This image captured from the Twitter of Vogue Korea last Monday, shows its photo taken at Cheong Wa Dae’s Yeongbingwan guest house. (Yonhap)
Luxury fashion brand Gucci has called off a fashion show scheduled to take place at a royal place in Seoul after criticism arose over fashion magazine photos taken at the former presidential compound of Cheong Wa Dae, cultural heritage officials said Monday.
Gucchi had planned to hold the Gucci Cosmogonie show at Seoul’s Gyeongbok Palace, which was a main palace of Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), on Nov. 1 under consultations with South Korea’s Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA).
The CHA saw the show as an opportunity to promote the palace’s beauty around the world.
But the event was called off recently after the CHA came under fire for allowing the fashion magazine Vogue Korea to take photos, some of them showing models taking sensual poses in flamboyant dresses, at various places inside the compound, including the former state guest house of Yeongbingwan.
The photos triggered criticism from some figures from the former liberal government and netizens for “undermining national dignity” by using the historical place for fashion magazine shoots.
“We had been preparing for the event with approval, before the fashion shoot controversy emerged,” a CHA official said of the Gucci fashion show. “Although we expect various effects from the event, it’s not easy to go ahead with it in this situation,” the official added.
Cheong Wa Dae was the site of the presidential office and residence for over seven decades before President Yoon Suk-yeol relocated his office to Seoul’s Yongsan area in May as a way to get closer to the people. Since then, Cheong Wa Dae has been open to the public, drawing nearly 1.4 million visitors as of the end of July.
According to the fashion show plan unveiled Monday, Gucci applied for the use of Gyeongbok Palace for the presentation of its creative director Alessandro Michele’s latest cruise collection inspired by the constellations.
Dubbed “Cosmogonie,” the fashion collection was first unveiled at Italy’s Castel del Monte, a 13th-century castle in Puglia’s countryside on the UNESO’s world heritage list, in May.
The company submitted a plan to promote Gyeongbok Palace’s historical value “as a site where world-class astronomy was studied” and the theme of its collection through the new show, which the CHA approved on condition that historical facts should be verified with help from experts.
“We prepared for the event to increase the world’s awareness of the cultural and academic value of Gyeongbok Palace, a beautiful Korean cultural heritage, but we are discussing (canceling it) considering the public sentiment in South Korea, including the issue of recent controversy,” an official with Gucci Korea said. (Yonhap)