A Fashion Analysis of K-Pop Girl Group Blackpink
By: Iman Taouil
Even if you’re not into K-Pop, you probably have heard of Blackpink - the biggest Korean girl group in the world at the moment. With world tours, appearances at Coachella and other American shows to their name, their influence has long crossed Asia’s borders.
The girl group has a hand not only in the music industry but in the fashion industry as well. Jennie, one of the members, is a Chanel ambassador, Lisa is a Céline muse and has a capsule collection with Korean clothing brand Nonagon, and the group regularly appears on the covers and in the pages of prestigious magazines such as Vogue and Dazed.
One of the many aspects that makes them unique is that they never wear the same outfits: each girl has her style. It is no surprise that they come from the same agency as Korean fashion icons G-dragon and CL.
As a group, their style tends to rank from edgy luxury (think ruffles, dangly earrings, embellishments, and bows) to streetwear. It is difficult, however, to define their style in a few words because they experiment with different styles.
Some would argue that this group of women have set several trends in the K-Pop world and beyond. Their stylist, Choi Kyoungwon, says it herself: Blackpink’s fashion is not meant to be relatable.
“On a personal level, it’s my vision to create a really different idea with their look to be at the epitome of women’s fashion in South Korea — to create a new milestone. [...] From the beginning, [their agency] wanted them to be different from all the other groups and create an aura nowhere near the competition,” she said in an interview with Women’s Wear Daily.
Here is a look into their most memorable fashion moments and an analysis of their styling patterns.
Blackpink often incorporates techwear accessories to give an edge to their outfits, but they took it to the next level in their most recent release Kill This Love, with full Lara Croft inspired outfits. The secret resides more in the accessories than the clothes themselves: chest rigs, cross-body bags, leg pouches, combat boots, buckled straps, and garters fall right into the utilitarian trend.
On occasions, the group is seen channeling very luxurious outfits: tops and dresses with ruffles, long bedazzled earrings, Gucci and Chanel bows, pearls, lace gloves, anything over the top with embellishments. These are occasions where they show a more glamorous side, which contrasts sharply with their streetwear-oriented side.
Reportedly, after Blackpink member Jennie performed wearing multiple diamond hairpins, she created a fashion earthquake and started a hair trend in South Korea that eventually made its way to the West. The Blackpink girls are big on hair accessories in general: hairpins, bows, and hair jewels. Lisa even made headlines for wearing a rainbow of paper clips in her hair, while Jisoo sported safety pins in her braids. Moral of the story? Experimenting is fun!
More is more
This is a known rule for almost everyone who has an interest in fashion: you can make a sober outfit interesting with a single statement piece that will do all the work. Blackpink - or rather their stylists - have added their twist to it: a statement piece doesn’t mean the rest of the outfit should be plain. Sometimes less isn’t always more.
Now, this is a trend that has been around for a while and that wasn’t started by Blackpink, but it seems to be one of their wardrobe-essentials. Whether it’s fishnet tops, socks or tights, fishnets have been consistently incorporated into their looks from their debut to now. As usual, they go for the bolder option, often wearing mini shorts displaying a full leg with fishnet tights, rather than subtly wearing them under ripped pants.
The women of Blackpink have a versatile approach to fashion, easily switching from a cool, streetwear aesthetic to a luxurious or fashion-forward, edgy one. However, there is a pattern common to most of their looks: no matter the style and aesthetic they’re going for, they usually go all out instead of sprinkling hints of a certain aesthetic here and there. This gives the girl group a bold image that makes them stand out in terms of fashion. Rather than dressing relatable, they tend to dress in-your-face, which is less easy to recreate, but leaves a memory.