A Life of Song, Dance, and Fashion
One of my favorite girl groups Twice recently came out with another hit called “Likey,” and I had planned to do this week’s photos using poses from that song. Obviously, the LIZ LISA heart balloon dress deserves some special heart-related moves, right? (“Heart heart” was one of the main lines of lyrics in “Likey.”) Alas, the temperature in New York City was 46°F (roughly 7°C for you Celsius folks); I managed to get one pose in, but mostly I managed to smile in between darting into sunlight or my down jacket for warmth.
Regardless, I want to use this opportunity to talk about my favorite genre of music: K-Pop. And no, I don’t speak Korean. Many people are baffled by that, but K-Pop, like other forms of music, transcends language. Not that I don’t look up the lyrics (K-Pop lyrics are usually very well-written), but to me the essence of K-Pop is really in the music and dance.
I’ve always loved listening to music and singing since I was a little kid. K-Pop songs combine both—most K-Pop songs have choreography that go with them. Everyone knows that from watching K-Pop music videos and live performances. There is one element of K-Pop, however, that is just as integral to K-Pop as song and dance are but is often overlooked: The fashion or costumes that the singers wear.
I can’t speak for boy groups, but I have studied many girl groups’ performances closely and noticed that all three elements—music, choreography, and fashion—are crucial to forming a cohesive concept. Each part tells part of the story: The song has the thoughts, the choreography puts those thoughts into actions, and the fashion conveys the group’s personality. Without even one of these elements, the presentation of the music will not be complete.
In a previous blog post, I mentioned that fashion is a way we express our sense of self to the world, and that’s definitely true in the case of K-Pop fashion. Each group has a memorably distinct style, and the groups’ fashion tells you not only something about their songs but also their personalities. For example, Twice has a playful look, Apink showcases a feminine style, and EXID projects more of an edgy image. From the music to the choreography to the clothes, everything is planned to a T.
This picture of K-Pop is perhaps a microcosm of what life should be—we should find our own “music, choreography, and fashion” that make us tick and fuse them together to form a cohesive concept of ourselves. This thought is inspired by a book I’ve been reading called Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans. The authors said we feel most fulfilled when different parts of our lives align with and are in harmony with each other. While we can't always plan what happens in our lives to a T, managing ourselves and cultivating our own strengths and passions are definitely well within our control.
What is your “music, choreography, and fashion?” Share with me on social media and in the comments below!