Traditional vs modern hanbok: Can they coexist?

Tourists from Indonesia pose at Gyeongbok Palace in Seoul wearing hanbok, Wednesday. Korea Times photo by Jeon Yu-jin

On the afternoon of June 5, the area near Gyeongbok Palace in Seoul was awash with the vibrant colors of “hanbok,” Korea’s traditional attire.

Tourists from around the world donned the traditional garb embroidered with golden thread, taking photos against the backdrop of the grand palace that is situated in the heart of the modern metropolis.

Among the array of traditional hanbok, featuring neatly arranged jeogori (jackets) and skirts, there were also numerous instances of “fusion hanbok,” incorporating elements from various cultures and unique designs, such as ribbons tied at the waist or veils draped over the head.

Many foreign visitiors to the palace area wore hanbok in their own unique style, such as pairing skirts with jeans or sporting dreadlocks.

Dian, 30, from Indonesia epitomized this multicultural fashion by adorning a traditional Korean hair accessory over her hijab, complemented with black sunglasses.

Visiting Seoul with her colleagues, she expressed her joy, saying, “I always wanted to try on hanbok after watching Korean dramas, and it’s even more beautiful than I imagined.”

The influence of K-pop and K-dramas has significantly increased the number of foreign tourists seeking a hanbok-wearing experience 추천 near Korea’s palaces. Fusion hanbok, reflecting the diverse backgrounds of these visitors, is becoming more popular.

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