This book introduces the royal costumes made for specific people, the king and queen, which were the most luxurious goods of the Joseon royal family.
- Book Intro
The royal costume differs from the general costume, starting from the terminology used therefor, and it has a special characteristic that the costume varies depending on the kind of ritual. Especially, the significance of costume was more prominent in the Joseon society with its rigid caste system. Depending on what costume the king wore, the costumes of the queen, the crown prince, the crown princess as well as the people inside the royal court were chosen accordingly, and the contents of the rituals could be determined through the costumes. This book introduces the types of costumes depending on rituals and the system used for the distribution of costumes with a focus on the king and the crown prince who were symbolized by a dragon, and the queen and the crown princess symbolized by a phoenix. As for the royal costume, there are clothes that have been handed down, but it is difficult to grasp the overall outline largely because the clothes are faded in color or few in number. Therefore, this book examines the costumes of the king and queen, focusing on the various royal protocols and the existing costumes, in addition to the liturgical books such as Gukjooryeuiseorye (Book on the Protocols of the Nation's Five Rituals), Gukjooryeuiboseorye (Book on the Crown Princess's Costume), and Sangbangjeongnye(Book on the Royal Costume). The royal costume of the Joseon Dynasty was gorgeous but utilized costumes that were completely divided according to status and protocols while putting forward frugality. As an example, if you look at the patterns on royal costumes, there are 9 patterns embroidered for the king and 7 for the crown prince. In the case of the king, five of the patters are on the king's top and four of them are on the bottoms.
What the author of this book is trying to say is not limited to material, so-called costume. After all, the costume is worthwhile only when there is a wearer. Accordingly, the author is trying to learn about that age through costume. In that sense, although there are other books about the royal costume, this book is differentiated in that it was written entirely at the eye level of readers. It is not just a list of costumes according to the kinds of underwear and outerwear. Rather, it examines the process in which the king or the queen wears all the suits of clothes, thereby giving an impression as if I am wearing the clothes together.
- About the Author
The author Lee Minjoo completed her MA and PhD in the Department of Fashion Design at Sungkyunkwan University. She wrote a thesis, “Studies on the Ceremonial Procedures and Costumes in the Installation Ritual of the Crown Prince” for her doctoral degree. She was a research professor in the Research Institute of Korean Studies, Korea University and now is a senior researcher in the Royal House Book Collection Research Division at the Academy of Korean Studies. Currently, Lee is conducting in-depth research on the originality and universality of Korean attire by comparing clothing cultures among Korea, China, and Japan using the books housed in Jangseogak (the royal library of Joseon) of the Academy of Korean Studies. Her writings include Drawing Dragons and Stitching Phoenixes, The Desire of the Chimajeogori, “Gisaeng, A Fashion Leader in the Late Joseon,” and “The Cultural History of Exposure and Concealment.”