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thomas_highstreet

korea :: seoul :: general

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do share? always welcome to throw something in here...

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Good post, DF.

In terms of how the gents here dress, I gravitate back and forth between two extremes: a) that the guys here dress atrociously and since day one I've only seen one truly impressive fit, and B) that despite this fact, 90% or more of all the cats I've seen look like they actually cared about how they looked, which is a huge change from the states. You know those peak lapel single-button jackets that are still going strong in the states and have a fashionista appeal? I can't believe they're such a mainstay here. They sell that shit on the subways.

As for girls, I can relate to your general thought. Sometimes my head is on a swivel and I can't stop glancing at every skinny, dolled-up girl who walks past me. But then I just think of how they'd look when their hair is pulled back in a greasy bun and they're wiping the sweat off their face with the palms of their hands and all the make up has faded off and yea. I'm pretty lucky because the girl I moved here for is bangin hot, whether she's bumming around or dressed up. She almost never wears make-up, and you wouldn't really know when you first meet her. That said I'd like to buy her some Miu Miu shoes and get her in a more girlish haircut and get her to doll out like a wonder girl from time to time too.

Whatever.

From what I heard, Korean girls are pretty bland in the sack - I have no reason to complain in my situation, but my friends have echoed your sentiments. One of my friends is dating a 31 year old who is apparently wild, so maybe you just gotta let em age a little bit and get desperate.

Not really sure where I'm going with this.

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hah! good posts all and a special mention for dismal. good read.

cant comment on some of the stuff, but seriously dismal you should get out here quick sharp - would be a shame not to meet up and rocknroll.

ive got my flight now, ill touch down on the 9th :D

as for koreans blandness in the sac, thats a perhaps. i did have sex with one korean girl a while back, she was 24 i think and a virgin :confused: first time it was so bad i could barely keep my shit hard, but, i used to call her up when i was piss drunk walking home and get her to come meet me and take me back to hers. the 2nd time she was unreal.

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Ok, I've sobered up now and minus the other 3 small posts, I stand by what I said last night.

w_w, you are spot on in your observations, Korean guys DO care completely about how they look, but then again, where are they getting their style inspiration from? Primarily off other people in the street and off TV, but it's like a domino/incest effect. There was some skinny boy actor who went all-out on Dior Homme starting like VOTC, and since then I think every Korean guy has picked up a black shrunken peak-lapel jacket and some white chucks. All in all though, guys and girls are very lost when it comes personal style inspiration... go sit at the front gate of Ewha for a bit and see how many girls you see who look as if they might be wearing their mother's clothes or carrying their granny's bag, they are notorious for that up there. That Chanel bouclé skirt suit thing has never died for them.

Nobody really notices this, but there are no fashion rags for men in Korea that cater to the 18-26'ish group (though I think there are for the girls), which is standard college age for men in Korea, taking into account the couple years of service duty. GQ and Esquire are out there but they are more salaryman/designer ad rags. There's nothing like a Men's Non-no or anything street, so those magazines are imported from Japan regularly and sold all over Seoul, and that suffices for those who can get through a Japanese magazine, but Koreans will take offense at the slight mention of copying the Japanese as well....

The point of all that is there is the gaping opportunity to get some sense into those kids and for them to define their young adult culture better, but no one steps up... 18 year olds come from wearing school uniforms and suddenly need to self-style, it's tough I know, but they really need to define some realistic age-appropriate personal styling trends (because they're all going to inevitably copy each other, might as well start off the game of telephone the right way) though, rather than having college virgins walking around with Ferragamo purses and guys wearing poly-blend suits and ties in crazy colors and those shit-kicker paddle shoes...

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On a serious note, the sad part of all of the above is that Koreans are engrossed in this saccharine celebrity culture and they model themselves after all that nonsense, combined with all the limited styling trends... there's literally just a small handful of generic aesthetics that kids will follow. There are some levels of fitting body types/looks to styling, but that is more limited to 'well, I'm a fat guy so I have to dress like a rapper/streetbeast Dunk collector by default' or girls go after this unimaginative Victorian/Audrey Hepburn thing, re-done in polyester and vinyl...

