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.