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The hybrid's outfit

A Korean suit was wrong. Margrethe Sandvand just as well created a folk costume for adopted Norwegians.


[fashion] The Norwegian national costume is based on costumes from the 1700th and 1800th centuries, when fashion in Norway was not only limited by access to materials, but also geographically by the parish. It was in the church that they met and looked at each other. Today, clothing designers buy fabric from Beijing and draw inspiration from Senegal – or Seoul.

Margrethe Sandvand was adopted from South Korea, and during her upbringing, she noticed the outside world's special relationship with the national costume, which was not only a garment, but a symbol.

- The costume will show who you are, but I could not find a suit that suited me, she says.

In the confirmation, she posed in "Hanbok", the Korean bunad.

- You do not get it on me today, it is as wrong for me as the bunad.

In 2005, Sandvand launched a third alternative, a suit that shows exactly what she is: Norwegian – and Korean. The founder has picked the best from the two nations' party costumes, and the result is Norwegian shirt sleeves in Korean silk. Brooch in the neck, and wide belly belt. Vest with Norwegian cut, but decorated with Korean pattern. Curved shapes, as in the bunada.

- The male book is as wide as a tent. I wanted to emphasize the feminine shapes, says Sandvand.

The suits she sells, she gets sewn in Korea. This is how she wants to give something back.

- Not because I feel guilty about Korea. Conversely, adoptions are a hot topic for many Koreans. Therefore, it is important for me to show that I did well, says Sandvand.

Around 7000 South Korean children have been adopted into Norway since the Korean War. Sandwater has received many grateful feedback from both them and their parents, who appreciate the adoption suit.

Director Gunn Jensberg in the Bunad and folk costume council thinks people should wear what they want on May 17 and in child baptism, but emphasizes that Sandwand's costume is not a bunad.

- As this suit is free imagination, it falls outside our mandate. The Bunadrådet concentrates on costumes in accordance with old costume customs from a specific area, says Jensberg.

That time is over when our circle of movement is confined to the parish of the neighboring church. Not many people have two parents from the same village anymore.

- What if I embroider Telemark roses on my ashtray?

- No Norwegian law forbids this, and you also do not get any "bunad police" on your back, Jensberg assures.

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