Saturday, March 6, 2010

Apateu Fashion and Houses of cards

I often compare Korean "apateu" with consumer goods, consumables you discard every 3 years.

Since it's fashion week in Paris these days, I can't help but make the parallel with that other versatile sector. After all, builders do present their collections in showrooms, hire top international designers to redefine home interior, and push comfort to new levels every single season.

Uniform tombstones, the Ford T of Korean housing boom for decades, are at long last deserting the catwalk in favor of much more diverse and exciting forms which are redefining, for better or for worse, XXIst century Seoul.

Not all haute couture ends deserves a museum, not all ready to wear is junk, and Seoul has no choice but to wear out what's given to her. "Aparteu Fashion" has its trends and fads, successes and failures. A couple of years ago, twin towers combined with a commercial base were all the rage... until inhabitants realized how much such hybrids altered their quality of life. Then came the lavish duplexes with their huge window panes and vast terraces... and the shock when fashonistas received their air conditioning bills.

Among the differences between an apateu and a dress is the fact than an apateu can usually be resold with a profit, and that a second hand dress generally comes cheaper than a brand new one, when it is still resalable. Of course, apartment buildings are neither consumables nor fashion items, but when you see an ad for a new complex in a paper or on the TV, you keep wondering.

Seoul Village 2010

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