Posts Tagged asia

Rain didn’t get where he is by dressing badly.

In the past week or so, with a lot of things I was trying to keep OFF my mind, I watched more Korean variety TV than I have consecutively…well, ever. And let’s hope never again.

My dreams get full of hubris and beautiful Asian eyes.

These are just two outfits from Rain’s promotions of…well, actually Ninja Assassin, I think? But maybe one is from one of the albums. These are at least in the same family of shows, if not the same one, so there may be some time separating them.

Like on the last post, they’re screencaps I took my own self from YouTube, and not on HD. But you’ll get the point anyway.

I kind of love the comment the host was making in this shot, which was “He’s not saying deep words, but when they come out of his mouth, they *sound* deep.”

Heh. Maybe his psuedopreppy look is helping? Though Rain’s best attribute, as far as his acting’s concerned, is his ability to go from fun-loving goof to very earnest in a split second.

It’s interesting that not just here, but in the next set of photos, he’s going for a classic combo of vest over collared shirt, with slacks. In this case, he’s gotĀ  glasses to take that image one step further, into hot Megane-kun territory, in the other case he adds more of a rocker vibe by wearing a tie layered with a large flashy necklace.

It actually looks like a riff off of school uniforms, though maybe I’m being influenced by the fact that the green and plaid look like one of the high school uniforms in my Japanese hometown… like, the thing a punk might do, or a manga artist might do on a front-piece of a chapter.

‘course if the sleeves weren’t rolled up it wouldn’t be the same.

OOH LOOK, I DO THAT TOO

okay, so I’m grasping at straws here. Any connection to Bi…

Weirdly in this photo I’m almost missing the glasses. I wonder if he really needs glasses at all? Because that would be kind of hot in that manga-secrets way.

TOP does, surely you can get with the program, Rain-sunbae?

d'aww you are so cute, but I'm sure you get that a lot

I really have tried to hold out against Rain, because he’s so superpopular he really doesn’t need my love. But at the same time…he’s a ferociously hard-working and talented guy. How’s a girl supposed to deal? Talent is like, my Achilles heel.

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Unexpectedly Adorable: Lee Min Ho and Dara

I really like 2NE1’s music, more consistently than most K-Pop groups…which makes sense, since they’re largely produced and written for by one talent.

(The more I know about YG Entertainment, the more fond of it I am, despite being quite anxious about how K-Pop agencies are run in general)

This is true of EVEN their commercials music, starting with their debut “Lollipop” with Big Bang, “Don’t Stop the Music” for Fiore, and our topic of the day, “Kiss” for Cass beer.

cue one of the better styling choices of our time: Lee Min Ho in guyliner.

Not in love with his look as a rich playboy, but I don’t think I’m supposed to be. (Frankly, he looks a little Hwang Tae-Kyung, but in a sort of less edgy way? Anyhow. This is the Goo Jun-Pyo everyone can instantly place…we’ll hold out for a hint of humanity.)

Gold-Lame Jacket - from this we can be sure there is evil afoot

And it is all the more awesome to discover his alter-ego because of how delightfully fashion-show stuckup he looks.

they did a great job on the movie, but I wish there was less beer, it makes me feel dehydrated...

Clothes are more a focal point of character than the beer is–he’s still wearing a fashion-victim shirt and his jeans are probably 100x more expensive, but here they’re on the same general vibe, whereas their first encounter Dara was even more tomboy casual, as a DJ for one of his friends’ parties.

He shows up in his GreaserBouffant hair and red Lamborghini (maybe not, I wouldn’t know, but it’s that image anyway) to take her out and buy her clothes of his class and we’re sitting here wondering why she’s still sneering a little at him when she’s going the way even Jan Di would not tread…

when she throws away the clothes, and goes to his club as herself, not his arm candy.

The red is an obvious color of confidence, sexiness, and daring–the first time she’s been into primary color territory, really, with pastels and whites in the clothes she’s worn so far.

And she comes to take what is hers: she takes charge of their relationship, and makes it clear that the terms he’s set aren’t acceptable.

So he has to go meet her on her own ground:

Adorably, he’s in “commoner” clothes, the uniform at her job, which is the same monochromatic look of their concert encounter.

It’s a beer commercial, but the music was good, and it actually told a story in clothes…

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Tell Me Goodbye – Big Bang in Suits

Full Disclosure: I have a bit of a crush on probably two of the YG Entertainment music video directors. Whoever put together the aesthetic on “Goodbye”, is one of those.

Anyway. Not to hyperfocus on Big Bang…okay, well, running with the fact that I’m kind of obsessing about Big Bang (and 2NE1) [LOOK, Protect the Boss? Still not all subtitled!] here’s just a little screen-cap festival of the boys in suits…

first point: this person found the hottest way to present TOP: a little bloodied, through a cracked window

Wait, that doesn’t feature a suit, just an incredibly cute profile for a guy with such dark charisma. …excuse me. Fangirl moment.

