Pots and pans, piles of shirts and shoes, jewellery-laden tables, and containers brimming with bric-a-brac. In the tangle of streets in close proximity to exit 3 of Seoul’s Dongmyo station, hundreds of vendors market every little thing from previous Instamatic cameras to books, baggage and vinyl documents.
Positioned in the South Korean capital’s historic district of Dongdaemun, Dongmyo’s bustling flea market is scattered about a shrine constructed in honour of an historic Chinese armed service commander. But there is much more to the neighbourhood than bargains, vintage garments, and retro treasures. It also serves as a cultural hub for the city’s senior citizens to shop, socialise and exhibit off their distinctive design and style.
“One working day, I observed a senior gentleman on the lookout for clothing just like me. His design blew me absent,” recollects Seoul-dependent photographer Kim Dong-hyun, 29, who spends his times documenting the city’s lively senior avenue fashion scene, significantly of which he shares on Instagram.
Above the yrs, Dongmyo has been through a good deal of modify, becoming a location for young people’s newfound appreciation of vintage clothes on a spending budget. At its main though, Dongmyo has often been a playground for the city’s elderly inhabitants.
“I’ve satisfied some folks who have been going there each and every week for 30 several years,” Kim states, centered on the several conversations he has experienced with the people he has photographed. South Korea is a promptly ageing modern society. By 2050, the range of aged individuals could account for approximately 44% of the country’s population. Even though quite a few senior citizens truly feel much healthier than ever and do not regard by themselves as previous, aged loneliness is a substantial problem.
“In Korea, there are not many locations wherever aged folks can go and have enjoyable. But in Dongmyo, they can go procuring, they can engage in, satisfy close friends and drink makgeolli [rice wine]. It is their spot, and they do not require to treatment about what other individuals think.”
“From their hairdos to their glasses and sneakers, they know how to search superior and just take care of them selves. They pursue their own styles and exclusive approaches to convey their individuality. Several of us feel that trendy folks are just young individuals, a message additional amplified by the media. But manner has no age,” he claims.
Between the senior citizens that dangle out in Dongdaemun is Lee Seok-ki, a person member of a group recognised as the “military crew”. The team is comprised of 3 gentlemen whose designs are unique from every other: Lee prefers a minimalist common army glimpse, whilst his pals like to reinterpret navy fashion in a modern day way, decorating garments with vibrant embroidered patches and badges.
If anything, senior trend is much more refined, Kim claims. “It’s like wine. In your 20s, you just style all the things, but by your 70s, your flavor is sharper – you know what you like.”
As a baby, Chae Myung-hee, 74, produced a passion for fashion that led her to perform as a women’s clothes designer for 40 several years. Even through the pandemic when some people today dressed down and prevented makeup, she suggests she produced an effort and hard work to often appear fantastic, irrespective of whether she was putting on a mask or not. “It’s constantly been a component of me,” Chae suggests.
In his impending e book, Mut – Street Fashion of Seoul, Kim offers a glimpse into the environment of senior fashion. He hopes the guide will supply a new viewpoint on a demographic that is usually overlooked or underneath-appreciated. Kim suggests more mature people must be recognised for their awesome and flair, which is identified as meot in Korean, or as Kim likes to stylise it on the web and in his e-book – mut.
“It’s a lot more than the English word ‘cool’,” he suggests. “Sometimes it can imply a thing is superb, at times it can imply awesome, at times it’s beautiful or fabulous. I just can’t express it differently or translate the term, and really do not see the have to have for it.”
The pictures supply hope, he says, and a new way of hunting at ageing. “I imagine some individuals have hope when they see my pictures. They can see that they as well can carry on to be trendy when they develop more mature.
“When a headline utilizes the phrase ‘grandfather’, we mechanically presume a little something damaging … I want to exhibit that seniors have specific personalities, that they much too can have their individual meot.”
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