Fix up, appearance sharp: the changing face of North Korean guys’s fashion


Alek Sigley is a graduate scholar at Pyongyang’s Kim Il Sung University and runs the North Korea excursion agency Tongil Tours. You can study his first column for NK News here.
Last week, I examined a North Korean girls’ style magazine. This week, I must introduce NK News readers to a guys’ fashion mag I recently acquired.Fix up, appearance sharp: the changing face of North Korean guys’s fashion 1
The magazine is produced via the same “Clothing Research Center” as the girls’ style mag from the remaining week and observed on the market inside the equal commonly “locals simplest” roadside e-book stalls.
The girls’ fashion mag, which was published in 2017, indicated that the “Clothing Research Center” became beneath the auspices of the “Ministry of Foodstuffs and Daily Necessities Manufacture” But this guys’ magazine and a 2D girls’ style magazine in my ownership (the newest version of the one within the final publication) have been each printed in 2018 and marked the “Clothing Research Center” as part of the “Foodstuffs and Daily Necessities Research Institute) underneath the “Ministry of Provincial Industry”.This reflects trade in call of the “Ministry of Foodstuffs and Daily Necessities Manufacture”, which came about in early 2018, and some institutional reshuffling in the ministry, which are on the flip part of a broader attempt on the part of the DPRK authorities to revitalize light industry and the provincial economies.
Despite the modifications in ministerial nomenclature, both 2018 magazines retain as part of the same collection as their predecessors, the men’s mag being titled “Men’s Clothing: Shape and Design Materials (nine)” (the ladies’ magazines have precise identical titles however with “guys” swapped for “women”).
The men’s mag incorporates the same function as the girls’: offering a stock of country-sanctioned patterns. It is also based comparably, with color pictures of fashions inside the front and designs inside the again and the occasional block of textual content supplying fashion recommendations (although the guys’ magazine doesn’t have clothing for every one of the four seasons as the ladies does).

Like last week’s girls’ style magazine, this men’s fashion mag also starts with Kim Jong Il’s quote.
“Men also ought to go approximately wearing varied garb in numerous styles.”This magazine is about half the thickness of the two women’s fashion magazines. It is an insignificant 47 pages, an assessment of the ladies’ magazines’ only a hundred and three web page period.
This, plus the particular emphasis the “Clothing Research Centre” locations on ladies (it has said its mission as to “make Korean girls more beautiful”), and the above quote do collectively offer the impression that dressing nicely is the number one duty of ladies and greater secondary a task about guys.
Indeed, while women are represented in the nation-sanctioned famous subculture as “plant life”, it’s not unexpected that there might be brilliant social stress on them to dress.
This mag is set 1/2 the thickness of the two girls’ fashion magazines
It additionally struck my interest that the quote starting the ladies’ mag supplied garb as wanting to “embody the innate characteristics of our (Korean) people”. The guys’ mag quote but drops this reference to tradition.
It is a much-mentioned subject matter inside the social sciences that postcolonial nationalist ideology tends to paint ladies because of the bearers of the way of life. This manifests in the frame, where ladies, much more so than men, are anticipated to wear traditional apparel. Men, using contrast, don Western business suits, an image of modernity.