Life · Music

What Went Down April + Mixtape

So I started drafting this post and realized that the normal format I do for monthly wrap-ups just wasn’t cutting it, instead, I decided to just talk about the highlight of April: my college tours trip. And of course my monthly mixtape because April music was lit.

Spontaneous trips are always fun, and this one was no different. We set out before the sun on a Thursday morning and drove the 4 hours to Atlanta from Nashville. First stop was Clark Atlanta University for a tour. The campus is in the heart of ATL which gives it the city feel that I like. While we were there, we had the amazing opportunity to see their art gallery, which was my favorite part.

The fashion students created a look based on certain works of art and accompanying pieces of poetry. It was so beautiful and completely my thing.

 

Next we went to the historical Tuskegee University in Alabama. This is the university Booker T. Washington started after reconstruction. Just being on the campus after reading Booker T. Washington’s autobiography last year was powerful.

Our final stop was Alabama State University in Montgomery, Alabama. Our tour there was so polished and informative, all the students and faculty we met were kind and helpful, that school made an amazing first impression.

Overall, this trip got me even more excited about college because now I can feel it becoming real for me. It was a really fun trip and all of the schools were so worth my visit.

 

Shifting gears because I just really wanted to share my playlist like this was a regular What Went Down post, here are my most loved/played songs of April 2018.

  • Don’t Leave Me ~BTS
  • Chance of Love ~TVXQ!
  • Thunder ~EXO
  • Blooming Day ~EXO CBX
  • Sweet Dreams ~EXO CBX
  • Polygon Dust ~Porter Robinson
  • Jealousy ~Monsta X
  • Shine ~Pentagon
  • Redbone ~Childish Gambino
  • No Scrubs ~TLC
  • Haru Haru (acoustic version) ~BigBang
  • Tender ~Jones
  • Plz Don’t Be Sad ~Highlight
  • I Got You ~Jaylon Ashaun
  • lovely ~Billy Eilish, Khalid
  • Rewind ~GOT7
  • Us ~GOT7
  • Baby Don’t Like It ~NCT 127
  • 90s Babies ~Victoria Monet
  • Mad Generation ~Victoria Monet
  • Paradise ~GOT7
  • sidetoside ~Chris McClenney
  • The Move ~Reva Devito
  • One ~Samuel
  • After the Storm ~Kali Uchis, Bootsy Collins, Tyler the Creator
  • What You Mean to Me ~Chris McClenney
  • Run ~Chris McClenney
  • Off-Road ~Pentagon
  • Do It For Fun ~Pentagon
  • Fallin ~Monsta X

I hope you enjoyed my different format for this month, and look forward to some epic posts in May!

Stay fly,

~Akilah

 

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Life · Music · Palates · Pleats · Plots

What Went Down March + Mixtape

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Hi! I’m late but I’m here. I can’t believe that we’re now in the second quarter of 2018. Let’s see what happened in March!

Food

 

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We ate at Puckett’s and I had some bomb chicken and waffles. I think that’s the only noteworthy food experience.

 

Fashion

Seoul Fashion Week happened and there’ll be a post about that soon.

 

Books

The Hobbit | J.R.R. Tolkien

Speak | Laurie Halse Anderson

Out of the Silent Planet | C.S. Lewis

Speak was my favorite, I loved the story and the emphasis on art. Out of the Silent Planet is also amazing, it’s a cool sci-fi read.

 

Life

We finished Hwarang!!!! It was amazing: I laughed, cried, and screamed. I’m so sad it’s over but so satisfied.

I had the monumental opportunity to write and direct the Easter play for our church so March was filled with rehearsals.

Hmmm, I think that’s all the noteworthy happenings.

 

Kpop

Whoaaaaa! There were so many spectacular comebacks this month. Monsta X’s Jealousy, NCT 127’s Touch,  and Samuel’s One were so cool. I’m crushed by BigBang’s Flower Road and SHINee’s From Now On. And j-hope’s mixtape saved 2018.

