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.