Wednesday, December 21, 2011
mee ori, multi-brand fashion shop in samchung dong
i rarely shop now since it was incredibly tedious to clear out my belongings in the last years. as to the wardrobe i want to have a light, versatile one that fits into several suitcases! that will be a great day to come. meanwhile, like any serious foodie, i encourage food gifts for christmas because they will never end up as rubbish :)
whew, having said that i introduce a shop today. i have been strolling around in seoul which i think is the greatest shopping city in the world - compared to other popular capitals prices are still low and for every class of goods there are so many co-existing price levels that one will always meet one's budget. the only place with horrifying price tags are the department stores. it makes gasp to see how many items can break the 1 million mark that seem to be sold to people who don't look like millionaires (we are talking about wons but still...). however, there are serious alternatives in this city!
when passing the lovely window of mee ori that describes itself as a "multi-brand fashion shop" in the historical neighborhood of samcheong dong, i couldn't help but enter. jeong seo kim is the owner and offers selected as well as self-designed apparel together with dazzling accessories (footwear unfortunately for the last time now). ms. kim describes her style as "lovely avantgarde" :) and as far as i can judge, every single item met the requirements of being up-to-date, ravishing and comfy. (it's worth mentioning that being edgy seems not to be a virtue among the fashionistas here. the great majority of the street-looks is demure.)
and she really has the talent for making you think that she worries about your appearance without haunting you.
"your coat is NOT CASHMERE!! how could that happen??? you should change that!!!! " (until that pitiful statement of hers i took much pride in the coat as being my best one - jil sander for uniqlo, fall/winter 2010... so that came as a shock.)
"elsewhere you can get this kind of coat only at max mara, i assure you." (sounds good to me and i want to believe she is right.)
"in abgucheong dong it is already sold out" (sounds even better - for korean women it still is the reference area for elegance...).
"do you know alexander wang?? this one is inspired by his coat..." (i have no idea. but isn't alexander wang always supposed to be black?)
seeing the price tag was another shock.
but when taking into consideration how these items are made it is comprehensible that it must cost significantly more than the average zara-duplicate: ms. kim constantly watches international designers (other names dropped were marc jacobs and maison martin margiela) and personally reinterprets their works - influenced by the colors and history in her neighborhood and by the requirement of suitability for daily use. the fine fabrics are carefully selected, often they are bought on inspirational travels in bali and thailand. and she has a soft spot for the patterns of japanese producers.
i tried to bargain (which is a must at retailers in korea, especially when you buy more then two items):
"eonnie! i know you want me to have this and me too but simply i can't afford... pleeeease give me further reductions... btw, i am from busan, too!"
- "where have you been to high school??"
- "i am from haeundae! do you (at least) live there?"
- "nope..."(that marked the end of our similarities because for koreans not only your hometown but also your home district and your school, that is called "motherschool", are crucial.)
in the end i still got a further reduction on the sale and took away a new coat and a white blouse with bliss. i am done with shopping for this season and hopefully for the next winter to come (check this post again then for a long-term review :) ).
get interesting fashion insights of ms. kim in a magazine interview here.
opens daily from 11 am - 7:30 pm
Yunboseon Gil 65.
Anguk Station, Subway Line No. 3
phone: 02 722 7660