2.01.2013

Park Geun-Hye & Fashion: Still HATE this Double Standard


Thanks to the media for ongoing and questionable criticism of Park Geun-hye's [fashion] decisions. 

Jung Kyung-min, New York correspondent of the JoongAng Ilbo, adds to the short list of fashion-focused coverage of Park Geun-Hye that I find questionable, but Jung takes it to a new and offensive level today in Joonang Daily's 'Wardrobe change may be due for Park.' 

After a lengthy description of all of the great things Michelle Obama has done for American fashion, the piece transitions to an incredibly offensive comparison and criticism of Park Geun-hye [with running commentary my own]:

"South Korea’s President-elect Park Geun-hye may wish to make fashion statements just as Michelle Obama has with her impressive style. The next president favors an up-do hairstyle reminiscent of her mother, Yuk Young-soo and pantsuits. Her decades-old fashion reflects her adherence to principles and self-control. However, unlike Michelle Obama, she has made it a strict secret what brands she wears.
She may have wanted to avoid unnecessary attention to her fashion when she was an opposition politician. As president, however, her fashion has a different meaning. She will be the face of the country, and her fashion will receive international attention."

[IF Park wishes to do so, she will on her own terms, without snarky criticisms like this article that rips on her style for being out-dated and boring. Maybe it is a secret because she wants people to discuss her POLICIES and not her fashion palette,or for any number of other reasons not to conflate politics and branding. Did past presidents announce their brand choices? I guess I missed that memo from Lee Myung-Bak.]

"It would be hard to find a better way to promote and advertise Korean fashion."

[Really? I don't think it would be hard to think of better ways to promote and advertise Korean fashion.

But first, is it reasonable to set this as a goal? Is this the job of a politician? Michelle Obama was already renowned for her fashion statements years ago, so why didn't the Joongang Daily or Korea Herald (see my previous post at 'Park Geun-Hye & Skirts: HATE this Double Standard') call upon Lee Myung-Bak to take his style up a notch and promote Korean brands?

Second, if promoting Korean fashion is a top priority, we can question whether or not the President-Elect's personal style is among the best ways to promote the industry. Why wouldn't Korean designers, or even celebrities (ex. 2NE1) that are already internationally famous as style icons perhaps be "better" for promotion and advertising? In addition, the Korean government has invested quite a bit of money in Korean fashion branding, hosting fashion events domestically and abroad to highlight designers and Korean style.]

"It would be thrilling to see a female president wearing accessories, shoes, bags and outfits from young Korean designers and domestic brands at meetings with foreign heads of state."

[MY EDITORIAL REVISION: It would be thrilling to see a female president wearing accessories, shoes, bags and outfits from young Korean designers and domestic brands at meetings with foreign heads of state.]

"I am already curious what Park will be wearing on her inaugural ceremony."

[I am really curious as to why this article pitch was picked up.]

QUIZ: Anyone know what President Lee, Bush or Obama are wearing in ANY of these pictures? Anybody care? I don’t, either.