As the first large-scale fashion ethnography project conducted in Seoul, we want to map the street fashion culture of Seoul, beginning with Seoul Fashion Week, across two axes -- one geographic and the other cultural. Whether it be describing the cultural landscapes of discrete neighborhoods such as Shinchon, Hongdae, or Myeongdong, our empirical data gathered as audio interviews, photographs, and other forms of media will be presented shared in combined form through new media tools such as Soundcloud, Facebook, Instagram, and Flickr, creating a searchable and shareable database of data that is transparently and democratically accessible to outside academic investigators as an invaluable store of ethnographic data to allow dots to be connected and patterns made visible in the complex matrix of South Korean society. We hope that through our efforts at gathering together the raw ethnographic materiél for those without easy personal, social, or physical access to certain ethnographic subjects directly. Primarily a descriptive, data-gathering project, our data will help in the generation of finished works of cultural/social analysis as publications, which will be unique in terms of how they their ethnographic data will be openly available for all, while encouraging deeper research into the rich cultures in the megacity of Seoul and its environs.
Therefore, our project looks at Korean street fashion primarily through the lens of sociology and takes up closely looking at Korean fashion not out of any interest in the pieces of cloth themselves, their branding, prices, or their sale, but rather out of interest in considering their importance as social texts, as ways of knowing how identity is constituted, communicated, and consumed, and how this changing discourse marks significant patterns of social and cultural change.
In short, we are interested in fashion objects as part of a greater discourse we want to track, a greater conversation. And in this way, we see the official event of Seoul Fashion Week as important now because of its accidental role in the formation of what we see as far more culturally important: Seoul Street Fashion Week. The movers and shakers in this sartorial community are of tantamount importance and our goal is to map out this part of Seoul's cultural geography in as detailed manner as possible, through the use of ethnographic tools and methodologies.
Towrds this end, we will engage in extensive coverage of Seoul Street Fashion Week as a pivotal, regular cultural event that is bigger than the clothes, but no bigger than the people who constitute it. To this, we dedicate our cameras and creative concerns.
if you want to take a deeper look at Korean fashion and get involved with our projects, especially as a fashion creative or cultural investigator, or contribute your own work, drop us an email and we will get back to you.