16 Jul Opinion: Unpacking the South Korean couple-twinning phenomenon / i-D
The daily spectacle of street style orbiting Seoul Fashion Week is worth the journey alone. There are the toddlers popping and locking in Balenciaga, forcing you into a moral dilemma of “so cute!” versus, “if I start taking pictures of them, will I get handcuffed?” There’s the arrival of a K-pop star, accompanied by a chorus of breathless screams and a lighting storm of camera flashes worthy of an Oscars red carpet. But the most inescapable craze is the phenomenon of ‘twinning’, which you’re just as likely to see outside a fashion show as you are on any given day in the buzzing streets of university neighbourhood Hongdae.
This twinning trend is referred to locally as the “couple look”, said in Koreanised English, or for those Seoulites not willing to go the full hog, the “similar look”. Quite where the trend was born, nobody is sure — it’s been suggested that inspiration came from popular Korean dramas such asHeirs and Secret Garden — but since it first took hold in 2012, it’s seen a meteoric rise in popularity largely thanks to Instagram, as a quick glance at the #couplelook tag reveals. Word is there’s even matching underwear for those looking to take things to the next level.