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Fri, Aug 23, 2013
The Star/Asia News Network
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Partying in K-land

MALAYSIA - Thanks to the Hallyu (Korean wave), South Korean celebrities have become fashion icons for the legions of K-fans all over the world.

Thus, when Louis Vuitton launched their swanky new global store in Gangnam, Seoul with a party, there was much buzz in the social circles over the celebrity guest list and what the stars would wear.

The turnout at Horim Museum - where the exclusive party was held last month - was certainly impressive. Some of K-pop's biggest stars were there: Big Bang's T.O.P, Girls' Generation's Jessica and 2AM's Seulong. The K-drama and movie world were represented by A-listers such as Lee Byung-hun, Moon Chae-won, Kwon Sang-woo, Choi Ji-woo, Kim Hyo-jin, Lee Jung-jae and Jung Woo-sung.

Olympic gold medalist swimmer, Park Tae-hwan also graced the event.

With Seoul emerging as Asia's epicentre of fashion, the celebrities did not disappoint in their wardrobe choices.

Moon, who won Top Excellence Actress Award for her role in the Innocent Man drama series last year, proved to be a hit, not just on the screen, but also the red carpet.

Living up to her fashion credentials (she was named Best Dressed Of The Year during Korea's Lifestyle Awards 2011), Moon was one blooming beauty in her tan dress with exquisite lace bodice and bow pumps.

Louis Vuitton's Spring Summer 2013 checks were a hit with the ladies. Girls' Generation's Jessica went for the funky look in a mini checkered dress, with matching bow band and wedges while sultry actress Kim was all chic in a sheer black top and pencil slim skirt in monochrome checks.

Choi of Winter Sonata fame - the melodrama that kickstarted the Hallyu craze over a decade ago - was not immediately recognised by the foreign press, probably due to her deep summer tan. The actress has always been known for her milky complexion, so it was quite a surprise to see K-drama's "Snow Queen" looking several shades darker. In a demure yellow dress that made the 1.74m actress look even taller, Choi who once won the Timeless Beauty Acting Award was a testament that beauty need not diminish with age.

The guys were super dapper in their Louis Vuitton suits and tuxedos. Looking suave in a double-breasted jacket, Lee was easily the most familiar face among non-Hallyu fans present, having gone international with his role as Storm Shadow in G.I. Joe: The Rise Of The Cobra and its sequel G.I. Joe: Retaliation and even getting his palm prints imprinted outside the Hollywood's famous Chinese Theatre.

More recently, Lee co-starred in action comedy RED 2 with Bruce Willis, Catherine Zeta-Jones and John Malkovich. Movies aside, Lee's personal life has been generating much interest of late; the 43-year-old tied the knot with actress Lee Min-jung on Aug 10 after a whirlwind romance.

And who could miss the debonair Kwon, the model-turned-actor who looked like he just stepped out of a men's magazine, looking cool in a crisp dark suit.

Both T.O.P, who wore a deep purple blazer, and a more serious-looking Seulong in a grey suit, were popular with the younger guests and sportingly posed for snapshots with their fans.

While the stars added a touch of glamour, it was not all stargazing at the party.

The basement floor of the Horim Museum had been transformed into a spectacular lounge for the night, with stunning visual art by Lumpens featuring iconic images of Seoul and Louis Vuitton. To further enliven the party mood, French deejay Falcon had the crowd on their feet the night through with his propelling rhythms.

Two silhouette cutting artists - Ines, a fourth generation silhouette cutting artist in her family and Mahel - were flown in from Paris to immortalise the profiles of party guests. With deft fingers and skilful eyes, the artists, armed with a pair of scissors each, produced profile cutouts of guests within minutes.

Jean-Baptiste Debains, the president of Louis Vuitton Asia Pacific played the gracious host. Among those present were Hyun Ouk Cho, chief executive officer of Louis Vuitton Korea and Dinesh Kandiah, Louis Vuitton's Asia Pacific vice-president of communication.

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