview that she had looked for an opportunity to try on Hanbok after seeing her sister Paris Hilton wear it. Korean-Canadian actress Sandra Oh, a star in the hit drama Grey’s Anatomy, bring hanbok a modern look after arriving at the 2008 Screen Actors Guild Awards ceremony wearing a hanbok-inspired dress. Other celebrities who modeled hanbok include actress Jessica Alba, who dressed up in a modern Hanbok design during her April 2012 visit to

Korea, and actor Nicolas Cage, who wore the traditional dress with wife Alice Kim for their 2004 wedding.

A TREASURED TRADITION Now gaining international popularity, hanbok has been Korea’s most treasured tradition for over 1,600 years. It is a part of the country’s cultural heritage and national history, having been carefully handed down over generations. No record documents the exact date when hanbok came to Korea, but ancient murals from the Goguryeo Kingdom provides an image of the dress in its earliest stages. Hanbok consists of an upper garment called jeogori, which is worn with a wraparound skirt (chima) or trouser (baji). The wide-arm style of the jeogori is said to represent the warmth of the Korean people, while the voluminous skirt symbolizes space and freedom. The traditional attire is free-flowing, not form-fitting so that it can be worn by people of all body types. Today, Koreans wear Hanbok during holidays and special occasions. Current designs are more colorful and ornate, often with a touch of modern elements and styles.


How Korea’s Hanbok Influences International Fashion  
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