Friday, 15 March 2013

Fabric Sourcing in the Magical Markets of Seoul!

Happy afternoon from sunshine filled Incheon!!!!
Yesterday I put in some hardcore hours trawling around the wonderful sea of fabrics at Dongdaemun Market in Seoul which was an incredible experience!!! This place was AMAZINGG and somewhat overwhelming....
I think I could easily spend 3 days straight in there and still be finding new treasures!!! I'm now in the stages of sourcing all of my materials for my new series of works that I will be producing here during my time as Artist in Residence with Incheon Art Platform. I must apologise in advance for the bad photos of blurry doom have no idea of the mayhem in there so there was no chance of getting the big camera out and I had to quickly snap only the quietest of aisles before I was next jostled by the crowds or a guy carrying stacks of fabric rolls on his shoulders!!! Hence the rubbish photos, swiftly snapped in stealth mode on my phone amongst hands filled with swatches!!! Had I attempted to whip out the photos in the thick of it I would probably have been lynched by angry shoppers!!!
As I say it was a total bunfight in there...totally AWESOME!!! There was a whole load of trade activity going on so phones galore being tossed back and forth, fashion students, local designers, sourcers from factories etc! The language barrier was easily quashed when the merchants ended up calling their friends and kids so that they could translate what I was saying! This place is HUGE and like a labyrinth of dreams...aisle upon aisle of incredible fabrics....every colour, texture and print you could ever imagine! The first couple of floors are dedicated to fabrics, mainly printed cottons, chiffon, jersey and denims, and as you go higher in the building there are also floors full of every trim, accessory and binding that you could EVER imagine!!!!! There were some awesome colours going on...phantasmagorical rainbow style~ I've noticed A LOT of neon around here both in the fabric centre and in the clothing in the shopping districts, likewise with the traditional Hanbok tailors, there is no neon there but, some wonderful high-colour combos in the mix! For my project, I am mainly working on a colour palette that manipulates the natural tones identified in my field research and inverts them into a highly saturated palette, so I'm massively excited by all the materials I have discovered here and can't wait to work with medium sourced only from South Korea. I spent hours collecting swatches and the photo you can see above of some of the more colourful findings is only the tip of the iceberg....I came home dragging a couple of big bags full to the rafters of samples and options so I'm looking forward to sorting through them all this evening~most likely whilst listening to a bit of K-Pop as it's going to be a LONGGGGG night!!!!! The upper floors of the market were equally as dreamy....I found some amazing jewellery bits and bobs....chain, piping and hardware accessories...cute plastic stuff for costume jewellery....outrageous amounts of ribbon and binding in every colour and finish imaginable...eeesh, so much....I have a lot of food for thought before I go back and tackle actually picking up all of my materials!!! But, I'm super excited at getting cracking with everything as I feel mega inspired after the past few days of research and the fabric market trip so can't wait to get the needle and thread out this weekend!!!
Ok, so that's all for now!!!!
Toodle pip!
Love and Sparkles,
Emma xxxx

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