Nora Noh, The First Korean Fashion Designer

By Jihye You

“Through clothes, I strive to change the way women think, change the way they carry themselves and make their self-confidence shine.” – Nora Noh

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Source: NORA NOH official Facebook
Nora Noh, now 86, is the first fashion designer in South Korea and still working with 64 years experiences in the fashion industry. Since 1956, she holds a fashion show every year.
 In 1947, when she was 19 years old, she went to the U.S. to study fashion. After 2 years, she returned to Korea and founded the “House of Nora Noh”. Nora Noh was the first brand to establish itself in the Korean fashion industry. She was the first person to hold a fashion show in Korea in 1956 and launch designer ready-to-wear clothing for career women in 1963.

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South Korea’s first fashion show at Bando Hotel in 1956
During a period where the Korean women were restricted to careers choices such as being a housewife or factory worker, she made the way for Korean women to become more liberated through fashion. Nora dressed the Korean famous singer Yoon Bok-hee in a miniskirt. It brought a national sensation in the 1960s. She also styled the duo vocal group Pearl Sisters in flared pants called Pantallong.
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Yoon Bok-hee in a miniskirt designed by Nora Noh

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Pearl Sisters in flared pants called Pantallong designed by Nora Noh
In 1979, she became the first Korean fashion business to have ever entered the U.S. market. The designs of Nora Noh were featured on the cover of Vogue and Bazaar. She was also the first Korean designer to have her clothing showcased by Macy’s. For a period of 15 years, Nora Noh consistently sold its collections to Macy’s, Sak’s Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Henry Bendel, Neiman Marcus, I. Magnin, and Bullock’s.
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The cover of Vogue by Nora Noh in 1985
Last year, the documentary film about her life, Nora Noh, was released and invited to the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) and the 15th International Women’s Film Festival in Seoul.
This film uses “fashion” as a medium and attempts to illustrate women’s desire and compose women’s cultural history in the 1950s and 1960s. The director contextualizes the life of Nora NOH, who cultivated an independent world, by weaving together the representation of the past, the usage of video and film images, and the process of preparing for a fashion show in the present. In this documentary, Nora NOH’s clothes are the links that unravel the memories and desires of various women who lived through that particular time period, and they also reveal how it was possible for women during the 1950s and 1960s to express themselves through fashion. (From Program note of The 15th International Women’s Film Festival in Seoul)

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Posters of the movie Nora Noh
In an interview with WSJ’s Scene Asia, after more than six decades as a designer, Nora calls herself a laborer and a “craftsman,” not an artist, arguing that fashion’s primary purpose is to serve people’s needs. “I always wanted women to feel confident in my clothes,” she said. “Once you are comfortable in the clothes you are in, you can move around freely. Then your thoughts are eventually liberated, too.”
Nora has always designed expressly for working women. “Through clothes, I strive to change the way women think, change the way they carry themselves and make their self-confidence shine,” she said.

Learn more about Nora Noh on Youtube, Movie Trailer and follow her updates via her Facebook page and Website.

Presented by the International Foundation for Women Artists.

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Statistics about female in the art and culture industry in Korea

The Condition of Women in the art and culture industry in Korea

By Jihye You, Jiin Kim
These statistics about the condition of women artists in Korea are taken from 2 research papers in 2007 and 2010; Artists compared with total workforce, gender ratio of artists, percent of Korean Artists Who Are Female, age-specific employment by gender, and the average monthly income by gender.
If you see these statistics, you will find women artists in Korea need help, similar to the U.S, and understand their condition.

Artists Compared with Total Workforce

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Gender Ratio of Artists

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In Korea, Economically active population is 39,598,000. The total workforce is 23,749,700 and artists are 651,736.

Percent of Korean Artists Who Are Female

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In the field of arts, the proportion of women in the arts is 42%. The highest percentage, 86%, of female artists is translators. (In Korea, translators are considered artists.) Fashion designers were second, followed by writers and authors. Only 9.2% of Architects and 12.7% photographers are women.

Age-specific Employment of Male Artists

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Age-specific Employment of Female Artists

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This graph shows the percentages if the total of male artists and female artists is 100 respectively. The proportion of female artists begins to decline significantly after 20s. On the other hand, male artists are widespread in 20s to 50s. It shows that it’s hard to survive in the workplace as a woman in Korea.

The Average Monthly Income for Male Artists

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The Average Monthly Income for Female Artists

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This graph shows the percentages if the total of male artists and female artists is 100 respectively. The average monthly income includes wage and extra income. Female artists are predominantly underpaid. The percentage of high-income women is very low. It shows that there is still a gender wage differentials in Korea.

The Average Monthly Income of Artists by Gender

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Female artists, on average, earn 69% of what a male artist would earn for the same work. The difference in monthly income between men and women is 1165.5 dollars.

