The influence of Western fashion through the US Army

Contributor: Yongsan Legacy

US ARMY  hosts a fashion show by Korean designers Choi Kyungja and Andre Kim in Seoul, 1959 Andre Kim(August 24, 1935 – August 12, 2010)…

Topic: cultural exchange, Fashion, People, Yongsan Legacy
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US ARMY  hosts a fashion show by Korean designers Choi Kyungja and Andre Kim in Seoul, 1959

Andre Kim(August 24, 1935 – August 12, 2010) was a South Korean fashion designer based in Seoul. He was known predominantly for his evening and wedding gown collections. He is survived by his adopted son, Kim Jung-do. Andre Kim was born in Goyang, Gyeonggi, Korea as Kim Bong-nam. The son of rural farmers, Kim attended Hanyeong High School and graduated from the Kukje Fashion Design Institute.

Kim has been in fashion design since 1962. At the age of 27 he opened Salon Andre in Sogong-dong, Central Seoul, becoming Korea’s first male fashion designer. In 1966 he became the first South Korean to hold a fashion show in Paris. He would later go on to hold many other fashion shows in New York, Washington DC, Barcelona, Cairo, Sydney and Beijing.

In November 2006, Kim showcased his costumes at the Angkor Wat temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in Siem, Reap, Cambodia. The show was titled “Fashion Fantasia: Angkor Watt” and was the first fashion show held with the ancient temple as a backdrop

Choi Kyungja (far right) and Andre Kim (far left) pictured after the fashion show hosted by US Army, Seoul 1959

 

The US military blanket that became a winter coat by Choi Kyungja

One of Choi Kyungja’s projects was a coat made out of a US military blanket that became a registered Treasure Of Korea.
(Registration number 616)
At that time Korea suffered poverty and designers barely had money to purchase materials.

Her moniker as the “godmother of Korean fashion” was earned after Choi established in 1938 the nation’s first fashion education facility.

Winter coat made out of US military blanket by Choi Kyungja

 

 

Korean Fashion Designer Nora Noh

Pearl Sisters in flared pants called Pantallon designed by Nora Noh

Nora Noh who studied Fashion Design in USA was the first Korean fashion designer. She began her career designing outfits for local perfromers.

She used to design the performing outfits for Pearl Sisters, the well renowned duo who entertained US Eight Army troops in Yongsan garrison and other military bases for many years since the 60’s.

 

Norah Noh had one of her first Fashion shows at the Bando Hotel in 1956 where US military spouses attended.  The Bando hotel was used as US embassy from 1948 to 1962.

Nora Noh fashion show attended by US military spouses
Nora Noh fashion show at the Bando Hotel 1956
Nora Noh fashion show at the Bando Hotel 1956