Archive for May, 2011

Lie to Me – when sets outshine the suits

I’ll have to say, that I found Kang Ji-Hwan much more exciting in Coffee House. Even his somewhat split-personality fashion sense built up that picture of someone who can’t ground themselves, and though it was not quite the Suit Ideal, if I went back no doubt I’d find things to wanna steal from his wardrobe.

[Now I know I had the wrong idea about who was to end up with anyone, I need to go back and rewatch that show…perhaps skipping a bit to spare my heart. I adore Park Jae-Jung with an mindless love, when he’s completely not my type…]

In my last mention of Lie to Me I was wrong, though. There have been a couple of things catching my eye…

(So please the drama gods, this kiddo will become part of the rotating Korean Excellence Squad in dramas. Shoes notwithstanding. I’ll take one of him, and two of the vests.)

Now I’m screen capping it I’m finding that though the costumes themselves are not that innovative, there are touches to the drama that are artful. Actually, the set-dressing.

Did you see that? COLOR. In the arrogant chaebol fashonisto’s house! Stunning, right?

Actually, as I’m going over these, I’m seeing a theme of cobalt. His house is nice nuetrals, very manly but not so psychopath as most guys’ houses in K-Dramas and T-Dramas like this. (Exceptions include Coffee Prince and Coffee House. Also Boys Before Flowers, but I’m pretty sure that shoe closet says Obsessive Stalkerdom if not psychopath.)

He is so cute when he’s vulnerable. XD

I’ve got a couple other themes to talk about (who knows if I’ll get to them) but for now, leave you on this note:

We’ll talk about his pins later, but that is a supercute bow.

And look! His OFFICE TOO! Color! and cobalt. It would also be cute if he was like my dad and just got into knots over the cobalt blue glass.

I’m thinking that chandelier’d floor lamp is property of the hotel, and grandfathered in. Or I have some real questions for Ki Joon…

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2NE1 – fashionplate bulletin

One of the things I am getting unreasonable glee from these days is the noveau-80s, especially as represented in South Korea, where they didn’t have them the first go round.

Everything from brightly colored space-travel imagery and prisms, to high-tops and trashy-style shirts–they want it all.

2NE1 are the perfect group to crystallize this movement, because unlike a lot of the girl-groups, their shtick seems to be weird and unattractive. And I mean that in the best possible way.

Though f(x) also has ventured into the grunge, trashy offshoots of 80s retro, they still have a pretty solid cuteness facto. Amber is the tomboy of their group, where 2NE1 has a single member playing the baby-cute role. They all seem to take one for the team as far as tomboy/punk-ugly/whathaveyou get ups go.

courtesy sookyeong of "K Bites"

They even manage to not look like they’re starving, though they’re all actually pretty standard-sized for a girl group. Two of the members have wide faces that seem more mature–and their music videos often seem to play that up.

Then, of course, you just have the fun stuff that I covet…

SPIKED HOODIE? Who wouldn’t.

This angle plays up more the sinuous mature side of this outfit, but there’s a tie and jacket involved. Basically, you could get G-Dragon to wear this outfit, barring the shoes. (Also, he might be monogamous with his own puppy…

{I also adore/train-wreck-‘ship G-Dragon’s fashion as a solo act. Post to come?}

Total resemblance.

One thing that their less pretty-pretty image does is allow you to question the assumption they’re the looks-based talent common to dance-singer groups. The singular voices of several members backs that up. I’d say their live performances could take something from sunbae-group Big Bang as far as pitch goes, but you still get the sense that the diva-voice did really come from the girl who is veering a bit from the backing-vocal’s range.

I totally screencapped the wrong stuff so here, have someone else’s screenshot of one of the Follow Me tangles of weird outfits.

Everything but that leopard-print leggings suit are things I would like to have. But the leopard print just needed to be there for this MV to make sense with the rest of it. Spike-mics and all.

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Snap Back to Present Day

So far the clothes in this drama have been not enough fun to drive me to the print-screen button, but there are some notable exceptions…ah, chaebol businessman characters.

Providing suit-fetishists like me with distraction from plot-points time after time.

courtesy DramaBeans

Lamentable hairstyle right here, but yanno…it’s cute in a “I need to talk him out of that style” sort of a way.

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The Boy Band Jam – Show Biz Shows II

One of the assets of having a crew of characters in a band together for costuming characterization, that must also be frustrating, is having a set look within which to give each character their own flair.

When you have to not only balance the fact that the characters are being dressed for their band personas, as well as taking into account the actual character information  you want to convey…well, I’m pretty sure sometimes you just have to throw together something that looks good and forget layering, but I particularly enjoyed the first concert-get up in You’re Beautiful of all 4 together.

And not just because chain belts and cuffs are sexy.

At this point Mi-Nam (Mi-Nyu, really) is the most generic. She probably has no say in what she’s wearing, and she’s the unknown quantity in the band. In fact, she’s basically come in to be the “fresh blood”. Her brother’s portfolio photo shows that he has a pretty heavy punk sensibility (guyliner and EVERYTHING) but it’s not him there, and so they’ve gone with cute fresh guy–kind of the baseline of the band’s look.