Source:

2010 Statistics of Artists in the workforce by Gender DB (2010성별문화인력통계DB), 2010, Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Republic of Korea.
A basic study on jobs market analysis of the arts(예술분야 고용시장 분석 기초연구), 2007, Yang Geon Yeol & Korea Culture and Tourism Institute, Republic of Korea

Statistics about female in film industry in U.S.

The Condition of Women in Film in the United States

By Jihye You
These statistics about the condition of women in Film industry are taken from 2 research papers in 2013 by Martha M. Lauzen, Ph.D.; The Celluloid Ceiling: Behind-the-Scenes Employment of Women on the Top 250 Films of 2013 and it’s a Man’s (Celluloid) World: On-Screen Representations of Female Characters in the Top 100 Films of 2013.
The first research paper has tracked women’s employment as directors, writers, executive producers, producers, editors, and cinematographers working on the top 250 (domestic) grossing films for the last 16 years. The second research paper reports the findings of a content analysis of over 2,300 characters appearing in the top grossing films of 2013.

Percentages of Employment in Key Behind-the-Scenes Roles* by Gender

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From 1998 to 2013, men employed in Key-Behind-the-Scenes Roles have been over 80%, on the other hand, women accounted for less than 20%. In 2013, women comprised 16% of all directors, executive producers, producers, writers, cinematographers, and editors.

Percentages of Women Employed Behind the Scenes on Top 250 Films by Role

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6% of directors, 10% of writers, 15% of executive producers, 25% of producers, 17% of editors and 3% of cinematographers were women on the top 250 domestic grossing films of 2013.
A historical comparison of women employment in 2013 and 1998 reveals that the percentages of women directors, writers, executive producers, editors, and cinematographers have decreased. The percentage of producers has increased slightly.
A historical comparison of women employment in 2013 and 2012 reveals that the proportions of women directors, writers, executive producers, and editors have declined. The percentage of women producers has remained the same. The proportion of women cinematographers has grown slightly.
According to the second research paper, female characters remained dramatically under-represented as protagonists, major characters, and speaking (major and minor) characters in the top grossing films of 2013. Females comprised 15% of protagonists, 29% of major characters, and 30% of all speaking characters.
Only 13% of the top 100 films featured equal numbers of major female and male characters, or more major female characters than male characters.

 

 

 Historical Comparison of Percentages of Female and Male Characters as Protagonists3

In 2013, only 15% of all clearly identifiable protagonists were female (up 4% from 2011, down 1% from 2002), 71% are male, and 14% are male/female ensembles.

 

Comparison of Percentages of Female and Male Characters as Leaders

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In type of leader, women comprised 3% of blue-collar leaders, 11% of political leaders, 12% of criminal leaders, 14% of military leaders, 16% of white-collar leaders, and 23% of social leaders.

Source:

The Celluloid Ceiling: Behind-the-Scenes Employment of Women on the Top 250 Films of 2013 by Martha M. Lauzen, Ph.D., Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film
It’s a Man’s (Celluloid) World: On-Screen Representations of Female Characters in the Top 100 Films of 2013 by Martha M. Lauzen, Ph.D., Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film

Suzanne Valadon, a French pioneer female artist

Suzanne Valadon

(1865-1938)

A daughter of an unmarried laundress turned into a model, the model turned into a painter.

The daughter of an unmarried laundress, Valadon began working at age 11 after a short attendance to primary school and worked in a variety of areas including a milliner’s workshop, a factory making funeral wreaths, a market selling vegetables, a waitress in a restaurant, and then finally in the circus. Valadon became a circus acrobat at the age of fifteen, but a year later, a fall from a trapeze ended that career. In the Montmartre quarter of Paris, she pursued her interest in art, first working as a model for artists, observing and learning their techniques, before becoming a noted painter herself.

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Photo of Suzanne Valadon (1865-1938)
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Valadon debuted as a model in 1880 in Montmartre at age 15. She modeled for over 10 years for many different artists including the following: Pierre-Cécile Puvis de Chavannes, Théophile Steinlen, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. She modeled under the name “Maria” and was thought to have had many affairs with the artists she modeled for. She was considered seductive, provocative, comely, voluptuous, and flighty as a model. Toulouse-Lautrec nicknamed her “Suzanne” after the biblical story of Susanna and the Elders. She was considered a very focused, ambitious, rebellious, determined, self-confident, and passionate woman. She was also known to be good friends with Edgar Degas. In the early 1890s she befriended Degas who, impressed with her bold line drawings and fine paintings, purchased her work and encouraged her efforts. She remained one of Degas’s closest friends until his death.