This show blends an actual intriguing story (where you don’t know what’s going on for sure, but it doesn’t seem like the result of someone’s actual LSD-fueled trip, either) and getting all the guys in very different settings, personas that you can actually connect to the narrative.

actually, I don't really know what the connection is with TOP. but mysterious works for him

tbh, who knew maknae Seungri could make that earnestness totally fit the conflicted cop character?

VESTS, gah. This is a fetish within a festish, here–the bulk of my suit screencaps involve awesome vest/jacket combos. The rest involve collars.

bad screencap, but that shoulder-holster is unreasonably hot. had to include

It’s a point of tailoring that works to bring out the man’s shoulder-line, and accentuate their lines when standing alone [OR to help older guys mask lazy-stomach under a coat, too].

this graveyard was like a hot sixth character. The girl is more an idea, though her dress was pretty

Vests also serve up a contrast opportunity, a big trio with jacket and shirt, where the tie is an accent rather than the focal point.[DOUBLE BUTTONS, why are you so snazzy?]

They chose well, giving dark Daesun the boldest color here. He makes it seem less of a bold fashion statement, when the point of this videos clothing is to give it more of a classic feel.

no tie, but the collar buttoned all the way. Iiinteresting.

Whereas they give Taeyang, with the most clear-cut hiphop style, a subdued but modern-cut jacket. I can see Ne-Yo in this coat, no question.

Another point to ponder: all are in leather gloves. Almost as if they were pallbearers, in terms of story, but another period detail that makes it seem classic rather than just costume.

GDforrealgraveyard

oddly...I have the least caps of this dude. His acting was more stand-out than costume. Oh, and he was mostly soaked or sitting on the floor side to the camera.

TOP in the car was the best part to watch, but the worst to try to screencap. Seungri actually steals the show for best scene-stills…

you're welcome, babe. Noona loves you, too.

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Blast from the Past: Playful Kiss

I was rewatching a bit of Playful Kiss, partly to review Hyun-Joong’s acting, and was reminded of how enchanting the first episode was.

The BFFs and their weird little phrases…the school that feels like an actual school, just a particularly clean and nicely landscaped one…the uniforms…

If you’ve ever picked one of the many manga featuring an elite school, or a school with some form of elite class, you’ll probably see some wish-fulfillment uniforms. Not even joking, that’s really one of the criteria Japanese girls thought about in choosing a high school…and I kind of understand now.

The Japanese middle school I attend for some time had very mundane, but at least not ugly, uniforms. Navy blazer with no sartorial embellishment, red clip-on ties, a houdstooth check skirt with a pattern so small it had no personality.

If you haven’t worn such a set of clothing for months on end, can you understand how beautiful these ones are?

Cute little cap sleeves, piping on the sleeves to contrast, a tailored vest, and the cutest elements of the sailor skirt, without being too flat.

Ribbon ties for the girls, btw, are definitely one of the cuteness factor Pros.

‘course, this won’t keep anyone from trashing them to look a little more independent…

…how hilarious is it that the placement chart is *everywhere* at this school? It’s so true-to-life. It is VERY hilarious.

Asian schooling, FTW!

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Icon Watch: TOP of Big Bang

Here’s the face:

And here’s his crew:

TOP of Big Bang has held his own as a figure in K-Pop by no accident.

Think of the competition: he’s one of two rappers and five members in his boy-band. There are dozens of groups with some of the same song-writers, choreographers, and similar concepts out there.

Where does he stand out? Let’s look a bit at the roots here, and talk Big Bang.

Big Bang is actual sunbae to the last group I profiled, 2NE1. Both are under YG entertainment, and 2NE1 debuted under Big Bang’s aegis, alongside them for the “Lollipop” commercial song.

The house style is obvious both in the music (pop R&B that’s catchy but has body, too) and a style that would rather catch eyes than stay classy.

Kind of personifying this is the group leader G-Dragon*. He’s small with a loud personality, a signature kid-like voice as a rapper, and the ability to wear an exaggeration of rapper style that’s completely ridiculous. He actually makes an ideal counterpoint for TOP…

a little preppy layered with gangsta

Who actually does best when taking a classic and adding just a slight slant on it.

One of his solo pursuits has been acting, including a turn as an assassin on the extremely successful spy drama IRIS. This show (from the MV I’ve seen of his cuts, heh) plays up the slightly sinister charisma he has.

The promo posters have him looking a little weirdly sleek, but in the actual footage, the punk arrogance and chic style comes across much better…

All the agents wear black, as far as i can tell–that’s very much the aesthetic of this show–but he makes it seem a sexy fashion covenant, rather than a professionalism.

One of his recent stylings as a star (not a character) is to have silver or insanely blonde hair.

