C-ZANNE, a clothing brand that blends traditional Korean and Western styles, is an archive of the fashion designer, Seojung Lee. After earning her degree at FIT and having worked at Forever 21, Lee decided to return to her Korean heritage by designing and introducing the beautiful hanbok to the global community.
|[Entrance Look of the Fashion Exhibition. Photo credit: Kristen Cho]|
Hanbok was first invented about 1600 years ago and people started to wear it most frequently during the Chosun dynasty. People wore different designs of hanboks depending on the occasion such as for wedding, as uniforms, pajamas, and casual clothing. However, from the 1970s, people began to wear hanboks only during special events or occasions, which led to the slow decline of hanbok.
In order to restore our historic legacy and cherish its elegance, Lee launched C-ZANNE. Through the use of comfortable and stretchy fabric and organza, she wishes to achieve the goal of making both wearable, minimalistic, and luxurious clothing. Furthermore, her assortment of clothes conveys her individual character, and identity as a fashion designer.
Now, you might ask yourself, “Do people wear hanbok these days?” This was a question that was on my mind as well when I first heard about the brand and the lookbook. However, the moment I saw Lee’s hanboks in person, I was astonished by the harmony of western and eastern stylistic features that balanced well with each other. The designer’s goal is to spread the idea of how hanbok can also be considered as a modern and not an outdated clothing. She strives to create elegant and convenient clothing that suits the taste of the contemporary society. Lee mostly uses achromatic range of colors such as dark navy, grey, white, and black. This contributes to the “beauty of line”, which is the method that separates hanbok from other traditional clothes with its use of curvy and round lines.
Having the privilege to assist the designer as a staff at her most recent fashion exhibition, I was able to experience the bustling and engaging environment behind the stage. If the audience are looking at the highlight of the show -- the aesthetics, glamorous models, and famous celebrities, the real show is happening in the backstage where all the staff put their maximum effort into the show. As a novice, I was very impressed by how high a level of professionalism and effort needs to be put into the “behind the scenes” in order to make the models and the clothes shine.
|[Picture of myself with the designer and mom.
Photo Credit: Kristen Cho]
It is often upsetting to see our cultural heritage fade away into the realm of the past. Even Koreans refuse to wear hanboks during national or cultural holidays and it is without a doubt rare to see those who enjoy hanbok these days. It came to my mind that it would be hard to imagine globalization of hanboks without the owners wearing them. Thus, as a Korean myself, I also wish that hanbok could be loved more by Koreans who often forget the presence of it as well as those of the global community like New Yorkers and Parisiennes as Lee wishes.
Seoul Foreign School
Kristen Cho firstname.lastname@example.org
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