Lee Young Ae Elevates the Korean Hanbok to a Work of Beautiful Art in Marie Claire Korea

This is the most beautiful photo shoot I’ve seen in years. Each and every picture is a work of art in both composition and how the model brings her outfit to life. Hallyu actress Lee Young Ae hasn’t acted in nearly a decade since she was the star in THE biggest K-drama hit of all time Dae Jang Geum. This year MBC kept trying to resurrect a dead horse in Dae Jang Geum 2 but Lee Young Ae, who is married and has a pair of boy-girl twins, is not interested in the least. She’s so media shy these last few years it’s such a treat to see her back in the public spotlight this month. The first is her pictorial for Marie Claire Korea featuring the traditional Korean hanbok. I confess to not being a fan of the hanbok until this pictorial. I appreciated the uniqueness of its design but in terms of East Asian traditional feminine wear I’m more in awe of the fabric, layering, and richness of the Japanese kimono along with the alluring formfitting Chinese qipao. I always found the hanbok rather like a jellyfish on the bottom with the way the skirt blooms out while the top is fitted. Thanks to Lee Young Ae and this magazine spread I’m now able to appreciate the hanbok in a brand new light. I know Lee Young Ae is considered one of the top beauties in Korean entertainment but she’s always seemed rather ethereally aloof to me. Here she takes that standoffish quality and perfectly projects the cool elegance of the hanbok. It’s like she’s seducing the camera not by skin but my how much she’s covered up. It’s crazy but totally works. What I love about this pictures is how there is an underlying strength in how she wears her hanbok, a power rooted in the beauty of the female form. It’s astonishing that she really looks better in a Joseon hanbok than she does in modern wear. Other than the hanboks modeled in this pictorial, the drama Jang Ok Jung, Live in Love showcased the most incredible hanbok costumes I’ve ever seen in a sageuk drama. I definitely vote for Lee Young Ae’s acting comeback, whenever it happens, to be in a sageuk even if it isn’t Dae Jang Geum 2. She really deserves her nickname of Korea’s beauty. 

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Lee Young Ae Elevates the Korean Hanbok to a Work of Beautiful Art in Marie Claire Korea — 33 Comments

  1. Wow she’s really beautiful!!! Her Dae Jang Geum is already Gold and timeless I don’t think it needs a season 2 or part 2. She needs to make another hit drama which I think won’t be hard because she was amazing as Jang Geum. What has she been doing aside being a mom? Wow a decade… She is very picky with her project.

  2. Absolutely beautiful! Each flawless look evokes a different emotion; she + director, lighting, makeup NAILED them all.

    Its so artistic, you could frame these photos as high-quality artwork.

  3. I am curious at what Koala’s writing. Koala said that Lee’s way of wearing the hanbok feels like there’s an underlying strength, a power rooted in the beauty of the female form? I don’t understand this. What does Koala mean?

    • it’s mean even she is calm and beautiful but you can see a queen inside her, she is powerful and able to rule a country. that’s how i see her now, a beautiful queen

  4. She’s lady Vengeance? So different the actress looks here. I find many S Korean actresses looking so similar especially in print ads or photo spreads like this one. Ive read about the maniacal desire to get perfect looks in Korea, what with thriving plastic surgery clinics. Many of them end up looking so alike, its scary and puts me off because I cant male out who is who. Worse is in the K Pop scene. I have no clue about K pop music and bands but when I come across group shoots it seems like replication. For guys and girls both. People are meant to be different and natural , not assembly line robots.

  5. Lee Young Ae SO PRETTY!! 🙂 and great actress, one of the best!
    Jewel in the Palace such gre@t dr@ma, got highest ratings in korea (57%)in the history of kdr@mas.
    LYA had a lot of chemistry with Ji Jin Hee…HOT guy and very good actor!

    • Dae Jang Geum is not the highest rating drama in the history of K-dramas or the highest rating sageuk of all time.

      If you do some research on the top 50 dramas since the early 1900s up to now, Dae Jang Geum would be around #10 on the list with a highest rating of 57.8%. Dramas like Sandglass was around 64%, Heo Joon which is the highest rating sageuk to date was at 63.7%. Taejo Wang (another sageuk) was around 60%, Eyes of Dawn was slightly above DJG in ratings. Those were not only high rated dramas but they were great too.
      One thing that made DJG stood out was its popularity over-seas and not just Asia.

    • @kiara
      alright…calm down. i me@nt to say “ONE of the highest rating dr@mas in history of kdr@mas”…just a little TYPO…now alre@dy fixed it. geez!

      • Lol my comment was based on what you wrote and it wasn’t meant to offend you. FYI I was very calm when I typed it :p.

      • @kiara
        i w@asn’t offended… i just s@id one thing about the r@ting and u responded with a lecture. i wasn’t sure if u calm or not cuz it’s online chat…so i was just sayin’…that’s all.

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