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The Korean Hanbok: Timeless, and Ever-evolving. Can K-pop and K-dramas keep it alive?

When you think of Korea, what are some things that come to mind? K-pop, K-dramas, K-food? For us, the Hanbok is one of them. Though it has gone through moderations over time, its meaning has remained the same. Let's take a look at why this is, and what it means today!


Photo: Flickr.com
Photo: Korea.net

Hanbok (traditional Korean clothes) can be found in most tourist destinations in Seoul or throughout Korea. Yes, I have worn it before on a couple of occasions however it was only in a formal setting (tea ceremony) and for filming.


I have been interested in Hanbok's history since I visited the History Museum in Seoul a year ago, and there was a display of Hanbok through time. For me, the more traditional Hanbok style was more impressive visually, and the modernized style which was introduced in the late 19th and 20th century, though it still had traditional aspects, I felt like it was trying to become more Western.





Towards the end of the Three Kingdoms era, aristocratic women began to wear waist-length jackets and long, ankle-length skirts, while the noblemen wore loose pants, fitted at the ankles and long, belted tunics, however at the same time, silk robes became a thing, but only for the royals and their officials, which is where the Gwanbok (관복) originated from.

The clothes worn by regular people were much more simple and less colorful though, as it was very expensive to produce such clothing.



Hanbok changes overtime - Photo: Wikipedia
Hanbok changes overtime - Photo: Wikipedia

For me, I think the overall style of Hanbok reflects a calming and elegant feel, and since coming to Korea in 2020, I have primarily seen it being worn on special events or holidays, such as Seollal or Chuseok. However, I think the entertainment industry is keeping the style alive by adding the dress code into its dramas and music videos.


Let's take a look at BLACKPINK's Jennie below, the brand that she is wearing in the photo is Daha, which is an eco-friendly brand that specializes in Korean traditional clothes. I think that she looks fabulous, and the intricate design keeps close to the more traditional Hanbok that has been worn for generations. So can K-idols keep Hanbok alive?



Blackpink Jennie - Photo: Daha
Blackpink Jennie - Photo: Daha

Will Hanbok have a place for future generations?


Have you ever tried wearing a Hanbok before? If you have, tag Dojeon Media in your photos on Instagram!


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