July 25, 2024

Apparel Creations Workshop

Crafting Fashion Trends

In Mass., Korean cuisine and fashion grow in popularity

6 min read

Korean culture grows in popularity, from cuisine to clothing

Traditional Korean cuisine and street food is served up in Allston, while fashionistas follow Korean trends at the Burlington Mall

WORTH SAMPLING. ANGEL HASEYO. ONE WAY TO EXPERIENCE KOREAN CULTURE IS THROUGH FOOD AND LET’S EAT. SEOUL IS A CITY BURSTING WITH RESTAURANTS IN BOSTON. ALLSTON HAS BEEN HOME TO KOREAN OWNED BUSINESSES FOR YEARS. THERE ARE A LOT OF STORES THAT SELLS K-POP GOODS. THERE ARE A LOT OF KOREAN RESTAURANTS HERE AS WELL. THEY’RE ALL GOOD AND THEY HAVE A SHARED GOAL, SAYS DAVID YANG. WE WANTED TO BRING A SLICE OF KOREA INTO BOSTON. YANG OWNS MYEONGDONG FIRST AVENUE, HIS RESTAURANT KEEPS A LOW PROFILE. THERE’S NO WEBSITE OR SOCIAL MEDIA, BUT THERE IS A LOT OF COOKING IN THE AMBIANCE, COMPLETE WITH K-POP VIDEOS ON THE WALLS. APPEALS TO MANY OF THESE LATE NIGHT CUSTOMERS. I ALSO REALLY ENJOY THE MUSIC AND ATMOSPHERE HERE BECAUSE I’M REALLY INTERESTED IN K-POP CULTURE, SO I THINK THE VIBE IS PRETTY CHILL, BUT I COME HERE A LOT DURING LIKE PROBABLY LATE NIGHT, SO GOOD TO HAVE KOREAN FOOD AT LIKE 12 A.M. MYUNG DONG FIRST AVENUE SERVES TRADITIONAL KOREAN CUISINE AS WELL AS STREET FOOD, SO ACTUALLY THIS IS MY FAVORITE DISH, WHICH CALLED CORN CHEESE. YANG GREW UP IN SEOUL AND MOVED TO THE STATES 20 YEARS AGO. HE SAYS THAT LATELY, NEW FANS OF K-POP AND K-DRAMAS ARE SHOWING UP TO EAT. UNTIL ONE YEAR AGO, WE MAINLY HAD ASIAN CUSTOMERS, BUT A CERTAIN POINT WE STARTED HAVING CUSTOMERS FROM ALL KINDS OF BACKGROUNDS. IN FACT, A LOT OF MY CUSTOMERS KNOW MORE ABOUT K-DRAMA AND K-POP THAN ME. NOW FOR NEW FOODIES, YANG RECOMMENDS A FEW CLASSICS FROM KOREAN FRIED CHICKEN TO TOFU AND SOYBEAN PASTE STEW, BIBIMBAP IS A RICE DISH THAT HAS VEGETABLE AND, DEPENDING ON THE CUSTOMER’S CHOICE, WE CAN PUT TOFU OR BEEF OR CHICKEN A CUSTOMER FAVORITE IS THIS SPICY DISH OF RICE CAKE. STIR FRIED IN CHILI PASTE HAS BEEN SHOWN IN K-DRAMA A LOT, SO AVID FANS OF K-DRAMA MIGHT BE FAMILIAR WITH IT. KOREAN BARBECUE IS FAST BECOMING AS WELL KNOWN AS KIMCHI, KALBI IS A KOREAN STYLE SHORT RIB MARINATED IN SPECIAL SEASONING SAUCE, YANG SAYS. KOREAN POP CULTURE’S INFLUENCE IS CREATING A CRAVING FOR KOREAN FOOD. I THINK IT’S AMAZING HOW NOW AMERICANS ARE STARTING TO LISTEN TO K-POP AND WATCHING K-DRAMA AND SEEING THEIR ARTISTS EATING AND DRINKING CERTAIN FOOD MAKES THEM WANT TO TRY OUT THOSE CERTAIN FOODS. THE SAME GOES FOR STYLE. I FEEL LIKE THERE’S A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE BEEN WATCHING KOREAN DRAMAS, AND THEY’VE BEEN FOLLOWING KOREAN STARS, AND THEY WANT TO, LIKE, SEE THIS KIND OF FASHION IN STORES. GARMENT ALCHEMY OPENED IN THE BURLINGTON MALL IN LATE 2023, FEATURING NICHE DESIGNS FROM KOREA AND EUROPE. AYGERIM ODESA CANOVA AND HER HUSBAND FAIRUZ ISKANDAR ARE CO-OWNERS. I WENT TO KOREA I THINK BACK IN 2000. I WAS WORKING IN THE FASHION INDUSTRY AND I NOTICED EVERYONE WAS FLAWLESS FROM HEAD TO TOE KOREANS, THEY TEND TO PUT MORE ATTENTION TOWARDS HOW YOU LOOK FIRST. THAT’S WHY I FEEL LIKE THE FASHION HAS EVOLVED SO MUCH IN THEIR JESSICA. NOVA, WHO HAILS FROM KAZAKHSTAN, LIVED IN SEOUL FOR TEN YEARS. SHE WAS INSPIRED TO MAKE THE MOVE AFTER WATCHING THE 2009 K-DRAMA BOYS OVER FLOWERS. I WAS DREAMING OF GOING OUTSIDE OF MY COUNTRY AND LIKE, EXPLORING OTHER CULTURE AND I WENT TO KOREA. I STUDIED THE LANGUAGE FROM ZERO, AND THEN I WENT TO KOREA UNIVERSITY. I DID BUSINESS DEGREE THERE. SHE WORKED IN THE COSMETICS INDUSTRY BEFORE SWITCHING TO FASHION. WHAT TRENDS ARE YOU LIKING RIGHT NOW IN KOREA THAT WILL EVENTUALLY HIT HERE? BALLAD FASHION BALLYCOR. IT’S LIKE CUTE DRESSES, PLEATED DRESSES, PLEATED SKIRTS. THIS DRESS IS LIKE TYPICAL KOREAN FASHION THAT YOU SEE IN DRAMAS. PADDED SHOULDERS, ALL RIBBONS IS KIND OF TRENDY RIGHT NOW. OVER SIZED CLOTHES ARE ANOTHER LITERALLY BIG TREND. WE HAVE BRANDS THAT ARE LIKE $200 OR $300 FOR A JACKET OR COAT, BUT WE ALSO HAVE LIKE DRESSES THAT ARE LIKE 50 BUCKS OR LIKE 60 BUCKS. AND OF COURSE, THERE’S THE SALE SECTION FEATURING TRENDS THAT JUST DON’T STICK. I’M INTERESTED IN THESE JEANS BECAUSE THEY APPEAR TO ME TO BE INSIDE OUT. YEAH, THAT’S HOW THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO BE WORN. SO HOW MUCH DO THESE RETAIL FOR? THESE ARE 35 ON SALE RIGHT NOW BECAUSE IT WASN’T THAT POPULAR. AND WE MENTIONED THAT THE OWNER OF GARMENT ALCHEMY MOVED TO SEOUL AFTER WATCHING A K-DRAMA THAT’S ACTUALLY NOT AN UNUSUAL STORY. YES. K-DRAMAS IN PARTICULAR HAVE DRAWN VISITORS AND PEOPLE TO LIVE IN KOREA. THE KOREAN TOURISM ORGANIZATION SAYS IN 2023, 11 MILLION PEOPLE VISITED THE COUNTRY, TOPPING THE LIST FOR PEOPLE FROM JAPAN, CHINA AND THE US. UNBELIEVABLE. STILL AHEAD, A BOSTONIAN GOES CRAZY FO

