You really can’t talk K-pop without touching on fashion. Known for their synchronised dance moves, catchy tunes and striking outfits, watching a K-pop video is a visual feast.
K-pop girl group of the moment Blackpink – Jennie, Rose, Jisoo and Lisa – who are coming to Malaysia this weekend for the Blackpink 2019 World Tour [In Your Area] Kuala Lumpur, Feb 23 and 24, have set off a fashion revolution of sorts with their eye-catching outifts and the attitude to match.
Stylist Choi Kyoung-won, who was dressing the girls since their debut in 2016 (see sidebar Get to know Blackpink), in an interview with WWD last year, said she wanted to create something different with their look and for it to be at the forefront of fashion in South Korea.
She said the secret was “to compose looks that ‘cater to each girl’s personality, while also looking harmonious together.’” Blackpink is currently styled by Kim Ji Eun, YG Entertainment’s visual director.
There are several Instagram accounts dedicated to Blackpink and its style is a huge part of its appeal. A popular one is @blackpinkcloset which gives its 180k followers a breakdown of their outfits. This is a group that was created with a strong fashion presence. As Choi says, “The group is more loved by people who follow fashion. They are for an in-the-know girl.”
Floral mini dresses with boots? Check. Short shorts and crop tops? Got them in pastels with a tweed jacket or in black with chains. Long dresses? Clinch it in with a leather belt or have a leather bustier as an overlay. And let’s not forget the streetstyle – oversized hoodies, sweats and mini backpacks (ideally Chanel). The element of schoolgirl is also there with the short pleated skirts in plaids or solid colours paired with knee high socks. They aren’t afraid to play with colour, florals and prints either. Throw in ruffles, bows, embellishments and sequins, and you get what looks like too much going on at times, but somehow they make it work.
If you want to dress Blackpink style, think high fashion, the keyword being luxury, but always with that streetstyle edge.
In K-pop groups, each member is usually assigned a personality – the leader, the visual, the vocal, the dancer, the “maknae” (youngest) etc. Blackpink is no different, and their outfits, while coordinated to a certain extent, have distinct differences to match their personalities. Here’s a breakdown of their individual style.
Known as the “human Chanel”, probably due to her love of the luxury brand and collaborations with it, Jennie does the high-low fashion look really well.
Mixing luxury brands with fast fashion or streetwear, she loves fashion and is said to be the most particular when it comes to choosing her outfits. And really, who else but Jennie would have something like 22 costumes changes in under three minutes? Yes, that’s the amount of different outfits she had for her first solo release, called Solo (as in being single). That’s a fashion queen for you.
Affectionately known as Miss Korea by the fandom (called Blinks), Jisoo is the visual of the group. With the kind of looks favoured by South Koreans, Jisoo would look quite at home as a K-drama heroine or as a beauty queen. Her fashion style is sweetly pretty, feminine and girly. Pastels, prints, bows, lace – her style is as cute as her personality.
The main vocalist, Rose probably has the most relatable style. Her look tends to be more casual and minimalist. Monochrome, basics and minimal accessories would sum up her look. She’s not afraid to do prints and florals, but always keeps it classic.
The youngest member and the only foreign one – Lisa is Thai and the best dancer in the group. She is also the South Korean female celebrity with the highest number of Instagram followers with over 15 million. Her style is very much street – cargo pants, crop tops, caps and any amount of chains can be seen in Lisa’s outfits. This doesn’t mean she doesn’t wear dresses, she can carry off the fitted sequinned mini numbers and long dresses with ease.
Get To Know Blackpink
The quartet, consisting of Jennie, Rose, Jisoo and Lisa, are not only the the highest-charting female K-pop act on both Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard 200, it is the first and only K-pop girl group to top Billboard’s Emerging Artists chart.
It’s catchy Ddu-Du Ddu-Du music video recently became the most viewed K-pop music video on the streaming site with 650 million views in January 2019.
Those are some serious numbers. It has four releases: Square one, Square two, As If It’s Your Last and Square Up.
It has also racked up numerous awards, the latest being Digital Bonsang for As If It’s Your Last at Golden Disc Awards and Bonsang Award at Seoul Music Awards last year amongst others.
Blackpink has had collaborations and endorsements with brands like Louis Vuitton, Puma, Reebok, Dior Cosmetics, Moonshot, Shibuya 109, Tokyo Girls Collection x CECIL McBEE, St. Scott London, S and Sprite Korea. The girls have also been seen at fashion week, making appearances at Chanel (Jennie) and Coach (Rose and Jisoo) and Michael Kors (Lisa).
It is the first regional ambassador for Singaporean e-commerce platform, Shopee, part of their partnership with YG Group (it is under YG Entertainment) in seven different countries; Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and Taiwan.
And if you want to know how strong a brand name Blackpink is, it is first for brand reputation based on analysis by The Korea Reputation Research Institute in 2018.
Blackpink also made their US debut last week on The Late Show With Stephan Colbert, followed by Good Morning America.
Prior to that, it performed at Universal Music’s Grammy Artist Showcase, the day before the Grammys. Blackpink will also be performing at Coachella in April (it’s the first K-pop girl group to perform there) and hold a North American tour around the same time.