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A Hallyu Christmas Tree at the V+A

If you’re in town over the Christmas period, be sure to visit the V&A.

For a number of years they’ve had the tradition of commissioning a designer to create a new work inspired by a traditional Christmas tree. The work is then installed in their impressive front entrance hall on Cromwell Road during the period between Advent Sunday and 12th Night.

This was something we hadn’t heard about before, but the other day we popped in to browse in the V&A gift shop and came face to face with this:

Christmas Tree by Miss Sohee

As explained in the accompanying information,

For this year’s V&A Christmas Tree installation, London-based Korean fashion designer Miss Sohee has re-imagined the festive form as a dramatic couture ensemble. Composed of a silk chiffon cape, a crepe de chine inner dress, and embellished with star-inspired embroidery and Swarovski crystals, the 3-metre veiled figure is inspired by religious statuary found throughout the museum.

It’s pretty stunning.

Christmas Tree by Miss Sohee

Sohee Park graduated from Central Saint Martins and her 2020 graduation collection entitled “The Girl in Full Bloom” caused such a stir that its centrepiece – known as the Peony Dress – is included in the V&A’s current Hallyu exhibition. Her work has also been worn by the likes of Jisoo of BlackPink as well as Miley Cyrus and Naomi Campbell.

Cover art of V+A magazine - the Hallyu IssueHaving spent a fair amount of time admiring the installation, we proceeded to the gift shop. We failed to find what we were looking for but instead happened to come across a copy of issue 59 of the V&A in-house magazine, a Hallyu special. Apart from containing one of the best-written introductions to the Korean film scene we’ve ever come across (by Jessica Kiang), there’s a fascinating conversation about the African and other multicultural influences on K-pop dance moves plus articles on Korean tea, makgeolli and the role of onggi pots in Korea’s fermented food culture. Great cover art as well. So, when you visit, see if you can lay your hands on a copy, too.

The Hallyu exhibition lasts until June 2023, but Miss Sohee’s Christmas Gown will only be in place until 5 January. You might have to dig around to find the Hallyu edition of the V&A Magazine.


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