New Year’s Day has passed and we say goodbye to an array of fashion trends, red carpet staples and legendary editorials. Will dark lipstick still be in this season? Who will become the hottest new designer? Will award show gowns gain inches of fabric or lose entire sections of lace? One way to always keep up with the ever-changing trends in Korea is to look at fashion editorials in the many style, make up and lifestyle magazines. Let’s look back at my top picks for best (female) photo shoots and concepts.
CL graced the pages of Vogue’s 2013 July issue. The pictorial took place at the abandoned Daelim Contemporary Art Museum. In CL’s Vogue interview, she revealed that she’d created a story for the character she was playing in the photo shoot. Her concept was that of a self-indulgent woman unable to let go of her past lover and memories, who lived in a fantasy world alone in the house. She said, “Today’s pictorial is very interesting because it is a mix of high fashion, funky elements and a location that has an atmosphere of the olden days.” Small details like black hair pins completely covering her hair and gallant, flowing dresses with tight-fitted waistlines gave the illusion of a woman who cares about her appearance and posture, but will also sit on the floor of a bathroom in an insanely expensive gown.
[Girls' Generation] Tiffany
Tiffany graced the cover of Ceci’s 2013 August issue. The fashion theme for this photo shoot was the mixing of pale pastels with quirky patterns (e.g. hearts, lines, and leopard print), chunky jewelry with sheer fabrics, and winter wear with dangerously-high stilettos. Tiffany was a flower goddess caught between fall and winter, or simply a flower shop girl with too much time on her hands whose about to get fired for scattering flower petals all over the wooden floor. I loved the crystal accessories and golden necklaces, the different shades of pink lipstick, and the flirty boldness of her shoe colors. It was just an effortlessly chic photo shoot and my favorite Girls’ Generation one of the entire year.
[Miss A] Suzy
Suzy was in this pictorial for Harper’s Bazaar for the 2013 August issue. The story that comes to mind when I look at the photos is that of a Korean socialite who goes on a shopping trip to Paris but becomes tired easily, since she’s wearing knee-high leather designer boots, so she starts lounging against the nearby stone monuments. I believe it’s the details that highlight the sophisticated photo shoot—the heart ring, the alligator-skin skirt that looks like a jacket, the beret. But my favorite article of clothing is the coat that looks like a cloud with diamond-studded flowers (see above). I wonder how surreal it must have felt for Parisian K-Pop fans when they spotted her on the streets. Whiplash!
Hyomin was in this pictorial for InStyle for the 2013 January issue. Two words: pixie cut. In my opinion, Hyomin would make the prettiest SHINee member, and that’s a massive compliment. My favorite part about this photo shoot is that it feels like a promotional set of pictures for a musical film, like a live version of Disney’s Frozen. It’s just so glamorous! The headpieces, the fur cuffs, the subtle animal prints, and the black-purple velvet gown with the tuxedo jacket and tiara. In some photos she’s an elegant business woman waiting outside in the cold for her limousine, after a very posh religious ceremony filled with hushed fashion week gossip. In others, she’s a scared catholic schoolgirl abandoned by her parents but looking completely flawless while freezing in the snow. Both scenarios are a bit disturbing but she looks positively angelic.
[Girls' Generation] Jessica
Jessica was in this photo shoot for Vogue Girl’s 2013 June issue. Jessica is Suzy’s private boarding school friend, who was also invited to her European shopping trip, only she’s wearing more sensible heels and, at times, even multicolored sneakers (Gasp!). She’s the sportier, carefree heiress who wears short dresses of unique floral patterns, platinum-gold heels, and boyish caps. She’s always a mix between casual and evening, although she seems to be wandering Paris at mid-afternoon. This time around, the Parisian K-Pop fans did break their necks while doing the double takes.
Yoon Eun Hye
Actress Yoon Eun Hye traveled to Hawaii for this High Cut pictorial published in February 2013. Eun Hye has always been one of the most photogenic celebrities in the industry, so it’s no surprise that she steals the spotlight from the shirtless male models in this photo shoot without batting a perfectly-outlined eye. I loved the range of styles that were experimented with in the different settings. The structured black coat posing as a bathing suit (see above), the checker-patterned suit for a stroll in the park (because, why not?), and the simple gold hoop earrings. The halo of braids around her head gave some photos vulnerability; while her loose tresses by the pool made her look predatory, like she was trying to catch her husband cheating on her from across the water.
HyunA became the first Korean artist on the cover of U.K.’s Pop Magazine back in May 2013. Let’s be honest, half of this photo shoot is amazing, and the other half, not so much. The photos featured above are part of the bizarre-yet-beautiful shots that create the illusion that HyunA is either stuck in candy factory purgatory or is plastered onto a kindergartner’s drawing. Neon yellow boots—yes! Big hair—yes! Pinup poses—yes! Does it feel dated? Not at all, in fact, it feels futuristic, like she’s cosplaying high-fashion. I loved the different chokers; they were the simple accessories that made all of the shots fit together and gave HyunA the most character.
[KARA] Goo Hara
Goo Hara was in this pictorial for Esquire’s 2013 January issue. This was a sexy, simple, but risky photo shoot. What I love about these photos is that Hara is playing naughty-nice model, where she isn’t going for a vixen image but isn’t trying to seem completely wholesome either. The details make this photo shoot spectacular: the messy hair pulled back in a spiky low-ponytail, the pink gloves, the smudged makeup, the black-and-white outfit (representing the two personalities), and the different, sheer leggings. It’s a story that sells me every single outfit. If only I could afford them. Also, congratulations to Goo Hara for being carried by four shirtless male models in one photo and living the dream for all of us.
Sulli graced the cover and pages of Ceci’s 2013 September issue. For this photo shoot, princess Sulli has invited you to a tea party, but her intentions are murky. Sulli took a page from Goo Hara’s naughty-nice book, read it from top to bottom, and plays the part deceivingly well. On the left we have flirty Sulli; on the right, innocent, sweet Sulli. I felt this was a sexy yet demure coming-of-age pictorial. Although Sulli is already 19, she’s still 16 in all our eyes. I loved the makeup choice to have her lips stand out with her reddish hair, keeping her eye shadow a neutral peach gloss. The standout pieces: the dangerously-short skirt that looks like sliced ribbons (see above), the beautiful black dress with intricate lace designs at the shoulders, white gloves with little bows at the wrists, and the polka dot dress with sewn pearls on the collar. Also, the photo with the gown that has mountains of lace is the most adorable thing in the world.
Agree with my choices? Who else had an amazing photo shoot in 2013?