Traditional Korean characteristics were categorized into four areas: pure formality, naturalistic simplicity, symbolic decoration, and playful spontaneity. Pure formality is more innocent while still being formal, many people think of traditional Korean culture (Kings, Queens, Clans) when pure formality comes up. Naturalistic simplicity usually includes the terms nature, plants, and modern. An example is a white modern mansion filled with greens and plants. Symbolic decoration is also very traditional such as art. Many Korean music videos with upbeat songs may have this aesthetic (ex. IDOL).
Playful spontaneity goes by its name. It's colorful, stubborn, not as traditional, etc. Many times, people mix Naturalistic simplicity aesthetic with playful spontaneity colors. Many people argue over if you can show Koreancore in music (aka k-pop, Korean hip-hop, etc.) or through images when you can do both! There is a Korean style in (cultural) production’s willingness to use/repurpose anything to make things work. As a country that has learned to live in the shadow of either outright colonizers such as Imperial Japan or under the influence of other big brothers with very large cultural sticks, South Korea learned to be at ease with outside cultural influence. Korea calls this tendency (for better or worse) sa-dae-ju-ui or “deference to the greater.” This general mode of comfort with combinations that might otherwise culturally/aesthetically offend as outside, dissonant elements that “shouldn’t go together” is what allows them to occur in the first place.
See, if you hadn’t noticed, Korean fashion, beauty, aesthetics, everything is super hot right now. If you don’t believe me, just take a look at VOGUE, TeenVOGUE, HighSnobiety, or any major fashion media outlet in the last 5 years around March or October.
The Korean Aesthetic fashion consists of comfortable clothing with soft colors (beige, light pink, white, ext.). You will see a lot of big, chunky sweaters, mini skirts, boxy graphic tees, and high waist mom jeans. Some people like to add plaid or bright colors. Simple dresses with thin straps are also used in this look. Big white sneakers and causal bags are used to complete the look.
Korean Street Wear
Much to everyone’s surprise, Korean “street” style has made Seoul one of the most influential style hubs in the world. WWD (Women’s Wear Daily) just opened a branch in Korea, i.e. that’s a big deal. Everyone is looking in Korea’s direction (has been for several years now) for its aesthetic cues. Yet, all this tends to fly under the radar, unnoticed and unfeted.
- Mixing together the aesthetics of rock and hip hop
- The top part is often oversized or baggy
- Men also like relaxed fit pants and shorts to go with it usually revolves around key pieces like: ruffled dresses and tops, oversized pieces, blazers, and mini dresses
Hanbok is the traditional two piece clothing worn in Korea for formal or semi-formal occasions and events such as festivals, celebrations, and ceremonies. It is characterized by its wrapped front top, long, high waisted skirt and its typically vibrant colours. Hanbok can be divided into royal dresses, official uniforms, bureaucratic uniforms, and civilian uniforms. Hanbok aspects include:
- Vibrant colors
- Formal and proper
- Wrapped front top long, high waisted skirt
The Korean Aesthetic decor style is very simple like the clothing. The furniture consists of light wood, light bedding (sometimes gingham or a grid pattern), white or beige walls, big window for lots of natural light, and plants. It is also nice to add mood lighting to spaces. Since apartments in South Korea are small, rooms need to be designed in a smart way so the space doesn't look cramped. Projectors are also nice to add if there is no room for a T.V. The wall decor is simple, designs with the same colors to match the room.
Movies & TV Shows
Korean movies and TV Shows are (most of the time) addicting. Many k-dramas show the types of Koreancore aesthetics, while Korean movies are usually not as repetitive as how American movies are. Some people might think anime is Korean... yeah, no. It is JAPANESE!
- The Heirs (2013)
- My Love From The Stars (2013-2014)
- She Was Pretty (2015)
- Hwarang:The Poet Warrior Youth (2016-2017)
- Descendants of the Sun (2016)
- Strong Girl Bong-soon (2017)
- Guardian: The Lonely and Great God (2016-2017)
- Parasite (2019)
- The Housemaid (2011)
- PIETA (2013)
- The Way Home (2002)
- OLDBOY (2005)
- 3-Iron (2004)
- Treeless Mountain (2011)
Korean music has expanded and gained huge popularity these past years. Korean music is not just k-pop but also includes hip-hop, rap, R&B, EDM, Disco, etc. There are many huge artists that make Korean music.
But of course, there's more Korean artists that match Traditional Korean.
Many things are pleasing to the eye but I've seen many videos where people say Korean-related things are most aesthetically pleasing, which I can agree, Koreancore is a very visual aesthetic. Koreancore varies between emo, soft/cute, comfy, pastel emo, colorful, etc.
How is Koreancore so visually pleasing?
Nobody honestly knows but many people think it's the culture or the people. I mean, they can make milk look visually pleasing. MILK. Anyways, many other people think it's the editing or the filters, because if you remove all of the editing it can just look like a picture, but that's actually wrong. A picture can look visually pleasing without editing or any filters. Such as pictures of cherry blossom trees, pictures of outfits, pictures of moving trains, etc.