HOW K-POP AND KOREAN FASHION SHAPED THE STYLES OF MODEST MILLENNIAL GENERATIONS AND GEN-Z
by Jonquil Dun
Before the iconic brands in the fashion industry succumbed to the call of modest fashion consumers from around the world, there was a struggle as to where to purchase clothing and which styles are away from the silhouettes of the good ‘ol Abaya; for teenagers living in the Western societies, most especially. Because they live in the era of Dua Lipa, Kendall Jenner, Justin Beiber, and Arianna Grande, the need to look like the modern times made the traditional abaya look passe. The urge to look like the common teen was a challenge for those who wanted to observe modesty and preserve their religious identity. But how did the teenagers pull it off?
Believe it or not, the rising popularity of this genre in music and the culture of the people they belonged, to inspired the modest fashion of Western teenagers. The K- pop music actors may not be the potential role models for them but they (the K-Pop actors) opened doors into a fashion culture that is modest enough and an understanding of a different version of modesty- Korean Style.
Think about oversized tees, sweaters and boyfriend shirts, loose-fitted acid jeans, culottes, square pants, sneakers, elevator shoes, experimental layering of clothes from anything off-the-shelf from the shifts to tubes to wear on top of any long-sleeved top, tunic dresses, super baggy tent dresses, the street-style outfits- all became an obsession.
Because their styles share a common denominator with modest yet modern-looking that any teenager can relate to. If we look at Korean fashion (we mean, the common street style Korean), they are not so fond of tight-fitted clothes. Their silhouettes are mostly straight cuts or A’s, and sometimes Avante-Garde, which is why their style was easily adopted.
And while we are talking about Korean inspirations, we appreciate how their K- dramas are also tailored in a way that doesn’t offend the viewer with any scenes that are vulgar and unnecessary, which again, makes it easier for their films to come inside any modest household.
The culture that has respect for decency and modesty inspired modern modest teenagers a fashionable way to wear clothing modestly, for which they can confidently interact with others in person or on social media. And this perhaps helped pave the victory for modest fashion culture to become mainstream, because it made modest fashion look inclusive and relatable. They made loose and overly- loose clothing look so cool!
Often undermined, the youth of the Gen Z, Gen X, and millennial generations play a significant role in shaping fashion trends. They have a world and mind of their own and they too demand fashion that is exclusively theirs.
We can all agree that there are dress codes for every group of people in our societies, but we can also all agree on the definition of modesty. It is not limited to one source of opinion and from a particular cult. There are cultural and religious grounds, and there are restrictions that we abide by and as long as we don’t break those off-limits, we say, why not limit ourselves when there are alternatives?