 

March Mixtape

  • La Fete Est Fini | Orelsan
  • Pulling Me Under | Kevin Garrett
  • That’s What Love Can Do | Vivian Green
  • If You Fall | Ray Dalton
  • Walls | Jaylon Ashaun
  • One & Only You | Got7
  • Miss You | EXO-CBX
  • Encore | Cheryl Lynn
  • Best Love | Yuna
  • Warriors | Koryn Hawthorne
  • Africa | Kyle Bielfield
  • Daydream | j-hope
  • Ce qui me plait | Lisandro Cuxi
  • Touch | NCT 127
  • The Night Song | Ravyn Lenae
  • Call Me Baby | Jung Min, Daeho
  • Think Hole | B.A.P
  • Overdose | EXO
  • Lost | BTS
  • Dance With Me (Venus) | VAV
  • Flower Road | BigBang
  • Lovin You Mo | EXO
  • Nous | Lisandro Cuxi
  • A Rose is Still a Rose | Aretha Franklin
  • Pleasure Principal | Janet Jackson
  • Growl | Daeho

 

I know this wrap-up was a bit more abrupt/strangely formatted but it’s a wonder it even got out so I hope you still enjoyed it!

Stay fly,

~Akilah

Life · Music · Palates · Pleats · Plots

What Went Down ~February + Monthly Mixtape

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February has come and gone, I’m sad to see it go but sort of relieved because I’m exhausted from blogging everyday. Let’s see what went down in February.

Food

  • We ate a bunch of gluten free pizza
  • Had breakfast at Firstwatch (I had lemon ricotta pancakes and they were the bomb.com)

I think that’s it actually, definitely not as cool as January’s food scene.

 

Fashion

I’m really ashamed to say that although February is fashion month I didn’t really follow any coverage of runway shows.

I know, I know, I plan to catch up in March but I was quite preoccupied this month. Anyway I get emails from Vogue Runway so I did see glimpses of some brands and I’m in love with Fendi so far.

I bought some jeans from Macy’s. This may not seem like wrap-up worthy news but these are definitively the best jeans I’ve ever owned and you’ll probably be seeing them in a million ootds in the future.

 

Books

I completed three books again, not for Brit Lit however (I still haven’t completed Pride & Prejudice or A Passage to India but we’re not gonna talk about it.)

  • A Girl Named Mister ~Nikki Grimes
  • Calling My Name ~Liara Tamani
  • The Skin I’m In ~Sharon G. Flake

A Girl Named Mister was my favorite, although all of them were amazing and you can click the links to see the posts I did about each one.

 

 

Life

The Olympics happened in PyeonChang South Korea. I will say the highlights for me were CL and EXO performing at the Closing Ceremony. But in terms of events I loved Short Track and couples skating.

Seeing EXO perform was truly amazing. I mean the Growl remix was off the chain! I even liked their rendition of Power this time even though I lowkey can’t stand that song. Their outfits, their dancing, their singing all was on point. I did really miss Yixing though, I hope Idol Producer is going well for him!

We watched The Jacksons: An American Dream which is a docu-drama miniseries about Michael Jackson and the Jacksons early life and career. It was really good and Angela Bassett slayed as always.

We also watched two French films this month Les Chorsites and Kirikou et la Sorciere. Both were spectacular but I especially loved Les Chorsites, I’d definitely recommend it to anyone (it has English subtitles if you can’t understand French).

My sister and I also started watching the Kdrama Hwarang. We started it because Taehyung from BTS and Minho from SHINee were in it and because my little sister is learning Korean. But we soon got hooked on the story. We’re only on episode 4 but I can’t wait to get farther into it.

I also colored my hair for the first time ever this month. I went from my natural dark brown color to a deep violet. It’s not actually that noticeable: more like a slight blue-black but I like how it gave my hair more sheen. Anyway I’ll probably do it again later this year.

