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Dressing up K-pop stars
Publication Date : 25-04-2012
Who: Park Man Hyun, 35, one of South Korea's top stylists and the fashion and visual director of the Korean version of men's magazine Arena. He was in Singapore last week to attend Men's Fashion Week Singapore 2012, held at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre.
His work has been seen in fashion magazines such as the American version of V as well as Korea's Esquire and GQ. Top stars whom he has styled include Nichkhun from boyband 2PM and actors such as Won Bin and So Ji Sub.
Who are the most stylish male K-pop artists right now in your opinion?
G-Dragon from Big Bang and Im Seul Ong from the ballad group 2AM.
G-Dragon reads the trends but he does not copy them blindly. He creates his own unique style.
For Seul Ong, it's not only about the clothes that he wears. He has a very fashionable body. His small face, long legs and his perfectly built six-pack harmonise any outfit he wears. He wears a lot of geometric-patterned T-shirts from Givenchy and Helmut Lang, and he matches them with many other fashion items to create his own style.
What labels do you like to use when styling the stars?
I like to mix Korean high-street brands with high-fashion brands. These days, young, independent designers and underground designers seem to be what K-pop groups go for.
Which star have you enjoyed styling the most so far?
So Ji Sub because his image is unlimited. When he wears a pastel knit pullover, he becomes the loveliest man on earth. But when he wears a leather jacket, he exudes a tough-guy image.
What was it like working with Won Bin?
In 2004, I worked on a photo album with him. He's not too tall but his body proportions are perfect. He's a clever guy who knows what fits him and he knows what he wants. It was fun working with him.
What is the most difficult thing about styling these stars?
Most of the stars are very slim - mostly size 44 or 46. Sometimes it's difficult to find their sizes, as even sample sizes are big for them. Also, if a K-pop star has a very strong sense of fashion, it's difficult to persuade him to accept a new concept.
Why is black eyeliner so popular with male K-pop idol stars?
Eyeliner makes the eyes bigger and gives a tougher image. As we are Asian, I think eyeliner is a good make-up product for male and female artists to present well-defined eyes.
What tips do you have for someone who wants to dress like a K-pop idol?
Idols wear a lot of black and white. Vibrant geometric patterns are also very noticeable this season.
K-pop stars dance a lot on stage, so the shoes have to be comfortable. I think Puma x Alexander McQueen trainers or Puma x Mihara Yasuhiro trainers are both comfortable and highly fashionable.
When styling K-pop idols, does the management dictate the look or is it a collaboration between the management, stylist and idols?
If it is a TV commercial, the advertiser asks for a specific concept. For magazine shoots, fashion editors, the stylist and the management team all collaborate.
For K-pop stars, their music comes first. Then the whole team - the management, stylist and musicians - work together so that the musicians can comfortably perform on stage.
Which idol group would you say has established their own fashion style?
MBlaq - they create a style purely based on their music. It is not only the outfits they wear but they create everything in one theme on stage, so that their stage designs, music and outfits make a perfect short musical.