Korean culture grows in popularity, from cuisine to clothing

Traditional Korean cuisine and street food is served up in Allston, while fashionistas follow Korean trends at the Burlington Mall

Myung Dong First Avenue in Allston is a Korean restaurant with very little online presence, but a strong customer base comprising students and K-pop fans. The ambience — complete with K-Pop videos on the monitors — appeals to many of the spot’s late-night customers. Owner David Yand grew up in Seoul and moved to the United States 20 years ago. He says that lately, new fans of K-Pop and K-Dramas are showing up to eat. “Until a year ago, we mainly had Asian customers, but we started having customers from all kinds of backgrounds. A lot of my customers know more about K-Drama and K-Pop than me, now,” Yang said. Meanwhile, a new boutique in the Burlington Mall called Garment Alchemy specializes in both Korean and European fashion. Co-owner Aigerim Dussikenova lived in Seoul for 10 years. She was inspired to make the move to Korea from her native Kazakhstan after watching the 2009 K-Drama, “Boys Over Flowers.” “I was dreaming of going outside of my country and like exploring other cultures. And I went to Korea, and I studied the language from zero, and then I went to Korean University, I did a business degree there,” Dussikenova said. Dussikenova worked in the cosmetics industry before switching to fashion. Her store offers a wide range of styles and trends and also offers brands of multiple price ranges.

Myung Dong First Avenue in Allston is a Korean restaurant with very little online presence, but a strong customer base comprising students and K-pop fans. The ambience — complete with K-Pop videos on the monitors — appeals to many of the spot’s late-night customers.

Owner David Yand grew up in Seoul and moved to the United States 20 years ago. He says that lately, new fans of K-Pop and K-Dramas are showing up to eat.

“Until a year ago, we mainly had Asian customers, but we started having customers from all kinds of backgrounds. A lot of my customers know more about K-Drama and K-Pop than me, now,” Yang said.

Meanwhile, a new boutique in the Burlington Mall called Garment Alchemy specializes in both Korean and European fashion.

Co-owner Aigerim Dussikenova lived in Seoul for 10 years. She was inspired to make the move to Korea from her native Kazakhstan after watching the 2009 K-Drama, “Boys Over Flowers.”

“I was dreaming of going outside of my country and like exploring other cultures. And I went to Korea, and I studied the language from zero, and then I went to Korean University, I did a business degree there,” Dussikenova said.

Dussikenova worked in the cosmetics industry before switching to fashion. Her store offers a wide range of styles and trends and also offers brands of multiple price ranges.

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