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Kingston School of Art and Royal School of Needlework collaborate with Hanbok Advancement Centre

Korean embroidery class at Royal School of Needlework

The first stage of an innovative collaboration between the Hanbok Advancement Centre, Kingston School of Art and the Royal School of Needlework had its first public exhibition last week at Kingston University’s Stanley Picker Gallery. The collaboration was the brainchild of Justina Jang, who through Korean British Cultural Exchange shares Korean culture with London and Kingston with projects such as the lottery-funded Kimjang Project and the annual harvest festival in Kingston market square. The exhibition will travel to Seoul later this year.

Hanbok lecture at Kingston School of Art

Elinor Renfrew, Head of Fashion at Kingston School of Art, explains further:

The Hanbok Advancement Centre delivered their Global Fashion School Lecture programme at KSA with the purpose of providing information about the value of hanbok for students overseas. Our BA Fashion students, including those on our exchange programme, collaborated for the first time with BA Hand Embroidery for Fashion, Interiors, Textile Art students from RSN on a Hanbok inspired project during Kingston University Enrichment Week in February.

Representatives from the Hanbok Centre in Seoul Lee Hae-mi and Kim In-Ja delivered engaging theory lectures and specialist skills workshops to second year students at both institutions, who worked in groups at KSA and individually at RSN. The Hanbok Advancement Centre provided fabrics and workbooks for the students to produce garments and embroideries inspired by Korea.

The exhibition in the Lobby and Project Studio of the Stanley Picker Gallery also featured a special hanbok dressing ceremony on 13 March. Photographs of the evening can be found below.

Hanbok designs by teams of fashion students from Kingston School of Art

1. Emanuele Bianco & Caterina Vio

Tying cultures together. British and Korean cultures merge together in this ensemble inspired by the gesture of tying of the Hanbok combined with the patchwork technique of Jogakbo.

2. Sunny Kim, Olivia Parker & Alice Walker

Our Hanbok design is based on combining British tailoring and 1980’s power dressing with both the traditional male and female Jeogori design.

3. Emma Caldas, Ffion Martin & Molly Moreton

Looking at small details of quintessentially English Edwardian tailoring and women’s horse wear within the 18th century we have combined those details within our Hanbok design. Using the voluptuous shapes from 18th century women side saddling combined with the traditional shape of the Hanbok we have merged traditions to create a piece that is nostalgic of both countries’ heritage.

4. Nataliya Grimberg, Riemke Ipema, Greta Schluter & Emily Stearn

Hanbok design by Nataliya Grimberg, Riemke Ipema, Greta Schluter & Emily Stearn
Layering traditions and contemporary art. Our aim was to create a contemporary piece based on traditions of Korean dress with a modern twist. Using screen printing techniques, we have created several prints based on time-honoured symbols like the dragon and flower. The colours we chose were inspired by the neon lights seen on the urban streets of Seoul.

5. Carolin Dieler, Kiara Julien & Jonah Solomon

Our Hanbok design is inspired by the traditional neckline shapes seen in the Jeogori, merged with the essence of a traditional white button-up shirt. The neckpiece is made out of sheet aluminium, moulded into the shape of the Jeogori collar. We decided to reinterpret the bell shape of the traditional Hanbok as an elongated silhouette. This was done to reveal more of the figure beneath the garment.

6. Joy Julius, Yujin Lee & Kristin Manolova

Shirt-dress crossover between the white shirt with oversized sleeves and long elegant Jeogori. The design is completely constructed by using traditional Korean delicate patchwork that utilises left over pieces of pastel colour fabric, which makes it completely sustainable as well as captivating.

7. Mathilde Baud & Justin Rivera

The look is influenced by details from a traditional Hanbok and sportswear elements were added as our modern interpretation of the garment. It was important for us to maintain the colourful elegance of the original Hanbok and juxtapose the lightness of the fabric with the sharpness of sportswear. Through this we have blended cultures, crossed generations and paid respect to the craftsmanship of a traditional Hanbok.

Embroidery project by students from the Royal School of Needlework

The Hanbok dressing ceremony

In this ceremony, husband and wife team Inhong Song and Sooyeon Jaekal modelled some traditional style hanbok, designed by Inhong’s mother. One has to feel sorry for a bride getting married in the steamy Korean summer, as the bridal ensemble requires two underskirts, three pairs of undertrousers as well as more intimate underwear before one gets to the two topskirts, jeogori, tunic and the ornate, heavy-looking topcoat.

The Groom

The Bride


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