23 February 2009

Spring Fashion in the Motherland

If you're like me and enjoy looking at pictures of fashionable people that are not models, you might want to pick up the March issue of Vogue Girl Korea. This month's issue comes with a special compilation of street fashion featuring the photos of Jak & Jill.

I usually save Korean fashion magazines for when I'm getting my hair done, but I do occasionally pick up Vogue Girl for their features on Korean fashion. I particularly like a section called "Fashion Blender" which I suspect is an advertorial (basically advertisements for various Korean "shopping malls"), that offers a nice glimpse of the trends in Korean fashion for young women.

I like the styling in Korean "shopping malls", i.e., online boutiques. They look like someone's fashion blog. I find photos very appealing. Here are a few online stores that have caught my attention:

Speaking of fashion, I'm sure you want to know what's hot right now.
photo source for tulle skirt, photo source for everything else

Ribbon Headbands (Very Gossip Girl)

Headbands with Feathers and Other Bedazzled Goodies

Ballet Flats

Ballet Flats with Large Floral Ornaments

Fake Pearls

Tulle Skirts

Okay, you got me. These aren't the hottest trends per se; just the trend items that I like (In fact, I have that exact skirt in the polaroid above, only I paid more in Dongdaemun. Aish!). My personal tastes aside, the ballet girl/ princess look seems to be a big trend for the spring. The Alexander Wang look (black-gray-white color scheme, black leggings, blazers, leather accessories, and sky-high heels) also seems to be another prominent trend, though not my cup of tea.

Oh, look at me advising people on fashion. Hehehe.

Okay, now back to educating young minds...

18 February 2009

"It's Better"

I went to E-mart last week and was surprised to find that American beef had finally hit the chain stores.

I don't know if you can see the sticker at the top left corner of the package, but the slogan reads, "It's better."

Come on now, American beef industry.
You had folks in Korea demonstrating for nearly a year over the importation of American beef (amongst other things), and your reply to Korean consumers is: It's better!?!

I'm American, and even I'm offended.
Buzz words like "Well-being", "Organic", or "Skin Whitening" are effective, not "It's better."

In my opinion, the packages of American beef looked much more fatty and unappealing than the Hoju beef in the adjoining cooler.

Let's forget about American beef, and focus on importing some other American goods, like Captain Crunch or Funyuns.

15 February 2009

Mouse without a Tail

불면증 - 다이내믹 듀오 (ft.바비킴)
"Insomnia" - Dynamic Duo (ft. Bobby Kim)

Most Korean music videos fall under one of these categories:

- Justin Timberlake Rehashed
- Hearts + Lollipops + Mini Skirts
- Rainy & Melodramatic
- Photo Slideshow

As much as I love Korean MVs, they can be a little predictable. Recently, however, I came across the MV for
불면증 by 다이내믹 듀오 (ft.바비킴). I was taken with the stop-motion animation entitled "Mouse Without A Tail" about a Mouse that runs a computer mouse and his lonesome life of soju and drudgery.

Check it out if you're interested:

09 February 2009

Cafe Candids

I met up with Heng a couple of weekends ago. She took me to a cafe in Sangsu (Hongdae-ish area) where we had coffee and choco-banana muffins from the back of an old Volkswagen van.

I love kitschy Korean cafes.

This muffin was so darn good.

The barista works from inside the van.

Heng is so pro at posing. I need to learn from her.

04 February 2009


I've been to Samcheong-dong a few times, but have mostly stuck to the main street. I didn't realize there was anything to look at along the side streets until my cousin took me to Hwa-dong, a small neighborhood just off of Hwagae-Gil (화개길), towards the palace-end.

Turn right at the police station and you'll find a narrow street crammed with adorable cafes and over-priced boutiques. My cousin N. told me that much of the merchandise is "handmade", so stores may be pricier than average.

While in Hwa-dong, we stopped in a cafe called ICESAND. In addition to the usual coffee shop essentials, ICESAND offers an interesting selection of ice cream/yogurt sandwiches that are good to share. I recommend the Rainbow (Something Something) Sandwich, a super-sized macaron, filled with tart frozen yogurt.

The ice cream is great and all, but the real reason to hang out at ICESAND is their selection of fashion magazines -- in English! If you've been dying to spend a mindless afternoon, sifting through some fashion magazines, but not pay the high import fee, then you may want to check out ICESAND. Vogue, Cosmo, InStyle -- they got 'em all.

ICESAND also features a nice patio area that will be quite lovely for the days when we're not plagued by winter wind, rain, yellow dust, or mosquitoes.

89 Hwa-dong, Jongro-gu, Seoul
10:30 AM - 11:00 PM

01 February 2009

That's So American: Mall and Movies

I don't know how I managed to live over a year in Seoul and not know that there's a mall at Yongsan. I've been to Yongsan Station a couple of times, but never noticed the huge "multiplex" building RIGHT NEXT DOOR! You'd think I'd notice such a thing.

I went to the iPark Mall for the first time during the lunar new year weekend with my gyopo relatives. We only went to the theater, but it appears to have all the features of a mall: shops, eateries, move theater, and central heating/cooling system. The mall is a little cluttered and stuffy for my tastes, but it's definitely worth another trip.

Over the holidy weekend, I also accompanied my cousins to the US military base at Yongsan. We weren't able to go to the comissary, but we did get to shop at the fast food eateries. It's pretty embarassing how excited I felt when I purchased a large bag of Cheddar Sun Chips for $1.95! We also had dinner at the hotel. I ordered mediocre Carne Asada tacos, and they were awesome!

We also caught a movie at the theaters on base. We saw Disney's Bolt. Surprisingly, Miley Cyrus' voice did not make my ears bleed, and I quite enjoyed the film. I have to admit though that I was a little startled by the playing of the National Anthem before the start of the film. I was leaning back in my seat, enjoying some Sweet Tarts when at the blare of trumpets, my cousin N. whispers, "Quick! Stand up!" Baffled, I jolted upwards, then noticed on the big screen, a patriotic montage of smiling soldiers, waving flags, and cherubic children. I looked around at the other theater goers and saw them staring intently at the screen with their bodies at attention, and hands plastered at their sides. I followed suit, but couldn't help but feel a little weirded out. I'm proud to be American, but for a moment, I felt like one of those pajama-clad guys in the Apple 1984 commercial. On the other hand, for $4 movie tickets I will stand attentively through the Anthem, recite the Pledge of Allegiance, and wear red, white, and blue.