It’s easy to focus on western style stars when we’re inundated with award shows and film festivals nearly every single week (or so it feels like). However, with the marriage of South Korean actors Lee Byung-Hun and Lee Min-Jung this past weekend, it’s time to turn our attention to the fashion heavyweights Korea has to offer.
With the explosion of KPop music, "Gangam Style," and thousands of Tumblrs devoted to Korean fashion, not to mention a thriving arts community, the country has more than enough inspiration to draw from, and further proof lies in the ten style stars below, who we feel deserve some long-deserving attention.
Let’s do this!
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1) Kim So-yeon
The star of TV’s "All About Eve," actress Kim So-Yeon recently found herself in the pages of SURE magazine – and for good reason: she keeps her style classic, effortless, and inherently interesting. This March, she attended the collection launch of Didier Dubot in a long-sleeved, black leaf-print Jonathan Saunders dress, while that same month, she showed up to the "Fist of Legend" premiere in leopard print jeans and a loose denim button-up.
2) Lee Da-hae
Thanks to her eclectic taste, actress and model Lee Da Hae proves the importance of abiding by no one’s fashion rules but your own. Seen at the Boon the Shop “Sacai” Fall/Winter 2013 show in April in a textured, multi-toned, multi-layered dress, it’s understandable she earned a place helping front Arnaldo Bassini’s spring collection.
3) Ko So-young
Actress Ko So-young has earned her place in the Korean style world for a few years now, sporting sequins at 2011’s Style Icon Awards, while appearing in pink flared trousers and a simple blouse at an event months later. However, her style is even more fashion-forward thanks to pieces like her camouflage-print scarf and oversize jacket worn to the premiere of "G.I. Joe 2" in March, and the bold striped t-shirt she showcased to the debut of her clothing brand. She’s earned it!
4) Park Shin-hye
Appealing best to today’s MTV generation (who, we all still look to for style help) is actress Park Shin-hye, who exudes hip thanks to outfits like her leather mini skirt and sheer lace t-shirt she wore in March to InStyle’s 10th anniversary event. Her airport style is equally on-par: seen in May wearing skinny jeans with a white t-shirt and oversize denim shirt overtop, she reminds us that comfortable needn’t mean complicated.
5) Kim Seo-hyung
For a photo shoot at JIFF (Jeonju International Film Festival), Kim Seo-hyung proved the importance of on-point casual wear, donning low-rise jeans, with a loose, pink button-up blouse. However, the 20-year veteran actress flipped the switch to formal just as effortlessly: thanks to her cap-sleeved, satin, and two-toned blue gown, she combined event-appropriateness with subtle exhibitionism thanks to her dramatic skirt slit.
6) Hong Soo-ah
Having recently criticized celebrities who wear too tight clothing, actress Hong Soo-ah defines irony by favouring short hemlines and sheer fabrics (with spiked shoes, we should add). However, recently, she appeared at the Jeonju International Film Awards, wearing a textured, floral gown, and thus proving one’s style evolution really never ends.
7) Lee Yeon-hee
Model and actress Lee Yeon-hee keeps her style sense unconventional and arguably controversial thanks to pieces like her oversize skirt and short-sleeved sweater combo worn to the Boon The Shop “Sacai” Fall/Winter fashion show in April. However, what made more headlines was an appearance sans-makeup (and with a floppy purple hat, grey top, and trench coat) – but not as many as last month, when Yeon-hee’s Harper’s Bazaar photo shoot saw her debut a blond pixie cut.
8) Goo Hye-sun
Actress, author, and MC Goo Haye-sun (also known as Ku Hye-sun or Koo Hye-sun) has also defined her style brand perfectly, refusing to confine herself to traditional red carpet norms. From her white satin power suit (that included shorts) last year to her simple, Alexa Chung-esque black pleated mini-and-button up she wore to the Cine France opening ceremony in April, she defines “it-girl” – but with talent to last her decades.
9) Miriam Yeung
Even after having a baby last year, Miriam Yeung showed up dazzling viewers at the Hong Kong Film Awards in April, wearing a floor-length Yves Saint Laurent gown when she picked up her award for Best Actress. She also did the same a week later: clad in a black, satin, open-sleeve gown (with gold embellishment), she did her fanbase proud at Beijing International Film Festival.
10) Lee Min-jung
The perfect spokesperson for fall fashion (according to us), the 31-year-old actress has been spotted recently in oversize blazers and full, knit scarves, as well as a polka dot dress and, well, another full, knit scarf. Though that’s not to say she can’t dress up: earlier this year, she donned a Valentino Resort red macramé lace dress at a movie premiere, making us want to see photos from her wedding day even more than we did before writing this.