Tags for: Korean Couture: Generations of Revolution
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A model looking over her left shoulder wearing a stunning evening gown

Evening Dress, Spring/Summer Couture 2012, 2012. LEE JEAN YOUN (Korea, est. 2004), Lee Jean Youn (Korean, b. 1978). Silk; 165 x 140 x 115 cm. Courtesy of LEE JEAN YOUN. Photo courtesy of LEE JEAN YOUN

Korean Couture: Generations of Revolution

Sunday, April 28–Sunday, October 13, 2024
Location:  004 Special Exhibition Gallery
The Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation Gallery
Free; no ticket required

About The Exhibition

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Korean Couture: Generations of Revolution is a compelling story about the history and transformative legacy of Korean fashion. The first of its kind at the Cleveland Museum of Art, this exhibition presents approximately 30 works, plus accompanying ephemera, ranging from excavated 17th-century aristocratic garments to contemporary Korean couture by leading and emerging designers, including André Kim (1935–2010); Lie Sang Bong (b. 1954); Lee Chung Chung (b. 1978), for LIE; Lee Jean Youn (b. 1978); and Shin Kyu Yong (b. 1988) and Park Ji Sun (b. 1988), for Blindness.

As Korea’s first notable male designer, André Kim started his brand in1962; his contributions range from creating trailblazing Joseon dynasty–inspired couture to facilitating postwar Korean diplomacy through his design prowess. Lie Sang Bong launched his eponymous brand in 1985, experimenting with various fabrications, silhouettes, and abstract concepts, interlocking couture techniques with historical Korean references. The aesthetics of his son, Lee Chung Chung, who founded LIE in 2013, fuse mainstream dialogues, from pop culture to gender-bending, emanating the future trajectory of fashion and social commentary. Likewise, Shin Kyu Yong and Park Ji Sun, in their brand Blindness, also explore the gender-fluid frontier of Korean couture but use more deconstructed methods. As the first Korean designer to be invited by the Fédération de la Haute Couture in Paris from 2010 to 2012, Lee Jean Youn is much celebrated for his sensitive incorporation of traditional Korean aesthetics and sewing techniques into his creations. Finally, mulberry bark dresses by Aimee Lee—artist, papermaker, and researcher of Korean paper—seamlessly illuminate how traditional methods are not fixed but can be transformed into new possibilities. 

Through juxtaposing historical and contemporary ensembles, Korean Couture: Generations of Revolution recounts the definition of “couture” from an inclusive perspective, amplifying how tradition has empowered contemporary Korean fashion designers to invent a new artistic language.


Major support is provided by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation and the Korea Foundation. Generous support is provided by Ms. Judith Gerson. Additional support is provided by the Dunhuang Foundation, the Joseph M. and Bonnie N. S. Gardewin Endowment for Korean Art Exhibitions, Pamela A. Jacobson, Courtney and Michael Novak, and Mr. Ken S. Robinson.

Carpenter Foundation Logo Korea Foundation Logo

All exhibitions at the Cleveland Museum of Art are underwritten by the CMA Fund for Exhibitions. Principal annual support is provided by Michael Frank and the late Pat Snyder, the Kelvin and Eleanor Smith Foundation, the John and Jeanette Walton Exhibition Fund, and Margaret and Loyal Wilson. Generous annual support is provided by two anonymous supporters, Gini and Randy Barbato, the late Dick Blum and Harriet Warm, Gary and Katy Brahler, Cynthia and Dale Brogan, Dr. Ben and Julia Brouhard, Brenda and Marshall Brown, Richard and Dian Disantis, the Jeffery Wallace Ellis Trust in memory of Lloyd H. Ellis Jr., Leigh and Andy Fabens, the Frankino-Dodero Family Fund for Exhibitions Endowment, Florence Kahane Goodman, Janice Hammond and Edward Hemmelgarn, Marta Jack and the late Donald M. Jack Jr., Carl T. Jagatich, Eva and Rudolf Linnebach, William S. and Margaret F. Lipscomb, Bill and Joyce Litzler, the Roy Minoff Family Fund, Lu Anne and the late Carl Morrison, Jeffrey Mostade and Eric Nilson and Varun Shetty, Tim O’Brien and Breck Platner, William J. and Katherine T. O’Neill, Michael and Cindy Resch, Betty T. and David M. Schneider, Paula and Eugene Stevens, the Womens Council of the Cleveland Museum of Art, and Claudia Woods and David Osage.