Friday Fun: The times they are a’ changin’ (UPDATE)

UPDATE:  A few weeks ago we were speculating as to whether DPRK women were getting tattoos (see original post below), but it seems this is sadly not the case.  It is more likely that these colorful icons are logos of some kind.  Another visitor to the DPRK this year sent in the following picture:

Click image to see stocking logo on the ankles

Do any readers from China recognize this logo?  I find it hard to believe that stockings made in the DPRK would be so brazen. As an aside, the woman in the picture above is wearing the same shoes as some of the women below.  It looks like thick souled shoes are in this year.

ORIGINAL POST: A recent visitor to North Korea with a very keen eye snapped this photo at Kamsusan Palace:


I have seen tattoos on North Korean men but never on women.  True, these may only be temporary tattoos (more likely since they all seem to match–both in design and in place of application), but this is also interesting.  Given the way the girls went about applying these tattoos it is likely they are trying to signal something.  What?  If anyone can find out more on North Korean tattoos–or where the Pyongyang tattoo parlor is (if there is one)–I will be eternally grateful.  I am not optimistic at this point.

Check out the full set of photos here.

UPDATE: Some readers think these could be logos on stockings.  This would also be interesting.  So would these be a local fashion innovation or imported from China?


8 Responses to “Friday Fun: The times they are a’ changin’ (UPDATE)”

  1. EAC says:

    I’m guessing they’re part of the stockings

  2. You may be categorizing this as “Friday Fun” but in fact this counts not just as a piece of art, but as real reporting. When was the last time you learned anything new from a foreigner visiting the Kamusan Palace?

  3. Simon says:

    They look like marks on their stockings rather than showing through to me, hard to tell though. All the men’s tattoos I’ve seen there have been army style ones seemingly done with indian ink and a hot pin, the old-fashioned way! I’ve never seen anyone with any colour in a tattoo there thus far

  4. NKeconWatch says:

    Yeah, the tatts I saw on the men were military as well. Even if these are just logos on the stockings…well that is still rather surprising at Kamsusan. Either way the story is interesting.

  5. Muscato says:

    …and if nothing else, those are some stylin’ wedgies! The two ladies wearing them also appearing to be wearing similar/matching outfits of a particularly poor quality – could this be NK’s legendary synthetic fabric, vinalon, in action?

  6. Kelsey says:

    Those look like they’re simply designs on the stockings. “Clocked” stockings with designs like that go back several centuries in the west, and you can even still find some among conservative circles now.

  7. a listener says:

    Kimjongilia fall 2009 commemerative stockings. They are the rave in Pyongyang…