It took quite awhile to do this review. This is the longest Korean drama I have ever watched. Despite being draggy, it managed to keep my attention.
Main Cast: Actors / Characters
Lee Yo Weon as Han Duh Mi (born Ko Joon Hee)
Kim Min Jung as Ko Joon Hee (born Kang Hee)
Joo Jin Mo as Kim Dong Young
Chun Jung Myung as Jang Bin
Jun In Taek as Joon Hee’s father
Song Ok Sook as Lee Yang Ja (Kang Hee’s mother)
Lee Hye Young as Jang Bong Sil (Bin’s mother)
Fashion 70s is one of the first drama to focus on the fashion design industry as the main back-drop for the story. Unfortunately, it has too many back-drops in combination with the main one. The show starts off with the Korean war and two families that will be affected because of this war. Two daughters, Joon Hee and Kang Hee, were separated from their family and ultimately adopted by the opposite family due to various reasons. Themes of identity, family, and love are all a part of this show. In the end, fashion only played a small part in this so-call fashion drama. Even though it’s not a big deal, I feel if you are going to focus on something you should do it with justice. The multitudes of back-drops really makes the story in cohesive.
Identity crisis is one of the main theme in this drama so let me explain it before moving onward. Kang Hee is the daughter of Lee Yang Ja. Joon Hee is the daughter of Mr. Ko. Kang Hee is adopted by Mr. Ko because he thought his daughter died during the war. He then renamed Kang Hee with his daughter’s name Joon Hee. Meanwhile Joon Hee lost her memory due to an accident and was adopted by Kang Hee’s mom and renamed as Han Dul Mi. Thus, both girls lost their identity due to their parent figure. Throughout the show, again and again, it is the adults who somehow destroy things despite their good intentions. From wars to fragile relationship, adults inadvertently wrecked things and causes a malignant ripple effect upon the children. When the children grows up, somehow fashion design was able to bring them all together after years of separation and the quest to unravel Dul Mi’s real identity begins.
Like I said, this is a drama that is suppose to focus on fashion. It’s called Fashion 70s after all. Strangely, fashion only plays a minor role in that it helped Dul Mi and Joon Hee to meet because both girls want to be fashion designer. Throughout the show, there’s also a side story with the Korean CIA organization for some action (I suppose). The entire show was loosely string together somehow through the struggle of Dul Mi and Joon Hee and how they deal with their new identity and the eventual day when they regain their real identity. Because this aspect of the show is the strongest and most poignant, I wish it would’ve been just this as the main plot driver. Unfortunately, it was not and that really hurts the show’s overall enjoyment.
Actress Kim Ming Jun really stole the show, in my opinion. Her depiction of a person with no real identity is both moving and powerful. Her identity as Joon Hee was forced upon her until she had almost forgotten who she really is. Her actions at the beginning foretold her as Dul Mi’s contrast and nemesis. Despite so, she does not ever come off as a villain. Her struggle with doing things that can both help Dul Mi but in effect causes her to lose what she have is something not many can pull off. Kim Ming Jun plays the part beautifully and the better actor of the entire show. Overall, it is her acting and the identity plot-line that save this show from going over the deep end.