What it says on the tin.
At one of the many, many open-plan cafes in Hongdae. This is a choco-tini and pecan pie.
This is a latte martini at Coffeelec, a boutique coffee shop with an award-winning and handsome barista. Here he’s mixed creme, vodka, espresso and chocolate. These probably give the impression my tastes are childish/decadent. I enjoy plain espresso, but on weekends I need to feel I’m living large.
This is aA Design Museum in Hongdae, the Soho of Seoul. The owner collects 1960s decor and arranges it in a giant concrete space. You can sit on curvy, wooden things and order cake.
The basement is equally large but under renovation; last I looked, the bar had lights and there was a giant paper mache shark being affixed to the ceiling. In the stairwell, a lego-octopus chandelier:
A little room with no apparent purpose in the stairwell between floors:
Salaryman goat in Hongdae:
And his uncouth American cousin inside the store:
I haven’t been into Cafe Brick yet, but its vintage Vespa and sidecar are glorious:
Fuck yeah. I never thought I’d see this in Korea – it’s the kind of thing everybody thinks and no one says, at least openly.
Don’t know what this jewelry store was going for, but it succeeds as creepy. Why is she naked, why is she stuck on by her face?
Swastikas are a common sight here, since they’re Buddhist icons. But for a thematically-pleasing misinterpretation, I like the communist-fascist-pacifist spread here:
To be precise, English messages on clothing.
“Water levels are rising because Jesus is crying.”
Occasionally I spot designers who genuinely have a message. This is a nice summary of the temporary nature of capitalism:
Actually ‘working class hero’, but I prefer this:
“All women shall be happy only for the fact that they are woman.” That’s as feminist as you’re likely to get in Apgujeong, the equally-upscale fashion district next to Gangnam.
A boutique in Doota, one of the megamalls in Dongdaemun, downtown Seoul. It seemed fitting after my last post.
“I’m so intelligent.”
I spotted this guy on the subway. The superhuge glasses look good on Koreans and ridiculous on everyone else. I don’t know why. Also check out the studs on his Converse.
Finally, as a reward for making it this far, one of the most fashionable women in Seoul. My girlfriend had actually spotted her a few months earlier, which isn’t easy in a city of 10 million, but she obviously stands out. I wouldn’t have had the courage to approach her on my own, but my girlfriend was with me and agreed I needed this photo for my blog. So I caught up to her outside the subway gate in Gangnam, explained I kept a blog and asked if I could take her photo. She graciously assented. Note not just the giant spectacles but the winged sandals, black leather accessories and translucent sleeves. And as a composition, I really like this photo: the colours work, and the moving, glancing passersby contrast well with the still model. Yes, this woman is uncommon; no, she’s not the only one pursuing a ‘post-goth out for a summer stroll’ look and pulling it off. People have criticized Korean fashion for being endless variations on the same theme, but there are people taking a standard repertoire and doing some amazing things with it.