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PSY, Gangnam, YesStyle & CC Cream
Riding the South Korean Wave

By Solana Hawkenson
 
 


What comes to mind when you hear the name “Korea?” Some, may think communism. Others may remember a spicy Korean barbecue dish they enjoyed. Curiously unintentional, the oft-forgotten country has been steadily feeding it’s unique culture to the rest of the world since the 1990s, and these days, people are really taking notice.

The U.S. is one of many nations riding the “Korean Wave”, a term created by Chinese journalists that refers to the increasing popularity of South Korean entertainment and culture in other parts of the world. It’s unclear exactly what sparked so much interest in Korean pop music (K-pop) and entertainment, but it can be partly attributed to the recent ease of sharing information on YouTube and young Koreans use of other technologies that are highly favored by the West.

Read on to FIND OUT MORE!

Top Korean MUSIC

PSY (pronounced like “sigh”), is a South Korean singer, songwriter, rapper, dancer, and record producer.  He became world famous this year for his video, “Gangnam Style”, which went viral, and got the world mimicking his peculiar dance moves.
PSy
The video begins with PSY seemingly sunbathing poolside, but a wider shot reveals he is actually at a playground, accompanied by what looks like a very young, Korean Michael Jackson. The video includes other ridiculousness such as an elevator thrusting scene, a close-up of a sexy yoga session and a windy walk through trash and debris. The video is partly a satire of the Gangnam district in South Korea, an area comparable to Beverly Hills where the residents are known for being hip, trendy and leading lavish lifestyles. He pokes fun at posers who attempt to show off their “Gangnam style”; an example is the “Doenjang girls”, who are known for buying the cheapest meals possible in order to show off, drinking the world’s most expensive Starbucks latte in public  The video has been recognized by “Guinness World Records” as being the “most liked” video on YouTube and the song has been a #1 hit in ten countries.

Born Park Jae-sang, the 34 year old sensation has been making music in Korea since 2001. He is somewhat of a controversial artist in his home country, since he had to pay a fine for his first album because of its “inappropriate content.” He is known for his humorous lyrics, odd dance moves and unconventional style. Since his success in the U.S., he has taught Britney Spears to dance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and has made appearances on CNN and Saturday Night Live. It’s unsure whether he’ll be able to top “Gangnam Style”, but it may help that he is now managed by Scooter Braun, who discovered Justin Bieber and Carly Rae Jepson. He sure sounds like a lot of fun, but sorry, girls, he’s taken! PSY has been married to wife Yoo Hye-yeon for six years, and the couple has twin daughters.
Wonder Girls
Wonder Girls is a 5-girl K-pop group that debuted in 2007 and is currently co-managed by South Korean talent agency JYP Entertaiment and Creative Artists Agency in the U.S. Though nowhere near as recognizable as PSY, they have quickly attracted more North American fans. The lucky quintet joined the North American leg of the Jonas Brothers World Tour in 2009 and then opened for Justin Beiber’s Valentine’s Day Concert in 2010. In July of this year they released “Like Money”, a track they recorded with hit recording artist Akon, and also performed songs from their upcoming American album at the iHeartRadio concert in September. On November 11, Wonder Girls released a new Japanese album titled “Wonder Best” featuring a new song, updated versions of their hits, and Japanese versions of their songs. The three disc album is a mixture of English, Korean and Japanese.
Wonder Girls with Akon
In October, Wonder Girls member Sun spoke at the Global Hallyu Forum: Riding the Korean Wave” event, which was organized by the Korean Embassy Washington Cultural Center and the Korean Culture Industry Foundation. Sun explained how K-pop is successfully bringing different cultures together, saying “K-pop has expanded it’s horizons beyond anyone's imagination. This is truly a good thing, I believe, because K-pop is being used to push people out of their borders. The American pop music industry isn’t everything out there. There are unique and talented artists of all different styles that we need to explore.”

Dish Music Review’s awesome Carol Candeloro recently declared “the true champion of 2012 was… SOUTH KOREA!” Check it out by CLICKING HERE  or contine reading below....