The ugly side to it is, Korean girls somehow don't see this disconnect between Hollywood actresses/local celebrities and then go mangle their faces/bodies with plastic surgery and go through all kinds of painful methods in attempts to achieve some sort of physical look their bodies weren't cut out for...

In Japan you see kids who are pretty aware they are 5'3" and have stumpy legs, and maybe only have the kind of checking account to support a wardrobe of Uniqlo and CDG diffusion, but they still come out looking great. You just don't get that in Korea. You just get lots of personal complexes and weird standoffish attitudes about personal style, and lots of gharishly dressed people.

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^^ very good post.

ive heard the plastic surgery rate for 18-22yr old korean women is around 60% is that true? if so - its pretty sad.

i do kind of get that feeling from what ive seen so far (online) of seoul/korean culture, but i stil think it would be fun to spend some time there. and if you look at the fashion in any place, people stil dress very conventionally. the only difference between london and seoul fashion is that in london we have more subcultures to rip off.

back on topic;

has anyone been to that spektra night?

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Yeah, the rate is high, though to their credit you have to read between the lines and the actual rate of invasive surgeries is not that high. Still far more than the West, but the big total number gets pumped up by things like dermatological procedures like mole removal, etc. You will meet a ton of girls with the fake double eyelids though, and they look really shit.

On the other hand, if you are one of those 'love your body' types you automatically get pegged as a lesbian and are doomed to an existence of selling incense at Hongdae Sunday morning flea markets or something. Koreans all choose English language (white) pseudonyms that they will insist you refer to them as, and if you are an incense lesbian you pick names like Stella or Maude.

The pecking order out in the pubs and clubs is really apparent though, you get the kids who look like they get out of the country a bit and riff on Japanese or European styles, and then there's the rest left to follow, you will recognize this as the 'cool kids' are probably on the middle of the floor having a good time getting off on each other and the wannabes are a bit off to the side watching perversely. Any given place, any given time. Still though, good styles are few and far between, and pretty underwhelming at best...

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kinda feeling the stella+maude vibe. haha.

you gonna come out? you gotta.. emirates do pretty cheap flights and i heard service is good..

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man, don't get me started on Emirates stewardesses from Korea..

I really really really am not trying come over, as I just finished up my 5 years in Tibet there and am quite enjoying eating cheese and meat and not living in squalor, but this girl that I was on about last night:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/feetmanseoul/1522037453/in/photostream/

looks like this girl I almost married, except my girl was minus corny Korean steez (refer to my avatar)... still, shit like this gets to me and I do stupid stuff, like moving back to Korea after swearing I never will again (this is a repeat theme in my life)...

I'd be more swayed if all of you were down to do a Seoul street fashion zine or something of the sort with me, how about that idea? Wait til the weather gets a bit nicer and see what the kids are wearing on the weekends...

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Having fun with the feetman blog...

http://www.feetmanseoul.com/2007/10/24/on-the-streets-apkujeong-nights/#comments

scroll down and look at 'Audi Guy'... ahaha.

Could that guy look like any more of a douchebag than he is now? I seriously think he has it in him to get a haircut and some grooming steez going that could make him look a little less like Mr. Bean at least. He 'uses his car as a style statement' which is all well and good as well, but a TT convertible is definitely swinging the other way... my dad had one of those awhile back and I'll let it be known that my dad has pretty homosexual tastes in cars, for him it was either a TT vert, a Mini or an SLK, so yeah. Anyhow, Audi Guy, he needs to let his bollocks breathe a bit, drop the Mr. Bean in D+G diffusion steez he has going on, and ease up on the profiling...

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Having fun with the feetman blog...

http://www.feetmanseoul.com/2007/10/24/on-the-streets-apkujeong-nights/#comments

scroll down and look at 'Audi Guy'... ahaha.

