Posts Tagged you’re beautiful
One of the funniest moments I had in encounter with fangirldom was about Jang Geun-Suk’s clothes as Hwang Tae-Kyung in You’re Beautiful, when one of the Viki commenters complained, tongue-in-cheek, about his “slutty blouses”.
It was the first time I’d seen someone use that word for a male. Instantly hilarious. Esp. with up-tight Hwang Tae-Kyung, who did have a somewhat obscure fashion sense, rocketing between clerical collars when out and barely-there knits when at home.
It would not be the last time I came across this particular brand of collar-bone pimping fanservice, but since You’re Beautiful was I think my first K-Drama, it left an impression.
Of course, City Hunter pandered to us and the inevitable love of Lee Min Ho by giving him a similar taste going bare up there, even under his suit jackets. It could be the perfect blend between a Thai upbringing to heat-friendly clothes, and the metro persona he’s put on–I think the real Yoon-Sung would be bundling up a bit more in the cooler climate, if he had a choice…
Anyway, I went to look at a little Full House since it had been a while and I have a new appreciation of Rain lately, and it struck me.
Of course. Of course he was the first.
He was the first to rip his shirt on stage, on national television, and continues be quite shrewd about using his physique to get him attention.
So apparently the world of k-drama fangirls owes him a lot more than I ever knew…
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.
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.