Unique Korean FASHION

Opening Ceremony korean slang dictionaryInternational retailer Opening Ceremony, with retail stores in New York and LA , and a massive world-wide presence, has chosen Korea as their featured country of the year,  and has been busy introducing Korean designers to the fashionable set on our side of the Pacific. The website also has a Korean slang dictionary, so hipsters here can learn the language of their Korean counterparts. One brand the retailer has chosen to feature is Steve J & Yoni P, a husband-and-wife duo known for their edgy, whimsical designs. Their quirky clothes are now sold exclusively in the U.S. at Opening Ceremony’s two U.S. locations, as well as on openingceremony.us. In an interview with Asian fashion blog “YesStylist” at YesStyle.com/blog, the couple described what kind of girl their brand represents. Yoni expressed, “She’s definitely not conservative; she’s the kind of girl who wants to try everything, very open-minded.”
Steve J & Yoni P
Speaking of YesStyle.com, you may want to familiarize yourself with the website if you haven’t already. YesStyle was established in 2006 as an online retailer that highlights each season’s fashions from Japan, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Korea. It is home to an enormous number of Asian brands for men’s and women’s apparel, jewelry, accessories, bags, beauty, and more. It has everything from modern, bad-girl styles to the cutesy, girly look that is the stereotype of young Asian women. The clothes are often shot paparazzi style, the models walking unknowingly down the street with a Starbucks latte in hand, a nod to the “Deonjang” lifestyle that inspired PSY’s rise to fame. The website is an excellent place to look for unique styles that you can’t find in the U.S. and the prices are reasonable, though there is a $10 flat shipping rate. YesStyle opened their first retail shop in Stonestown Galleria in San Francisco, California in the fall of 2009.
YesStyle samples

Flawless Asian BEAUTY: BB & CC Cream
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, you’ve undoubtedly seen the massive explosion of BB Creams on the U.S. market. In case you have been living under a rock, here’s a little beauty history lesson especially for you.

BB Cream was formulated in the 1960’s by German dermatologist Dr. Christine Schrammek to protect her patient’s skin after surgery. It wasn’t until 1985 that the cream was introduced to South Korea and Japan, where healthy, fair skin is considered ideal, and became known as “the secret of Korean actresses”. So, why are these creams so heavily prized? BB Cream stands for “blemish balm” or “blemish base”, or more popular in the Western market, “beauty balm”.

BB CreamTheir manufacturers claim BB Creams are multi-tasking problem solvers, evening skin tone, treating and preventing blemishes, and having anti-wrinkle and anti-inflammatory properties. Miracle solutions that have haunted women’s dreams for decades, these creams finally made their way to the west this year, causing every cosmetic company to scramble to come up with a formula of their own; however, some of the creams, including CoverGirl’s, were criticized for being nothing more than tinted moisturizers and lacking the skincare benefits that BB Creams are known for. Some of Sephora’s top rated BB Creams are Dr. Jart+ V7 Beauty Balm ($36), Bobbi Brown BB Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 35 ($42), and Dior Hydra Life BB Crème SPF 30 ($56), all available at Sephora.com.

As things usually go around these parts, the do-it-all BB Creams have already had their 15 minutes of fame.  But there’s a new kid in town- what’s called the CC Cream, which claims to do even more to improve your skin! Developed in Asia, CC Cream stands for “color correcting” or “color control cream” and are an improved skincare/makeup combo that aims to even skin tone.  Comparing them to BB Creams, CC Creams are lighter-weight and less oily, yet still blend more easily, complementing a wider range of skin tones. CC Creams also have higher broad-spectrum SPFs. You may be wondering, can such a cream really exist? According to a 2009 study published in the British Journal of Dermatology, Olay’s new CC Cream can lighten skin discoloration after eight weeks. Manhattan dermatologist Anne Chapas, M.D., and founder of Union Square Laser Dermatology, said of the study’s results, “Based on clinical data, people can expect more even skin tone and may also see better skin texture.” We’ll take it!
CC Cream Olay
Now that we’ve convinced you to get your hands on a bottle of this wonder cream, you’ll be disappointed to know you have very few options. Though, at the rate that the CC replaced the BB, it’s only a matter of time before there are plenty of new products to choose from. Former Miss Singapore Universe, Rachel Kum, debuted her own Rachel K White Tea and Deep-Sea-Water CC Cream last year, and the product has become a favorite of Hong Kong’s top makeup artists, and beauty queens across the globe. Unfortunately, Rachel K products are sold exclusively at Watsons in Hong Kong and Singapore, but they occasionally pop up on EBay for about $40 a bottle.

As of now, the Chanel CC Cream Color Correction Complete is only available in Asia, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed that it branches out to other continents soon. There are currently two CC Creams more widely available. One is Olay Total Effects CC Tone Correcting UV Moisturizer ($21.50, drugstores), which has minimal coverage and comes in three different shades. The other is Wei East WEI to Go Beauty: First Impression Ideal Skin ($30, weieast.com), which provides higher coverage and also comes in three shades. They come packaged in three, 15ml portable packs, so you can throw them in your tote or gym bag.

 

 

 

www.Dishmag.com / Issue 141 - September 2018
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