The late 1800s and early 1900s is called the enlightenment period in Korea. After the Korea-Japan Unequal Treaty 1876, the Western culture was flowing into the open-air in Korea. At that time, fashion changed a lot, and these fancy and stylish clothes became popular. At that time, Korean people who dressed in western-style clothes were called “Modern Boy and Modern Girl”.
The fashion of the enlightenment period is popular, riding on the winds of New and Retro(New-tro), which is a combination of the words “reinterpreting the retro in a modern way.” As many people might know, there is an iterative cycle in fashion. The “modern” fashion, which has been popular in the past, has become popular with young Koreans, even tourists, under the name of “New-tro” these days. If you have visited Korea, you might have seen people wearing Hanbok near Gyeongbokgung palace. Now, you will find people in retro costumes around an area called Ikseon-dong.
3F, 38, Donhwamun-ro 11-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea
We went to the rental shop named “Ikseonboutique”, which is located right in front of Jongno 3-ga Station. It was really easy to locate the place because it was right in front of exit 4. The rental shop opens at 9AM, and we visited there before 10AM, yet there were already customers inside the shop.
Among the various retro costumes hanging on the hangers, you can choose 2 outfits for your fitting(Of course, they have fitting rooms :)) If you want to try more than 2 outfits, you need to pay extra. After fitting, you have to choose one, then rent the outfit. They have photo-zone inside the rental shop, so you can take pictures after fitting inside the shop, as well! Of course, you can go outside and wander Ikseondong as we did.
Pick your outfit
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Take a picture with props
Wandering in Ikseondong with a camera
Hotel Seine Cafe
28-5 Donhwamun-ro 11-gil, Nakwon-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Then we visited the Hotel Seine Cafe, which is also famous for the filming location of “Hotel de Luna.” This cafe is a place with a deep history of turning buildings that were actually used as B&B into cafes in the past. There’s the sign hung on the 50-year-old pink building’s exterior, and the sign conjures up feelings from the past. In addition to the theme of a hotel concierge on the first floor, interior decorations adorn the concrete walls at the top of the red-carpeted stairs. The design concept was inspired by the film “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and each corner is a photo zone with antique sofas, curtains, props, and paintings.
The cafe uses a whole building, which means you can also use the rooftop! And because each floor has different concepts, you can take pictures of various feelings just as if you went to different places.