Could that guy look like any more of a douchebag than he is now? I seriously think he has it in him to get a haircut and some grooming steez going that could make him look a little less like Mr. Bean at least. He 'uses his car as a style statement' which is all well and good as well, but a TT convertible is definitely swinging the other way... my dad had one of those awhile back and I'll let it be known that my dad has pretty homosexual tastes in cars, for him it was either a TT vert, a Mini or an SLK, so yeah. Anyhow, Audi Guy, he needs to let his bollocks breathe a bit, drop the Mr. Bean in D+G diffusion steez he has going on, and ease up on the profiling...

Good call Dismal. Too fucking funny. Unfortunately, he's the quintessential Kangnam yangachi and those guys come a dime a dozen out here in the south side. Atrocious D&G belts, True Religion jeans and blazers seem to be the norm here for the boys and its just a fucking recurring nightmare I see on a daily basis.

You definitely need to come back and expand on that idea of yours...SEOUL needs you!

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From what I heard, Korean girls are pretty bland in the sack - I have no reason to complain in my situation, but my friends have echoed your sentiments. One of my friends is dating a 31 year old who is apparently wild, so maybe you just gotta let em age a little bit and get desperate.

Quoted for truth.

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Nobody really notices this, but there are no fashion rags for men in Korea that cater to the 18-26'ish group (though I think there are for the girls), which is standard college age for men in Korea, taking into account the couple years of service duty. GQ and Esquire are out there but they are more salaryman/designer ad rags. There's nothing like a Men's Non-no or anything street, so those magazines are imported from Japan regularly and sold all over Seoul, and that suffices for those who can get through a Japanese magazine, but Koreans will take offense at the slight mention of copying the Japanese as well....

The point of all that is there is the gaping opportunity to get some sense into those kids and for them to define their young adult culture better, but no one steps up... 18 year olds come from wearing school uniforms and suddenly need to self-style, it's tough I know, but they really need to define some realistic age-appropriate personal styling trends (because they're all going to inevitably copy each other, might as well start off the game of telephone the right way) though, rather than having college virgins walking around with Ferragamo purses and guys wearing poly-blend suits and ties in crazy colors and those shit-kicker paddle shoes...

Dismal. Nice analysis. I've noticed this for some time now. I think the difference might be cultural and in Japan a more recent occurance (past 20 years). I think the fundamental difference is the fact that Japan had its "lost-decade" during the mid-90s, in which the economy did fairly poorly and as a result, you had a generation of youth that shrugged off the corporate/working for life culture for a more creative and bohemian lifestyle. Prior to the 1990s, the idea of starting you own clothing label or artist movement, etc., was completely foreign but given the distressed economy during the 1990s, you had a generation that sought more alternative lifestyles. Ironically, this made Japan a cultural phenomenon and actually represented something that would be valued and respected outside of Japan; i.e. the influence of Harajuku-kei street style is undeniable now. Ironically, the whole movement and style has become very corporate here in Japan. But I would say that in Korea, a similar movement hasn't existed, so the transition from school uniform->corporate/salaryman uniform is more pronounced and there are fewer creative outlets that young Koreans can attain to which would still be considered valuable/influential in Korean culture...

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I liked that, nicely put...

In general, we kind of put Korea behind Japan by about 20 years for most stuff. You could lift a bubble economy era character from a classic Murakami novel and probably place them in Seoul 2008 and they'd fit in. 20 years ago, we had student riots out in front of Yonsei and Seoul National Universities, 40 years ago you had the Tokyo University student demos. Japanese cars and electronics kind of came out of their dark age and into the international mainstream 20-30 years ago, Korean cars and electronics are finally coming out into their own just now. It explains the phenomena of Yonsama, cosmetic surgery, and compensated dating, blah blah blah. But for some stuff that travels faster than that, like street fashion and popular culture, and I still see some sort of disconnect in Korean aesthetics. I know I've driven this into the ground, the Korea vs Japan thing, but Korean Confucianism and modesty really control most of it, there is no gyaru/cool guy culture in Korea for sure. No bare shoulders, midriffs, anything like that out on the streets, and guys learn some sort of weird 1950's nice guy pseudo date rapist game. I know it's too much to hope for, to be able to singlehandedly change a landscape of 10 million people living on top of themselves, but I really want to be able to leave a mark on them and shift things a bit, but realistically and speaking as of now, I had to leave that city just because of how preposterous shit gets...

