5) THE BLUE MILITARY UNIFORM – THE GUGUNBOK
We saw LS wearing this getup during his trips outside of the palace, one of them being his visit to the infamous MH’s coup d’état birthday party.
The whole attire such as it’s shown is called a gugunbok and originally used to be the inner garment of a suit of armor worn by a monarch and the military officers during times of war.
In general, the king’s gugunbok was very similar to the one worn by the military personel except for the material and accessories.
Another thing is that it had the dragon emblem on the chest, the back and the shoulders, peacock’s feathers (in this case left out) and paeyeong (a hat string of gemstones), attached to the jeonrip, and heukhwa (black boots designated specifically for the king).
LS decided to wear the modest white jeogori that JOJ had made for him after she saved his life, to give himself courage to face the terrible things that he’d known would come.
The pristine white jeogori is covered by a expensive white and single-layered juui also called as durumagi (a type of overcoat) with intricate golden patterns embroidered around the neckline.
The blue overcoat with the dongjeong (white collar) is a dongdari, a robe that has wide sleeves with wide patterned sleeves and is bound together by a matching otgoreum. The original dongdari had s different colouring with red sleeves, however, the costume designer of Jang Ok Jung made some changes in the design which is quite common in sageuk. I think I’ve never seen in any drama a bona fide gugunbok with a dongdari as it was worn in the past.
The dongdari is covered by a black jeonbok (a vest), which serves as an outer robe of the gugunbok. The vest widens toward the end and has a wide width, long side and back slits for easy movement.
Especially, LS’s jeonbok has a yongbo (dragon insignia embroidery), the symbol of the king, embroidered on the chest, the back and his shoulders with golden threads on a blue background.
The royal jeonbok used to be fastened by knot buttons, however, this one has an open fron and is held together by gwangdae (a wide cloth belt) tied around the waist. It’s often characterized by gorgeous embroideries sewn with various colored threads on blue silk with shapes of mountains, waves, trees, flower patterns, fire, cintamani, dragons, clouds and others, however LS opted for a more sober design this time.
Originally, there used to be wrapped another blue cloth strap over the gwangdae known as a jeondae which we haven’t seen on LS’s gugunbok robes so far – the strap was tied into a knot with the ends hanging and because it was a narrow strip of fabric, cut on the bias, it had pointed ends and regular, oblique lines on the surface.
LS is wearing a hat called jeonrip, also known as morip because of the animal hair fibers that it was made of, a typical headpiece for soldiers and their officers in Joseon.
Just as it’s the case with binyeo and hanbok the adornments differ according to the wearer’s social position and as I have mentioned before LS’s hat should have been decorated with peacock’s feathers, however, he probably decided against it to look more informally. Plus there are more ornaments such as the jade disc with the dragon symbol in the front and a hat string of amber beads.
Usually, there used to be a decorative tassel but not this time obviously.
I couldn’t resist!
Blog Naver, SBS official website, google images, http://www.han-style.com/english/hanbok/royal.jsp,