BTS play their concerts to a sold-out audience, rank first in the Billboard charts, talk to Ellen DeGeneres and even offer themselves a collaboration with Nicki Minaj. The video clip of the title Kill This Love, by the quartet BLACKPINK, sets the record for the most viewed video in 24 hours in Youtube's history. While no one believed in the power of bands since the dissolution of the Destiny's Child and N'Sync, the K-pop wave is spreading across the West.
At the same time, Korean cosmetics is in the mouths of all beauty influencers — we notably owe it the popularization of BB creams, and the enthusiasm for tea-based skin care products.
While its lifestyle is expanding beyond its borders, the Land of the Morning Calm does not spare any efforts to establish itself as a major player of the international fashion scene. If Paris, London, Milan and New York remain the main capitals, Seoul could well become the leading city in Asia, now supplanting Tokyo as the trend epicenter. Eclectic, its designers manage to capture the spirit of the times, in order to transcribe it into deliberately commercial outfits. In other words, most pieces trace the contours of a sharp look, but they remain nonetheless wearable.
Without further ado, we let our style travel with boldness thanks to these 10 items from Korean labels.
Ader Error is a collective of architects, stylists and designers. No wonder their pieces feature a graphic dimension, like the asymmetrical neck on this color block sweatshirt. Increasingly popular in the West, the label has also signed a collaboration with Puma. Fig Collective, the e-shop on which it is referenced, is an association of American talents aimed at promoting Korean creation. (approx. 140 €)
Beyond Closet's credo: reinterpreting emblems of American preppy, through a Korean angle. Here, it takes over the white shirt, whose pointed collar turns into a higher version, enhanced by a contrasting colour and closed by snap-fasteners. Enough to bring an original touch to your office looks. (approx. 163 €)
The IEV is to the volcanic eruption what the Richter scale is to the earthquake: an index measuring its intensity, level 8 being considered apocalyptic. Singularity is at the heart of the brand's DNA, which relies on a unisex wardrobe with strong lines. Our favorite: this hoodie with asymmetrical sleeves, which will slip over vintage jeans, as much as rather formal pants. (approx. 105 € in sales)
Tell The Truth's mission is to offer basics elevated through their details. It thus modernizes the pencil skirt, providing it with drawstrings and flap pockets. Adding a touch of irreverence to a classic, it will easily integrate into casual looks, whether combined with a lightweight shirt, or an oversized tucked-in tee-shirt. (approx. 135 €)
From the same label, we like the ecru leather belt, thicker at the front than the back. (approx. 36 €)
87mm is a label founded by three of Korea's most popular male models. He quickly establishes itself as one of the leading figures of this scene, with such success that it participates to the Paris fashion week five years ago. Like many others, it focuses on gender-neutral designs, like these jeans whose prints imitate receipts. (approx. 92 €)
A graduate of the prestigious Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Hyien Seo stands out in a register between grunge influences and street tailoring. In this vein, she signs a unisex blazer, completed with half-utilitarian, half-sadomasochistic details. (approx. 585 €)
A brand specialising in sneakers, Color Colla concentrates on a few basic designs, which it then adapts in different colour combinations. As far as we are concerned, we prefer the off-white option, with its vintage and minimalist accent. Whether you wear them to run or work, they won't fail your style. (approx. 125 €)
Back at Fig Collective and VEI-8, with this bucket hat surfing on the 90's look. Literally inviting to fantasy in red letters, it will be the perfect complement to a simple white t-shirt, or a formal shirt in a more contrasted outfit. (approx. 63 €)
Gentle Monster, a rising brand in eyewear, has recently unveiled a collaboration with Fendi. The label is recognizable for its original shapes, both futuristic and retro. With the Scon and its angular glasses, we would almost claim to be a Matrix extra... (320 €)
In any case, if they still lack notoriety in France, Korean labels ensure us a style with multiple influences. Designers brilliantly grasp the desires of their customers, eager for trends and individuality, to whom they offer pieces that can make the slightest look unique. •