By Chinelo Chikelo
Korea Culture Center Nigeria KCCN has announced winners of its fashion project, the Ankara – Hanbok Design Competition. The winning designs of Asev Sildek Dekosun, Natasha Umar and Owoicho Comfort Daniel, among the seven selected designs were exhibited in an online exhibition hosted by the center.
KCCN Director, Lee Jin Su, said the competition aims at promoting creativity through the deepening of both nations understanding of their cultural and art heritages.
Opened in February 17 with a call to Nigerian designers to submit paper sketches of Hanbok designs on Ankara fabrics, participants were allowed to make entries till March 15, 2020. The best 20 sketch designs were selected and the designers funded to create their designs with the Ankara fabric of their choice.
The best ten designs were selected for, with Asev Sildek Dekosun (Sildek Style City) in the first place, Kogi-based, Natasha Umar in second place, and Osun-based Owoicho Daniel in Third place. Other runner-up contestants featured in the virtual exhibition include, Abuja-based designers Vanessa Ahemen, Vivian Zadok; Kogi-based designers, Agbo Francis, Ilumona Theresa, Aiyegbono Faith Yemisi; Kwara-based Hadiza Abdulkareem, and another Abuja-based designer, Asita Chisom Vincent.
Designs exhibited in photos at the virtual exhibition showed colourful, patterned Ankara pieces sewn in the style of the Korean traditional wear, Hanbok, which includes an inner wear, bust length jacket with free-flowing sleeves (long for men) called Jeogori and a long, wide, flowing skirt (Chima for women) and pants (Baji) for men.
Designers drew inspiration from research on olden hanbok design but with modern touches like Dekosun, K-dramas, South Korean flag colours, infused with Nigerian sensibilities.
“The contestants did their utmost to understand the Hanbok and Ankara so as to find the best means of fusing, in quite unique and expressive ways, the designs of Hanbok into Ankara fabric.
“The exhibition aims at showing more people the work done and the result achieved for more people to appreciate,” said the director.
Noting that more work is ongoing in the deepening of bi-cultural relations between both countries via their traditional and cultural wears, Jin Su said Korean designers are creating Nigerian traditional attires with Hanbok fabrics, pieces, he said they hope to exhibit along with the winners of the Ankara-Hanbok contest in November.