I'd like to throw in a third variable that differentiates Korea from Japan as far as menswear goes, and that is the compulsory military service amongst the 22-25 year olds... sartorially, the results of which are, guys who are fairly atheltically built with a machismo bent, who know how to and don't put up a fuss when it comes to wearing well-fitting clothing, a tie, keeping their shoes polished (we wear slippers in the office in the Korean corporate world, but shoes still get polished daily for the way to/from home)...

Then the opposite of the same, which is a pretty strong disdain for individual swagger, experimentation with clothing, strong gender divides regarding clothing, etc. Generally these guys come back with a year of college/job hunting left and have no time/funds to worry about their appearance, so they end up giving into adulthood completely at 26, they all become completely practical... rather late compared to the Japanese guys, but still, 26 is rather early for throwing the towel in, isn't it?

Sad thing is, I'm there now as well in age, but to get me to put down my gin and tonic at the electro club and tear me away from the 18 year old girls, that is something I can't see happening for another few years at least...

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I could probably go forever on this list, but some more paint for the picture:

-the Japanese '80's 30-something guy who dreamt of a gold Oyster Day-Date and a 560SEL is today's Seoul 30-something

-Japanese '80's 20-something with hair parted down the middle and a backpack, you see them on the streets still in Korea

-Girls who hit the jackpot and got some guy to buy them a 320i so they could go department store shopping all day, that is Korea now

-Very bare-bones outhouse looking shack cafes where the owner/manager does everything from the comfort of their stool, could've been Shimokitazawa 20 years ago, still very 'happening' Seoul now

-'retro revival' and coming to terms with the past has been Korea's thing for the past 5 years or so, I'd imagine this kinda stuff trickled out 20 years ago in Japan and then died off as quickly

-our immensely strong won as of late is gonna bust here soon, and the kids who fold bindles of coke in the Ferraris they borrow from their used-car dealer friends and go to warehouse-style club parties will eventually party a bit quieter and the wannabes will all disappear, basically like the kids who rolled around Shinagawa in 1989 did...

-Summer Olympics: Tokyo 1964, Seoul, 1988

-Winter Olympics: Nagano: 1996 (?) and whatever that Korean city is that is bidding, eventually

-Yohji Yamamoto and Junya Watanabe, and then Woo Young Mi and Juun. J

etc etc etc, add your own...

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positive twist of hope to the above:

-the promulgation and proliferation of 'Host Clubs' in Seoul Korea, circa 2010, watch this space :)

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the negative twist of disappointment to the above:

-dismalfuture aka Korean YAOH dies of STDs, circa 2011, watch this space. :(

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uhhhhhh

(should be easy to discern the quality of this event)

20080331_20080412_catch_new.jpg

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Guest dexx

one word: communism and george w bush

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wow i haven't been on this in ages but that audi guy looks damn like mr. bean

Grade-A Douche Bag

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American considering teaching English in S. Korea? Thoughts?? Opinions??

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Easiest, highest-paying babysitting job you'll ever have.

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how's life in seoul at the moment?

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^ previous previous level shit.

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I'm glad this thread is back from the dead though.... new topics?

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anyone want to send a homeboy back in the states a coil of frozen, uncooked soondae from your neighborhood pojangmacha?

im dying for the stuff. its not as good in the states.

i will pay for overnight shipping. no liver

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