It’s something that instantly boots that classic look up to something a bit more edgy. It sometimes ventures into pastiche, but the boy works with G-Dragon. Give him a break.

What it really comes down to is that TOP is hot. But in a kind of unusual way, especially for K-Pop boys. Rather than charming, he’s a little stand-offish in image, which is only played up by the penchant for suit jackets and ice-queen hair. He has a voice with a rough edge, and of all the Big Bang members roughed up in the “Haru Haru” video sequences he’s the one who looks not damaged, just accessorized. Would he probably look decent in anything? Yeah. But his stylists do seem to get that it’s best if you keep it simple, with just a couple things to telegraph “rapper, K-pop phenom”

is that...a pink butterfly earring?

 

 

* G-Dragon is actually the one I came across first. He’s actually one of the insanely interesting to analyze dressers that I haven’t gotten to posting about yet, because where do you start?

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City Hunter OTP: not what you’d think it is

One of the things about City Hunter that I’m surprised to actually support is that while the love-line between Na-Na and Yoon-Sung took the fore in a mini-arc, once it was kind of settled, the actual mission came again to the front. Na-Na was still a major player, because she was set up as a character involved with the whole package, not just his solace in a nasty storm…

Doesn't the navy-with-red seem kind of child-like, more a little boy's suit, so he looks even MORE vulnerable here?

though very good at that, too.

The focus of the drama was all about relationshipS, a network of them, where no connection came without a couple of knots with others. Even though the action was hot, it was the pieces of this network falling together that was the primary suspense.

And so, what was the best love-line? All shades of love are involved in this drama…

..these guys are so cute with their buddy-connection...

appropriate since the denouement conflict is over choosing between the love of loyalty, blood, and altruism, too.

So then, we haveĀ  Jin-Pyo, who made him who he is, and who is his harshest enemy. His mom, who he has the sweetest, bitterest reunion with. Young-Ju, with whom he has a rivalry that pushes both of them to excellence…and the funniest dominance games.

But who brings out the best in him? The human flaws and virtues?

So this is the prettiest pairing, yes.

Not Na-Na, actually. She heightens his conflict as City Hunter, and throws him into the hyper-reality of romantic love. No, this honor goes to everyone’s favorite ajumma…

Shik-Joong Ajussi!

I mean, look at these guys.

they get the brightest backdrops, even!

They have the sweetest exchanges, in terms of every-day back and forth in a friendship. The credit-cards arguments?

BEST THING SINCE COCOA

Sweet nothings? More like gossip-swapping...

They’re the kind of besties that usually you only see in US chick-flicks. Lee Min Ho’s other best pairing notwithstanding…

courtesy DramaBeans.com

It’s so cute, because while Yoon-Sung still feels the emotional lack of a mother, and all the ugly pressure of a swarm of fathers, Ajussi is the one who makes sure he’s living well, who gives him someone to take care of (who’s not a burden emotionally, but a real motivator to stay alive) and also a buddy who can help with whatever he’s up to.

Na-Na can keep up with the action, but Shik-Joong can be talked into doing the grunt work…

How cute is it that he’s the opposite of Yoon-Sung’s suave, plausible con man, and yet, he ALWAYS succeeds, too?

Aw. I will miss you.

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City Hunter – using the HD screen for good and eeeevil

This is a show set firmly in the 2kteens.

In a way, it must be horrible for actors to have to be on-target facially to such a high definition. Lee Min Ho does not have to cry over this, though.

I mentioned toward the beginning of the series that costumers know they have a good thing when he’s under their hands. I notice, in my screen caps, that there’s a lot of black, of course … and also hues of baby blue. It’s kind of in metro fashion these years, but it’s also definitely a good color on him.

Since there is almost no softness to his figure and features, the gentle colors don’t take away any masculinity.

EVEN if you put him in lace-texture blouses, too.

(I noted how they didn’t cop out on his sick-pallor makeup for several episodes after he got shot, and then again after being gassed. In looking back over the recaps I’m reminded how awesome that little detail is.)

Something else I’m seeing even more clearly from my screencaps is the introduction of warm, pinkish tones when NaNa is on the scene. I noted at the time the strong, but romantic light in this scene:

It’s true to the very high-intensity light of the rest of the show, but softened by the contrast of red phone and bright blouse, and a small diffuse effect.

But it’s not just in warm moments that this is true, actually.

Even if it’s Lee Yoon-Sung wearing maroon in the shot, can you deny it?

It’s a color that looks well against the sky and steel blues of most of the rest of the show, yet has a very distinctly different vibe.

You may also note (in upcoming photos, and previous ones) nature colors of wood and greens are the others to temper the black and glass-clear tech of this show’s 2011. Sky blue is noticeable in lightening the mood, because it has more green and yellow notes in it than the powdery or clear colors elsewhere.

So hot it BURNS.

 

…of course I’m talking about that jacket, what else?

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