First Floor Special Exhibition Galleries
Couture Korea opens with an introduction to the exquisite craftsmanship, signature silhouettes and bold aesthetics of clothing from the Joseon dynasty (1392–1910), presented in precise reconstructions based on archival records. Learn how details of design — cut, materials, colors and accessories — communicated moral codes and customs, the wearer’s age and position in society, and the occasion and season for which a garment was crafted.
The second gallery focuses on the work of two contemporary designers who have been inspired by Korean tradition. The high waistlines, flared sleeves and brightly colored patchworks of Karl Lagerfeld’s 2015/16 Cruise Collection for Chanel were influenced by Joseon dynasty fashion and art, such as bojagi wrapping cloths. Also on view are pieces by pioneering Korean designer Jin Teok, lauded by Vogue’s Suzy Menkes as a “fashion magician,” who evokes the spirit of historical Korean dress with an embroidered top from a wedding robe layered over a washed denim skirt.
The final section of the exhibition introduces two younger Seoul-based designers, Im Seonoc and Jung Misun, who are reinterpreting Korean fashion for the twenty-first century.
Couture Korea is the first in a series of three thematic exhibitions planned in partnership with Arumjigi Culture Keepers Foundation, a South Korean nonprofit dedicated to protecting and preserving Korean culture and creativity.