Saturday, September 12, 2015

hanbok shopping: phase 1

I have little notion as to what sort of hanbok (traditional Korean clothing, often worn ceremonially these days, but even now sometimes worn as normal, everyday clothing) might be apropos for the officiant of a wedding, so I'm just going to go with my gut and select a design that I find appealing. Here are four examples of hanbok that caught my eye, along with some remarks about each.

I've always been more a fan of solid, conservative colors than of patterned wear, which is why the above hanbok, which feels somewhat modest and rustic, appeals to me. Depending on the screen angle—and on the device I'm using to see the picture, the above hanbok could be dark blue, dark gray, or perhaps even some species of black. Whatever it is, I like it.

Let's talk about the couple below.

I love the above picture. The contrast between the man's simple color coordination and the woman's much fancier, much more complex hanbok is very appealing. Of course, the man's outfit loses something when he's not paired with the woman: simplicity, all by itself, is just simplicity. On an anthropological note, I was amused to see the woman wearing the more complex outfit: in many societies, especially during ritually significant moments, it's normally the man who dons the fancier garb: the one with more patterns, the one with flared shoulders and intriguing folds, etc. This struck me as an interesting sort of gender reversal.

My only hesitation, with this hanbok, is that it cruises dangerously close to Japanese territory—especially the pleating, which is a classically Japanese thing to do (see an example of a hakama-like garment here).

My apologies for the quality of the photo below: it was low-res when I found it.

Again, simplicity is the order of the day here. I kind of wish there were more going on with the shoulders, but the dark tunic suits me just fine.

Moving on...

I'm actually not sure what it is that attracts me to this hanbok. I normally can't stand wearing white clothing, and then there's the practical problem of wearing something white when you're eating a messy dinner. Maybe it's more the cut of the hanbok that appeals to me, as well as the design: I like that low-hanging flock-of-cranes image at the bottom. If I can find someone willing to make something like this hanbok, but in black or very dark blue or gray (with matching pants), I'll be a happy guy.

If you know something about hanbok and can match the clothing better to the occasion (as a wedding officiant, I'm basically a glorified emcee...are there hanbok out there for that role?), please leave comments and link to images of the clothing you think would be more appropriate. Thanks in advance.


1 comment:

John (I'm not a robot) said...

I know nothing about Hanbok, but I know what I like. The top one looks plain to me, like everyday wear. The guy with the hot chick in the second photo looks like he could officiate a wedding. The fourth one also looks fancy enough for a wedding ceremony, perhaps in a different color for you. I think the third offers a nice compromise as it has a simple dignity about it.

Truth be told, whatever you pick will look amazing to any of the wedding guests who've never seen a Hanbok.