Hanbok Designer Kim Young-jin Takes Cultural Pride in Her Work
Wearing a gray top embellished with flowery patterns and a yellow skirt made from Thai silk, her hair pulled back into a chignon and adorned with jade, a rod-shaped hairpin, tassels and a double ring, she seems to have been born for hanbok. "This combination of a moderate top and voluminous skirt was in vogue in the 18th century. I discovered the beauty of hanbok from this style," said Kim.
Her boutique "Chai," meaning "difference" is a space for synthetic art. A space for making hanbok and a gallery are on the first floor of Kim's shop, while the second floor is used as her living space. A glimpse of the living space was enough to see that it is as beautiful as a gallery. Her works are not limited to traditional Korean dress only, but also include items such as wedding gowns adopting characteristics of hanbok, blankets, pillows, and gift boxes.
"I think hanbok is the best haute couture dress. The era of tailor-made suits has returned. In making a hanbok outfit, creativity is key toward tailoring custom-made clothing with flair. The beautiful combination of colors, lines, and accessories in hanbok is unparalleled. I'd like to make a hanbok outfit which is comparable to the quality of European luxury brands yet still exhibits traditional Korean beauty," added Kim.