[I didn’t see this until I started screen-capping, but they all have those beaded insect brooches on their outfits somewhere. Clearly we just haven’t seen this trend explode, as it inevitably will with A.N.Jell sporting them.]

Jeremy’s role has been to be the fresh, vivacious guy between quiet, suave Shin-Woo and quiet, wired Tae-Kyung. If he wasn’t so busy imagining Mi-Nam seducing his precious band-mates (heh, reading too much of his own slash-fic, best underplayed meta everrrr) then he would have had reason to be jealous of his own place as far as fan-following goes. Again, the real Mi-Nam would have slid into a completely different slot than his mild-mannered convent-raised sister.

The only real difference between these two’s get ups is Jeremy’s trademark Unfortunate Hair. Unlike Tae-Kyung’s weird hair that’s sleek and intentional, his blond thatch always looks like it got half-way to some recognizable style and then the stylist got snuffed.

(If you think this post is mostly an excuse to post all the photos of these hilariously colorful skinny-jeans on mostly male models, you’d be wrong. But very nearly right.)

Tae-Kyung, with his bizarrely specific hair, has a cowl-neck on his white jacket that recalls his usual style around the house [sweaters as loungewear never meant something so scandalous before] and he is largely free of the industrial/goth cuffs, chains, and brooches. The metal he carries is largely in creatively placed zippers, actually.

This clean look does him a lot of favors and keeps his unusual personality at the forefront.

On the other hand, Shin-Woo is the only one whose outfit I actually noticed as being different from the others, so that I retroactively realized they each had separate outfits aside from the jean-hue.

Oh, baby. They put a priest tunic on you, and you thought you might get the girl?

While Tae-Kyung’s upright personality is demonstrated in cleric collars, they skip right to bishop-type decoration for the White Knight of the show, and embodiment of unrewarded kindliness.

The fashion comes in, I guess, in the way the tunic isn’t that long all the way around. Usually he’s square in slightly-indie Metro town. Yong-Hwa looks cute in hats and glasses, and loose sweaters, so this is one of the most bold statements he wears in the K-drama scheme of things, as second-lead-heartbreaker (though don’t let me go on about his grunge-sweater variant because I WANT IT and I’ve found one on Etsy, too).

In a classic move to back up wardrobe with plot-point, this is also the first time where  Shin-Woo, who wants to be Mi-Nam’s first friend, is instead the very last one who can do something for her.

Foreshadowing, buddy. There’s just no way to win.

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For the Love of Show Biz Shows

In dramas, a great way to shorthand character information is costuming.

The leads’ wardrobe can be a little dicey, in whether they’re going to be fun or not–generally, they have the more nuanced characters, and aesthetics or high fashion can be sacrificed to this end. Not to create an epic shout-out list to my favorite shows or anything, but Personal Taste’s Kae-In and Mary, Marry Me!’s Mae-Ri had oddly unattractive clothing that set them up perfectly as far as character goes, and were no fun to look at.

This show did not have that problem.

You’re Beautiful, starring my perennial treasure Jang Geun-Suk.

Oh, the mighty loff I have for you, and your range of guys-relaxing-but-still-rockstars to guys-dolled-up-for-fanconcerts with occasional sidesteps into costuming for MVs!

Let’s Talk Male Lead…

Hwang Tae-Kyung is a talented singer/songwriter with startling creative control of his boy-band (the stuff of fantasy for many a boy-idol in Korea) and a dynamic presence. He’s going to be fashionable, even if his manager has to dress him every morning, basically. BUT this star is a slightly OCD, meticulous and sharp-edged character.

He is usually more subtle than this.

The lines of his clothes are always striking, dramatic. This does the very lean, boyish figure of Jang Geun-Suk a service, as well as reinforcing his image as a snob, a somewhat high-brow man in his own right, whose fame is less a goal and more a support of his ambition in art. This also underscores his background as the child of [NOT REALLY A SPOILER MUCH] a well-to-do star [/ END NOT REALLY A SPOILER]. Their house had the oversized, with-a-maid air of the noveau-riche.

The costumers blend high-fashion suit, glam-style costume, and a unique splash of cowl-necked sweaters for his loungewear. The pictures above show off first how he favors cleric-collars (and keeping them buttoned) and then how his wardrober throws in a little instant fanservice. (Giving rise to the Viki.com commentary on his “slutty blouses”.)

The grunge-edge of the band’s aesthetic, though, drives me a little out of my mind with want–see that sleeve there? No?

I have this little thing for sleeves that come down over the hands, and cuffs that do interesting things. I so want this sweater, only in a size besides Super Skinny Asian Boy (i<3u anyway Jang Geun-Suk-ssi).

See, there’s so much DIMENSION to the things they put him in. Right here, he’s relaxed, hair down (I’m serious, half the time he has it in this ridiculous top-knot) hat to  cover it like an actress on the way to the makeup trailer, in a sweater that meets his standards for his status, but also has this kind of comfy look.

But when Go Mi-Nam walks in this control and orderly categorization gets shot to all hellfires.

Which is good for us, because he’s a lot more fun to watch when he’s off-kilter, and those clean lines of his clothes get a little ironic.

This is going to be a series. I feel a little odd, catching up on old shows this way, but it’s fun to relive them via screen-capping and analyzing. More to come! We haven’t even got to the stage-togs yet.

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