Monday, 30 May 2016

K-pop Videos Giving Me Sartorial Life/Inspiring My SS16 Looks

Music is one of the things that most inspires my wardrobe choices and fashion is one of the ways I best explain my love for K-pop and the Korean music industry. The visual part of K-pop releases is, in fact, so important that members of groups are often recruited for the specific role of being the "visual" member - the most officially attractive member of the group. And, while there may be inherent issues with some of these ideas, the point remains the same: K-pop is so successful and so appealing because it perfectly brings music, visuals, dance and fashion together.

Every time a group or artist returns with a song, they return with a new concept, new look and new style. For groups, this is particularly effective, as their outfits and looks complement each other to create a larger visual feast.

Fashion and K-pop are intimately intertwined. Music company directors begin as stylists (FNC Entertainment's Kim Yeong Seon began as the stylist for the company's founder and CEO, Han Seong Ho, when he was a singer). Designers launch careers by being featured in the videos of the right artists. Trends are born in those same videos, limits are pushed. Artists walk in fashion shows and sit front row. Fans feverishly note what is being worn and outfits for merely heading to the airport are carefully planned. Some people become as iconic for their sense of style as their music and the likes of G-Dragon and CL form close friendships with major labels and designers like Chanel and Jeremy Scott.

South Korea is, increasingly, a fashion leader and being well-dressed in day-to-day life is a part of the culture of the country. There is an expectation that one puts their best foot forward and looks their best when they step outside the door. This, paired with the might of Hallyu (the "Korean Wave" of culture abroad as popularised through music and dramas, in particular), has solidified the country's reputation as fashion forward.

Music and fashion have always been intertwined but the relationship between the two is particularly strong in K-pop. As a result, I watch the videos for the songs and the choreo and personal fondness for certain members or group dynamics but often find that the main thing I take away from the whole is the clothes involved.

Basically, my aim in life is to dress like a member of a K-pop boygroup.

Here are the videos that have inspired how I'm dressing this SS16.

GOT7 "Fly"

GOT7 are some trendy-ass bitches.

But, seriously though. Their "flying" concept meant that they were all over the key piece of the season: Bombers. Bombers in all kinds of hues, patterns and styles. Furthermore, their album came in two versions (a standard practice in K-pop): Rose Quartz and Serenity Blue.

Yep, they were even incorporating the Pantone colours of the year, those crafty, stylish, bastards.

Also: the wide variety of outfits based around the same casual, sporty, slightly hip-hop infused looks - but in pastel shades - that they wore throughout their promotion of the album gave me life. I'm basically walking around looking like a knock-off Jackson (one of the main rappers of the group).


Lee Hi "My Star"

This video is super adorable and I'm all about the colour scheme - those dusty pinks, man. I love the vintage vibes and silhouettes paired with more slick and contemporary prints and trims. Since seeing this video, I've been trying to hunt down a pastel pink suit because that is seriously cute, especially with the pussy-bow blouse.





B.A.P. "Feel So Good"

Once again, it's the colour schemes here that I'm mad about. I like the pastels and the bright pops and the overall cheerful and energetic vibe. Daehyun's pink suit, Jongup's bomber (I purchased a very similar one) and Himchan's pink zip-up jacket and grey tailored pants combo are all looks I would emulate, for sure. Sadly, it's now too warm for a lot of the layering going on but my precious turtlenecks will wait for me.



Park Kyung "Inferiority Complex"

Park Kyung (of Block B) is at it again with another super-catchy and cute solo release, this time with Gfriend's Eunha. I'm into the whole video - the whole cutesy spring/summer romance comic/saccharine sweetness vibe is where I'm at right now with wardrobe choices - but I especially like the hoodies at the beginning. There's nothing majorly new about the outfits but they're comfy and adorable looks that match how I like to dress.


BTS "Fire"

Finally, going into summer proper, I'm really feeling the Cali/80s vibes of BTS' "Fire". The sunglasses alone had me desperately googling what brand they were only to find that they were Acne and Saint Laurent and almost entirely sold out. Whether or not I take the plunge and commit to a pair or can even track them down is uncertain but I really want to rock these with as tasteful an "ugly Hawaiian shirt" as the guys have on in this video.

TBH, though, it makes sense that their looks are on another level, BTS' fame is no joke and they're really becoming an intense global phenomenon.




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