THE K-POP EFFECT.
Korean ban BTS. The K-POP superstars have 32 million YouTube subscribers and 26m followers on Instagram
Cuts are precise and the silhouettes are purposefully selected, combining sleek minimalism with playful exaggeration, or chopping proportions to unexpected effect. Slim-cut suits are worn with shirts that extend almost to mid-high, or shorts are worn under ankle length 'duvet' coats. Seoul street fashion is all about dressing up, and there is no better place to witness this than on the stylish avenues of Gangnam, Hongdae (university Hongik) and Myongdong .
Gucci, Burberry and Saint Laurent made the most of their relationships with K-pop stars. Vogue declared EXO rapper Sehun as the best-dressed man at Louis Vuitton's resort 2019 show, whild all seven members of BTS arrived at the 2018 Billboard Awards in bespoke Saint Laurent. Taeyoung from Big Bang collaborated with Fendi in 2017, G-Dragon is such a Chanel brand ambassador joining the ranks of Kristen Stewart, Cara delevigne and Pharrel Williams. Dior Men creative director Kim Jones chose 'Loveself 2019' tour for BTS.
And the K-pop influence is not limited to fashion. In September 2018, BTS was invieted to address the UN and gave a speech in Korean encouraging youths to "speak yourself". It quickly went viral. Last year BTS made history as the first Korean band to top the US charts and are the first band since The Beatles to have three No 1 albums in a single year.
Following the establishment of their Love Myself anti-violence campaign in partnership with UNICEF, BTS addressed the United Nations 73rd General Assembly and became the youngest ever recipients of the Order of Cultural Merit from the President of South Korea due to their contributions in spreading Korean culture and language.
How the rise of South Korean music is shaping the way the world dresses.
South Korean pop, K-pop, is a well-oiled music machine that plucks photogenic teenagers from obscurity and hot-houses them through years of intensive training and choreography. Sculpted into slick all-boy or all-girl bands, they are polished to an immaculate sheen and equipped with the latest duds and sharpest dance movies. K-pop has been around since the mid-1990s, however, in recent years it has gone global. With a huge following in Japan, China, Thailand, the Philippines
, the Middle East, much of America and Australia, the bands once dismissed as plastic pop stars are now world-famous. With a fan base that borders on the obsessive, BTS is the most famous band on the planet today. As a collective, the seven members that make up the group, RM, Jimin, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, V and Jungkook, have 32 million YouTube subscribers, and 23 million and 26m followers on Twitter and Instagram respectively. They were the most tweeted-about celebrities of 2017, well ahead of Kim Kardashian and Taylor Swift, and have fans who refer to themselves as the BTS army.
But while teenagers may enjoy the upbeat tunes, there is more to K-pop than first meets the eye.
During the japanese colonial occupation of Korea 1910-1945, much of the country's identity and culture was destroyed as part of so-called 'modernisation' programmes. In 1961, General Park Chunghee staged a military coup and seized power. Over the next two decades he ruled the country with an iron first, placing tight controls on political oppositions, the press and universities. He established the much feared Korean Central Intelligence Agency to spy on dissenters and control the populace through fear tactics, and in 1972 declared martial law.
For a generation of young people living under this oppresive regime, wearing western-style hot pants, mini skirts, jewellery, or, for men, having long hair and donning make-up, became a symbol of political rebellion as well as a rejection of authoritarian rule. Clothing thus became enmeshed in protest, and even after the fall of the 1990s, Seo Taiji and Boys, merged American hip-hop with grunge in a style that would become known as 'resitance fashion'.
BTS (Korean: 방탄소년단; RR: Bangtan Sonyeondan), also known as the Bangtan Boys, is a seven-member South Korean boy band formed in Seoul in 2010