Korea is a country that leads the world in many different things. Innovation seems to be something that is prioritized in the Korean culture, and this can be seen in all different aspects of the society. It’s even true of subcultures and movements. While it might not be mainstream, goth fashion has gotten something of a foothold in Korea, and some Koreans are using social media especially as a means of cultivating the style and movement in the country.
Part of this might come from the influence of Japanese culture and music in Korea. Goth and metal styles have been pretty popular in Japan for some time now, and it seems that this has had some influence on Korean culture, especially the youth and youth subcultures. While gothic fashion might not be hugely widespread in Korea, if you go on social media you can see that it definitely has something of a presence in subcultures there, and Korean fashionistas are definitely putting their own spin on it. It seems like Korean goths go more for a modern twist on the style, instead of wearing garments that look Victorian or heavily inspired by history, which is fairly common for goths in Western countries. In some senses, Korean society is quite conservative, and alternative styles aren’t encouraged by mainstream culture.
This could make it difficult for people to get into alternative fashion or subgenres and is perhaps part of the reason that goth fashion isn’t more mainstream there. However, chokers have definitely become more common and popular in Korea, and they are something of a staple of gothic fashion. It’s also becoming easier to get access to that type of fashion in South Korea. For example, there is a street market in the Hongdae area, where people sell lots of different kinds of gothic clothing.
At the market, lots of different alternative clothes and garments are sold, and goth fashion is one element of this. There are also parts of the major Korean cities where such subcultures are cultivated more, like the Gangnam district of Seoul. Korean goths seem to especially favor heavy jackets, chunky boots and band t-shirts as part of their wardrobe. The Korean goth look in general could probably be said to be fairly androgynous, in a way. There is also some influence from tumblr fashion in general on the Korean goth style. We hope that Goth fashion in Korea continues to grow in popularity, and that people experiment more and more with style there!