Friday, October 7, 2011

Fashion illustrations for Korean drama Han Myung Wol the Spy

Has anyone here watched the Korean drama Han Myung Wol the Spy? This is the synopsis:

An elite North Korean spy, Han Myung Wol, and her partner, Choi Ryu, infiltrates South Korea on a mission to disrupt the Hallyu Wave by kidnapping one of their top stars, Kang Woo. Despite her proficiency at her job, Myung Wol's one weakness is her uncontrollable curiosity. Hijinks ensue when she falls in love with Kang Woo instead.

[from Drama Wiki]

With such a fabulously ludicrous plotline like this, how could I not give this drama a go? There is something so disastrously absurd and silly about the idea of the North Korean government going about on a petty little mission to kidnap a famous South Korean star to improve the arts and culture in the North (which is the more specific reason). The fun and exciting-looking poster indicated that this was indeed a comedy and not a serious drama meant to be taken seriously with such a plotline (thank goodness) so of course I had to watch this till the end to find out how the writers actually work this storyline, and significantly trivialise the political tensions between the South and North, in a rather comical and politically incorrect manner.

I have not watched a Korean drama in quite a long time, since I could not sit through to the end of Boys over Flowers (so about 2 years ago), as I lost interest in a tired, overused plot already exploited to the max in the Taiwanese version (which I watched 9 years ago, as well as several repeats on television afterwards), and then the Japanese version.
The Taiwanese version (called Meteor Garden) brings back special nostalgic memories of my childhood, as watching endless episodes of it served as a reward for getting into the top high school of the state. Although being slow-paced, and harder to comprehend as at the time there were no English subtitles and I had to rely on reading English-version transcripts found on the internet, the characters were more likeable and the on-screen relationships formed did seem more genuine.
The Japanese version (Hana Yori Dango) was the second Asian drama I had ever watched, and I liked it for its faster pace and convenient English subtitles at the bottom.
Getting round to the Korean version (Boys over Flowers)? I was curious to see what the Korean take on this could bring to the table, but unfortunately there was nothing unusual or fresh to pique my interest in yet another version of this storyline. (Plus, I really could not stand Kim Hyun Joong, who plays Hanazawa Rui, the name from the original Japanese manga).
Nonetheless Boys over Flowers remains one of the most famous and influential Korean dramas ever made, but I just wonder if others had seen both the previous two versions, BOF would still be as popular and not be viewed as an uncreative repackaging of an old, common storyline.

Anyway I have somehow deviated from the point of this post, which was to show the illustrations I made for some of the fashion featured in the Korean drama I did watch recently- Han Myung Wol the Spy. I could not help but notice and admire some of the attire worn by the two beautiful leading ladies- Han Myung Wol herself and Ju In A. It would be a dream to reach out into the computer screen and just nab all of their outfits!

Han Myung Wol (Han Ye Seul aka "Barbie doll of Korea") in formal wear:

Ju In A (Jang Hee Jin) in formal (ish) wear:

Han Myung Wol in casual wear:

Ju In A in casual wear:

Out of all the outfits, I do like Ju In A's casual wear a lot (above). This is what she wore lounging around the house in one of the earlier episodes, and at first instance I thought- what a messy clash, between bright oranges and blues, and between stripes and this other sort of rounder pattern I couldn't really make out from the video. However after drawing it, I actually really like it because it's so fun, vibrant and eclectic in a way that actually works. If it weren't for that blue/white striped usamimi headband, the outfit may have just remained looking messy and simply uncoordinated.

I keep on changing drawing styles, it's ridiculous. Fingers crossed that I will stick to this one because these are more appropriate fashion illustrations, with better figure templates.
I've never taken any sort of course in fashion (or even art for that matter) so clearly there's a massive load of things I still have to learn.
I've also switched iPad drawing apps to one that has taken a considerable amount to time to get used to as it's more advanced and complex, but I think I'm getting the hang of it now...I suppose I just need to keep practicing practicing practicing!


  1. she's beautiful and i love the sketches of her and her outfits-very cute <3

  2. I love this korean drama series. Nice review.


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