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Gangnam to hold fashion festival

Pop singer Rain to top 9-day event with  finale performance


Gangnam will turn into a fashion mecca for nine days from Oct. 1. The fifth fashion festival will take place in three of the affluent district’s chicest areas ― Samseong-dong COEX Mall, Apgujeong-dong and Cheongdam-dong.

Started in 2007 as a little-known fashion show, the festival has developed into a showcase of Korean art and hallyu culture held alongside Seoul Fashion Week.

The festival will begin Saturday with a fashion market, a celebration concert and a fashion rookie contest. A total of 116 domestic fashion brands will sport their articles in the three-day fashion market, which offers shoppers a chance to buy new items at discount prices.

During the rookie designers’ contest in the evening, a promising new generation of designers will showcase their collections on the runway.

“Talented young designers will attract attention from big-name established designers who will watch the competition. The fashion-forward audience will also receive inspiration from them,” said a district official.
Models on the runway during the 2010 Gangnam Fashion Festival Week (Gangnam District Office)
Models on the runway during the 2010 Gangnam Fashion Festival Week (Gangnam District Office)

On Sunday, eye-catching fashion shows will be held. They will present traditional Korean costumes, wedding dresses and top designers’ collections. A costume play competition will be staged as well, adding to spectators’ visual pleasure.

Around 100 garments including traditional Korean clothes and wedding gowns will be paraded down the catwalk. Promising designers Gwak Hyun Joo and G.I.L Homme will also show off their trendy collections. Cartoon and animation fans will be able to show off their hand-made costumes, mostly of animation characters, at the costume play contest.

The festival will take on a global sense in a fashion show of different ethnic dresses. More than 70 male models in foreign traditional costumes will walk the runway. The audience will also be able to appreciate traditional Chinese costumes provided by Gangnam’s sister town of Joyang.

The fashion festival will take place in conjunction with other events including the International Peace Marathon on Oct. 3 and Cheongdam Art Festival on Oct. 4-13. Its finale will be punctuated by the Korean Wave Super Concert featuring a breath-taking performance by world-class pop star Rain.

The goodwill ambassador for Gangnam has gladly accepted an offer to perform at the concert on Oct. 9, just two days before he will join the army to fulfill his mandatory military duty.

The concert will last for two hours from 7 p.m. on Dosan Street in front of Dosan Park near Apgujeong Rodeo Street. It will be accompanied by a fashion bazaar selling items by top Korean fashion designers, and a marketplace of foods and drinks.

Lots of local fashion stores, restaurants and hotels will offer discounts during the festival, Gangnam officials said.

“Department stores in Gangnam will kick off fall sales in time for the festival to attract more visitors. Over 100 fashion brands will also offer discounts ranging from 10 to 50 percent during the festival,” said Ju Yun-joong, director general of planning and economy of Gangnam district office.

Luxurious hotels including Grand Intercontinental Seoul, Ritz-Carlton Seoul and Imperial Palace Hotel also will discount room and dining charges at 25 and 10 percent, respectively.

Chinese customers will receive special discounts or free gifts when using China Union Pay at affiliated stores, according to a district official. As many as 15,000 Chinese tourists are expected to visit Korea in October.

“We forecast fashion festival visitors will more than double 150,000, the daily average number of visitors to COEX Mall,” said Shin Yeon-hee, head of Gangnam district office. COEX Mall is the festival’s main venue.

“The 2011 Gangnam Fashion Festival is on track from a local event showing mere domestic fashion trends to a global hallyu fashion festival enjoyed by foreign tourists and fans of Korean pop music,” said the official. “We hope the festival will make Gangnam the No. 1 attraction for hallyu tourism.”

For more information about the festival, visit www.fashionfestival.or.kr.

By Lee Woo-young  (wylee@heraldcorp.com)
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