Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Encyclopaedia of Alternative Fashion † Ulzzang

The full Encyclopaedia of Alternative Fashion can be found here.

Also known as
Eoljjang, uljjang, 얼짱

They like to add ears and whiskers to their pictures. Source.

Country of origin

Gender balance
A pretty good mix of male and female.


Ulzzang is a term which covers a wide range of styles with particular similarities. Meaning 'best face' ulzzang exhibit a 'natural' look. They appear to wear minimal makeup, but in actual fact are very skilled at using makeup to present a flawless appearance. An ulzzang's appearance is almost doll-like: flawless, porcelain skin, straight eyebrows, big eyes, nude/pale pink lip colour. However, Korean ulzzangs also tend to use lots of photoshop on their pictures...

This ulzzang has scene inspired fashion. Source

The girl below, for example, would appear to not be wearing any makeup. In fact, she has apparently 'just woken up'. Ulzzangs, especially girls, love to present a cute, often vulnerable look. Singapore Showbiz reports the ulzzang 'rules' as: "Huge, delicate bambi-like eyes with double lids and a tiny, delicate nose with a high bridge are a prerequisite. Smooth, pale snow-white skin, and rosebud lips are also a must. So is a small and sharp chin to achieve the perfect "V-line" face, which should ideally be no bigger than the size of your palm..."

"... For Ulzzang males, carefully styled "bedhead" hair and minimal eye make up are used to create a metro-sexual, sensitive (but still macho) impression, with a stronger focus on clothes and fashion."

Their outfits are always very fashionable and youthful, and may draw inspiration from other subcultures, but tend to remain fairly 'vanilla'. It originally evolved from internet popularity contests, where teenage/young adult contestants submitted pictures of their 'best face' to win prizes or titles. Some ulzzang have almost rabid fanbases with dozens of fansites dedicated to them.

Ulzzang has become quite popular with girls of colour. Source.

Style icons
'The World of Pretty Face' website has a massive list of ulzzang stars running down the left hand side of the page. For this post, I will pick out two from the list.

Park Hye Min (ulzzang name: Pony) is a makeup designer and a model, as well as owning a photo studio.

Her style is quite varied, from cute to sophisticated to rebellious.

Park Ji Ho (not related, Park is a really common surname) is a singer, model and actor hopeful.

His style is a little bit dark and rebellious, although he has apparently acted in a movie dressed as a girl. This is unsurprising as the androgynous is very popular amongst Korean boys (the girls seem to love it).

Girl or boy? :P Source.

Further reading and resources


  1. wow. a rabid fanbase? for normal clothes with circle lenses? these always surprise me!

    1. It's Korean pop culture. Celebrities of all kinds are constantly battling for popularity and trying to accrue massive fanbases


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