K-Movie Minari Showcases Popular Newtro Fashion
The term ‘newtro’ is a portmanteau of the words ‘new’ and ‘retro’, and is used to describe a style that has been trendy in recent years in South Korea. The style first gained attention due to the Reply series, and since then, newtro has only grown in popularity, with its influence seen not only in Korean music (BTS – Dynamite), but in Korean movies as well.
While Minari is technically a Hollywood film, at its core it is Korean, and features Korean actresses Han Ye-Ri and Youn Yuh-Jung as part of the main cast.
Set in the early 1980s, the characters showcase the fashion of the era, with checkered button-up shirts and striped tops. This style of dressing is very much a key aspect of newtro fashion. However, the fashion in the Reply series (set from the late 1980s to the late 1990s) also influenced newtro trends.
So which era does newtro fashion really take inspiration from? The answer is all of them, as well as none of them.
Unlike the vintage trend, newtro does not require genuine vintage clothing. Instead, newtro fashion is all about recreating the style of past eras with contemporary designs. Newtro is a popular style among the younger generation, many of whom were born in the new millennia, and so newtro is less about trying to mimic a certain era from their youth, and more about expressing nostalgia for a past they were never part of.
This means that there is no need for historical accuracy when dressing in the newtro style, and fashion trends from the 80s can be styled with trends from the 90s to create an entirely new aesthetic.
Of course, there are certain types of clothing that are commonly associated with newtro fashion, due to their retro vibes. These include button-up shirts, bold prints, stripes, long skirts, and high-waisted jeans.
Button-up shirts and high-waisted jeans are must-haves in newtro fashion / Image: Pinterest
Overalls also have a retro vibe that’s perfect for newtro fashion / Image: Pinterest
At the end of the day, there is no right or wrong way to dress in the newtro style. Different generations of youths have different struggles, but in the current fast-paced and hypercompetitive society, it’s no wonder that many of today’s youths have a yearning for the comparatively simpler times in the past.
Just as Minari tells the story of Korean immigrants trying to find their footing in a foreign land, the newtro fashion trend can be regarded as a representation of Korean youths who are claiming a small part of the past as their own while trying to find their place in modern society.
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