Visuals play a huge role in K-pop; from music videos to album covers, to the idols themselves. Pretty members need pretty make-up and pretty outfits. It’s a simple formula, but not a simple task. This is where stylists come in. Their role and its difficulty shouldn’t be underestimated.
For this write-up, we consulted a friend of ours, Madj, who is a fashion major and gave us a little insight into her world:
“Stylists need to conceptualize, and at the same time know the factors that will be alright for each member. From hairstyle, to make up, to textiles, to fabrics, … The image of the idol and the style need to be interconnected. They need to perform their best while wearing something that will give them confidence and comfort.”
In the fashion world, lines are used to create body illusions. Proper placements in certain parts of the body will make a person look taller, shorter, slimmer or more voluminous. Outfit cuts, patterns and accessories create these lines, and fromis_9’s stylists were able to make each of the girl’s assets stand out while also creating a balanced look within the group.
Being one of fromis_9’s most physically fit members, Saerom was typically given outfits that would showcase her lean figure and gave her a sporty look. A crop top combined with tight but flared pants (a casual Saerom trademark) placed her legs and abs in the limelight perfectly. Added vertical line patterns on those pants made her look a little taller. Other than that, Saerom could also be seen wearing high-waisted shorts coupled with knee-high boots, focusing on her midriff and thighs. Two types of outfits that perfectly suited our captain’s mature charms.
Hayoung’s outfits were just as well-defined as Saerom’s. Her styling, however, went the opposite direction. Hanyang’s cute and sweet charms were complemented with flowy dresses, loose jeans and flared clothing pieces; outfits that were very similar to her personal wardrobe. No one knows Hayoung better than she knows herself, since these loose fits work just right for her slim build. With her bright, frizzly orange hair topping things off, Hayoung looked like a cutie pie no matter what.
Arms, shoulders and thighs. These were the assets that were deliberately flaunted in Gyuri’s outfits. Sleeveless tops were paired with high-waist skirts, shorts, or pants with openings at the thigh area. All of these items showed off how lean Gyuri had become. Due to her long torso, Gyuri also wore belts, making her body proportions look more balanced. Gyuri’s personal charm was radiated through boyish accessories, like a bandana tied around her arm or a thick chain necklace – perfect for our fake princess.
Being a member of the “balanced line” (the unit name of the three shortest fromis_9 members), a core aspect of Jiwon’s styling was to make her look a little taller. This was accomplished through her legs and waist. Jiwon was mostly seen wearing short dresses, skirts or shorts, showing as much leg as possible to extend her figure. Her outfits were typically hourglass-shaped or had an accessory around the waist making her seem slimmer and thus taller. Other than that, Jiwon’s stage outfits, much like her personal style, were rather feminine, complementing her graceful yet strong stage presence.
Another member of the “balanced line”. Jisun’s outfits shared the same purpose as Jiwon’s: make her look a little taller and slimmer. However, Jisun did so with more flowy and feminine skirts and dresses, which go hand in hand with her personality and charms. Most noticeably, Jisun’s outfits were accessorized with a drape hanging from her waist. This gave the impression of an hourglass figure, but also leveled up Jisun’s performance by accentuating her dance moves, namely the many hip moves and spinning parts in the choreography.
Similar to Gyuri, Chaeyoung flaunted her arms and shoulders, but also her abs. Being the member who’s probably the most comfortable wearing little clothing (as she said so herself), Chae showed a lot of skin by wearing crop tops and even tube tops. To balance things out, she was usually given a pair of baggy pants, which also made our tallest member’s legs look shorter. This combination was similar to Saerom’s outfits, only a lot more rough – perfect for Chaeyoung’s girl-crush stage presence.
Looking much more mature this era, it seems Nagyung has leaned more towards the sexy side of her sexy-cutie charms. Though her outfits were rather versatile, Nagyung’s petite figure was often given more volume through puffy long sleeve tops. These were paired with wide belts which gave her an hourglass body shape. Other than that, Nakko wore crop tops that displayed her slim waist. Both of these tops were paired with short bottoms to make her seem taller, like they did for Jiwon and Jisun.
With each passing comeback, we see Jiheon grow up. This era’s more mature styling made that very apparent. Jiheon showed the most versatility of all members in her outfits. With her ideal height and slim build, there was nothing our maknae couldn’t wear: almost like a teenager experimenting which clothing combination would suit her best. Crop tops, shirts, pants, skirts and shorts were all combined to create her various outfits. Our maknae still rocked her signature beret though.
the my little society look
Although each outfit is very different, as they are tailored to each member’s figure and personal charms, the group always managed to look cohesive. All of their outfits were tied together by a common material or color palette for each performance, not to mention the overall aesthetic of the era.
“Feel Good” had a retro sound and this was carried through to the girls’ outfits. Denim, plaid, black boots, cropped shirts: all key items for the 90’s fashion trends. These were often accessorized with belts, fishnets and statement earrings, which gave the girls a grunge, yet chic group aesthetic. Elements like Jisun’s drape accent were also worn by all the members throughout many performances, further tying the outfits together.
During Saerom, Hayoung and Jisun’s recent V LIVE, the girls shared how their stage outfits were made. The stylists would buy several outfits and customize them by cutting and attaching different pieces together, tailoring them to each of the girls, as if they were manufacturing them again.
The girls themselves were amazed by how the outfits were put together. After going through and analyzing each of them, we have to agree. The amount of thought and craft that was put into the outfits is really more than it seems.
Take a look at fromis_9’s other stage outfits and watch their “Feel Good (SECRET CODE)” performances on r/fromis!
Writers: Adam and Mitch
Special thanks to Madj
Follow us on Twitter.