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Dance at Bougival, 1883, by Renoir
The most recognizable image of Valadon would be in Renoir’s Dance at Bougival from 1883. In the same year, Valadon gave birth to her ‘illegitimate’ son, Maurice Utrillo, at the age of 18. Later, the son became famous artist like his mother.
In 1885, Renoir painted her portrait again as Girl Braiding Her Hair. Another of his portraits of her in 1885, Suzanne Valadon, is of her head and shoulders in profile. Valadon frequented the bars and taverns of Paris along with her fellow painters, and she was Toulouse-Lautrec’s subject in his oil painting The Hangover.

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Flowers on a Round Table, 1920, by Suzanne Valadon
Her first exhibitions, held in the early 1890s, consisted mostly of portraits. She regularly showed work at the Galerie Bernheim-Jeune in Paris. Valadon’s first time in the Société nationale des beaux-arts; National Society of Fine Art was in 1894. Degas was notably the first person to buy drawings from her. Degas also taught her the skill of soft-ground etching. In 1896, Valadon became a full-time painter after her marriage to Paul Moussis. She made a shift from drawing to painting during her initial affair with Andre Utter starting in 1909. Her first large oils for the Salon were related to sexual pleasure, and they were some of the first examples in painting for the man to be an object of desire by a woman. These notable Salon paintings include Adam et Eve (Adam and Eve) (1909), La joie de vivre (Joy of Living) (1911), Lancement du filet (Casting of the Net) (1914). Valadon produced around 300 drawings and over 450 oil paintings by the end of her life. Valadon painted still lifes, portraits, flowers, and landscapes that are noted for their strong composition and vibrant colors.

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Nudes, 1919, by Suzanne Valadon

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Casting of the Net, 1914, by Suzanne Valadon

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Reclining Nude, 1928, by Suzanne Valadon
She was, however, best known for her candid female nudes, particularly because it was unusual in the nineteenth century for a woman artist to make female nudes her primary subject matter.
Suzanne Valadon died of a stroke on 7 April 1938, at age 72. Among those in attendance at her funeral were her friends and colleagues André Derain, Pablo Picasso, and Georges Braque.

Source:

Wikipedia.org
Wikiart.org

Statistics about female in the art and culture industry in U.S.

The Condition of Women Artists in the United States

By Jihye You, Jiin Kim
These statistics about the condition of women artists in the U.S. are taken from 2 research papers in 2005-2009 and 2011; Gender Ratio of Artists, Percent of the U.S. Artists Who Are Female, Median Wages and Salaries by Artists Occupation, Median Wages and Salaries of by Gender and Artists Occupation, Median Wages and Salaries of Full-Year/Full-Time Artists by Gender.
If you see these statistics, you can see the difference between female and male artists. Also, you will find women artists in the U.S. need help.

Gender Ratio of Artists: 2005-2009

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Percent of the U.S. Artists Who Are Female: 2005-2009

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Similar to the total labor force, the proportion of female artists is 46%. The highest percent, 77.9%, of female artists is dancers and choreographers. Writers/authors were second, followed by Designers. Only 21.2% of announcers and 24.9% architects are women.

Median Wages and Salaries by Artists Occupation: 2005-2009

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The two of best-paying artist occupations are architects and producers/directors; men compose 75 percent and 63 percent, respectively.

Median Wages and Salaries of by Gender and Artists Occupation: 2005-2009

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Among actors, architects, dancers/choreographers, designers, fine artists/art directors/animators and photographers, women earn 74~81% of what a male artist would earn for the same work. Only women musicians and other entertainers earn a little more (by $0.02 per dollar) than men.

Median Wages and Salaries of Full-Year/Full-Time Artists by Gender: 2005-2009

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Female artists, on average, earn 81% of what a male artist would earn for the same work. The difference in median wages and salaries of full-year, full-time artists between men and women is 8,923 dollars.
*Distinct Artists Occupation
Actors: stage, television, radio, video, or motion picture
Announcers: radio, television, public address systems, events
Architects: private residencies, commercial buildings, landscape architecture
Fine artists, art directors, and animators: art directors; craft artists; fine artists include: painters, sculptors, and illustrators; multimedia artists; animators
Dancers and choreographers: dancers, choreographers, and dance teachers
Designers: commercial and industrial designers; fashion designers; floral designers; graphic designers; interior designers; merchandise displayers; and set and exhibit designers
Other entertainers: circus performers; comics; jugglers; magicians; puppeteers; rodeo performers; show girls; ventriloquists, and other entertainers
 Musicians: music directors, composers, musicians, and singers
Photographers: includes scientific photographers, aerial photographers, and photojournalists
Producers and directors: stage, television, radio, video, or motion picture production
Writers and authors: advertising writers; authors; biographers; copy writers; crossword-puzzle creators; film writers; magazine writers; novelists; playwrights; sports writers; and lyricists

Source:

2005-2009 ACS PUMS, U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Commerce
2011 Artists and Arts Workers in the United States, National Endowment for the Arts