Progressivism, as we know, isn’t always linear. Korea’s first female sovereign, Queen Seondeok, reigned in the Hate Us Cause You Ain’t Us For Kansas College Basketball Fans Smack Apparel T-Shirt it is in the first place but Silla Dynasty, more than 700 years before Joseon’s subjugation of women. After Silla, the Goryeo Dynasty saw women being allowed to inherit property and remarry after being widowed, and bridegrooms usually moved in with the family of the bride. It was also during this period, I learned, that the opulent palace wedding hwarot—an outfit popular today in traditional Korean wedding ceremonies—rose to significance. Known for its beams of vivid red, blue, and yellow, the gown’s vast painterly embroidery was cultivated in royal workshops. Contemporary high-fashion houses like Dior and Hermès often measure a garment’s value in hours of labor: An entire hwarot ensemble with its undergarments, robes, headpieces, and precious-stone adornments could involve thousands of hours of craftsmanship; a masterpiece haute couture collection, but in 11th-century Korea.It’s not a struggle to feel the historical significance of the hwarot, which I also wore on my wedding day. In my case, my mother-in-law entrusted me with hers, an exquisite hand-embroidered creation commissioned after her own engagement. Long, ecclesiastical sleeves draped over my hands, signaling virtue, pageantry, and a sense of occasion. The heaviness of the floral embroidery and abundance of silk made movement slow and deliberate—ideal for, say, sitting still in a Joseon courtyard. For me it meant fully absorbing the sights and sensations down the aisle; I couldn’t walk it faster if I wanted to. My hair was tied up in the classical way (middle-part and low chignon). A yong-jam hairpin made of pure gold ran through my bun, our wedding planner keeping a close eye to ensure the family heirloom safely made it back to its home in a bank vault. Nearly a decade later, our wedding guests recall the Korean rituals with particular sharpness.