Fashion terrorists, the lot of them. They were all fashion terrorists…I was overwhelmingly told, often from people with little-to-no style, that I would be so bored in South Korea. Even at Seoul Fashion Week, I was assured I would be unbelievably and unforgivably bored.
Because, they’ve simply got no style.
I wasn’t sure how to take it, why was everyone so focused on reassuring me of my imminent boredom? Perhaps it’s because I can’t hide from my fashion persona. No matter who I met in South Korea, be they native, foreign or just passing through, made vocal assumptions about my having a fashion career. Clearly, I was one of those Fashion People. Clearly, I needed to be warned. Even some of the Korean locals I met asked me, in my professional opinion, if I thought all Koreans just tried to look the same?
Even by the time Seoul Fashion Week rolled around, some of the international press (that stayed on the ground for approximately 1-2 days) made bold assumptions about how they lacked style and they have no subcultures, often comparing it to the nearby island nation which has made waves in the fashion industry (Japan, if you hadn’t caught my drift).
What was this all about? Here’s my response to the whole “They All Look Alike” Camp:
Plenty of foreigners come from countries and communities where “they all look alike too”, the difference being less noticeable because of physical differences in racial spectrum, not because the lot of them are actually dressing vastly differently. It’s that tribalism that we lean to as humans, in hyper-diverse cities, however, this tribalism may simply have more striking visual differences, but take out the varying racial features, plenty of people still look very much the same. People stick to their uniforms, whatever those uniforms may be. The Wall Streeters have their own uniform, sure one may have faded hair, one may have blonde straight hair, one may have brown wavy hair, but rest assured, there’s still a uniform that is relatively easy to spot. In other words, these self-appointed fashion critics are missing a lot of the bigger point, simply because they are looking at a more homogenous major city. Funny enough, many of these foreigners who were so quick to dismiss Seoul’s fashion, dressed eerily similar themselves, they just looked a tad bit more diverse. *DRAMATIC EYEROLL* See?
“You are not special. You’re not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else.”
Now that I’ve managed to insert an alarmingly accurate quote from one of my favorite books/films of all time, let’s look at some street fashion from the emerging Seoul scene, shall we? :
So, there you have it, ending with visions from the front row. The moral of the story, Seoul is still emerging and developing a sense of who it is in fashion, but it doesn’t mean fashion doesn’t exist there, there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. See even more by following the story on Instagram: @FashionNeedsJesus
My loves, you’ll have to forgive the shadow I cast while taking this wonderful shot of these beautiful besties casually strolling the High Line. Their natural hair, beautiful smiles, and bold colors stood out from the masses, and I had to stop them. If they weren’t already stunning, their finishing of each others sentences and mutual support suggest their friendship is one for the ages. #LoveIt
Emanuella & Audrey
The High Line
Personal style, defined:
Audrey and Emanuella expressed that style is culture. Audrey is from Kenya, and Emanuella is from Ethiopia, so they are both inspired by their identity as East Africans and Americans, and merging those cultures in their external expression
Expressing your culture, whatever that is, and being confident in that expression
So, I haven’t been to church in a while. A long while. I’ve been mourning, I’ve been grieving, I’ve been anxious, I’ve been comatose, I’ve been angry, I’ve been bitter, I’ve been morose. Every once and a while, I’ve been living. Between styling sessions, and stylist interviews, I’ve lived. Between extreme sorrow, there have been glimpses of the sun, of creativity, of Source moving, and loving. There have been moments of reminding…reminding me that I am cherished.
On Wednesday I was asked to meet after hours in a showroom in the Fashion District. 250 W 39th Street, to be exact. Leaving my apartment has been a struggle, and I have been trapped, leaving for nothing besides work. Stuck. Anxious. Broken…hearted. 5 hours before it was even time for me to leave, I got an unbearable headache, urging me to stay in bed and hide under my covers. Wind whipped, and rain slammed against my windows. Stay. That’s what I was supposed to do. The anxiety mounted, aided by pain, and I text my friend to cancel.
But then…I fought.
I needed company. I needed to smile. I needed a hug. Ultimately, I needed to go. I needed to step out of this darkness and connect with Source. So I fought to leave my apartment.
As I walked, I would pass grand knitting machines that I desperately wanted to coerce to do my design bidding. I wanted experience the yarns on display, and explore the colors. As I edged closer, there were all sorts of beautifully knit textiles on display, showing precision technique and a command of color. I look back on my years in NYC and wonder how many times I’d passed it before, without any idea there was a weekly event that focused to meeting, praying, and healing through connecting to Source. And it this weekly meeting was happening in the heart of the Fashion District. Minutes away from world renown fashion schools, and moments away from my favorite hole-in-the-wall fabric and trim stores. As much as fashion needs Jesus, it appears he’s already taken ground in the heart of our territory. Go figure.
The meeting? The Ark. Held mid-week in the showroom at 250 W 39th. It’s purpose? Fellowship, healing, prayer, and prophecy. Basically, everything I haven’t been doing. I’d been to The Ark once before, shortly after arriving back in the city after the passing of my mother. And so, I met my friend there once again, deciding to be authentic, and open in my grief. Plastic smiles would do little good. And Markus, with his cool, and undeniably european style, greets everyone, warmly, and begins. I could bore you with every minute detail, but it wasn’t boring. The facts are, I saw people testify about witnessing healing. I heard people pray openly for people they’d never met. I experienced more hugs in 3 hours than I had in a month. I ran into friends who I didn’t expect to see, and they prayed for me. I wept. I was comforted. I was read like a book. I was told of my greatness. I was told that there was a rainbow over me, reminding me of God’s promises. I was loved on. Most importantly, I was reminded that God is with the broken hearted (Psalm 34:8).
I’m fighting. The worst is over, and the best is yet to come. Stay tuned!