I also got new glasses! You may see them, you may not: I like to be mysterious…

Ok and now for the most exciting thing that happened this month Black Panther!!! I saw it with my mom, dad, and little sister on opening Friday and it was hands-down the best Marvel movie ever. I can’t wait to see it again this Saturday. Also, I’ll be doing a blog post about it pretty soon so look forward to that!

 

Kpop

Seventeen released their Thanks MV and Performance Video

I love the calming vibes of this song so much! Also S. Coups and Woozi slayed vocals. And please tell me how Minghao looks cool with a mullet?

NCT-U came back with Boss and released a dance practice for it

Not gonna lie I was literally screaming watching this video. It’s spectacular and I may or may not have made my sister watch it 5 times with me when it first came out. Every single member was bias wrecking me at every possible second: the choreo was bomb, the outfits were amazing, and the rap and vocal performances were life. I think there’s always at least one video where you’re rewarded for stanning your bias and this video was that one for me. I mean Taeyong really showed out. Also the new members Jungwoo and Lucas are so amazing, I especially love Lucas’ rap in this song and I look forward to seeing more from them!

NCT-U (Taeyong & Ten) released Baby Don’t Stop

Not to be confused with EXO’s Baby Don’t Cry or NCT 127’s Baby Don’t Like It. Anyway seeing Ten again was amazing and he and Taeyong make a lit duo. I love the dance in this, Taeyong singing is life, and him rapping in Spanish is pretty cool. I don’t love the song so I don’t think I’m gonna download it but the video is nice and the song is super catchy.

Monsta X released a Tropical Night self cam video

MX are kings of self cam and this one did not disappoint. My highlights were Kihyun cleaning the studio while dancing, all the Showhyuk moments, and Changkyun with the Supreme money gun. They’re dorks and I love them.

SF9 released Mamma Mia

Ok… this was not my favorite video. They were doing the most the entire video but it was kinda cute kinda funny I guess. I did really like Taeyang’s dance part, his dance is the reason he’s my bias.

Got7 released a special video One and Only You feat. Hyolyn

I’m already in love with this song and I need a full length version. The video is fun and Yugyeom’s singing part is the best ever.

 

February Mixtape

I listened to a lot of music this month and a lot of great songs came out this month.

Fun ~Coldplay ft. Tove Lo

She’s Mine ~VAV

Same Drugs ~Chance the Rapper

U + Me (Love Lesson) ~Mary J. Blige

On the Loose ~Niall Horan

Black Gold ~Esperanza Spalding

Miss You Much ~Janet Jackson

Unravel Me ~Sabrina Claudio

Grenade ~Bruno Mars

Black Panther ~Kendrick Lamar

So Sick ~Ne-Yo

Electric Kiss ~EXO

Tomorrow ~BTS

Boss ~NCT-U

Beautiful ~iKON

Love Story ~Suran ft. Crush

Someone Who Can ~Yuna

Too Much Sauce ~Chloe x Halle

Pay My Rent ~DNCE

Blessings (reprise) ~Chance the Rapper

La Modelo ~Ozuna ft. Cardi B.

Hymn for the Weekend ~Coldplay

Thanks ~Seventeen

My Flower ~JBJ

 

That was a long post for February to be the shortest month but I hope you enjoyed seeing my highlights.

Stay fly,

~Akilah

What were your February highlights?

 

 

Life · Music · Palates · Pleats · Plots

What Went Down ~January + Monthly Mixtape

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What’s good guys?

I’m bringing back my monthly wrap ups that I left behind somewhere in 2017. It was a conscious decision to stop them but now it’s time for them to come back. So, here’s what went down in January.

Food

  • We ate at Uncle Julio’s and it’s still amazing
  • We had Pizza Perfect pizza
  • We ate wings at Gordon’s (those were bomb and I’ll be doing a post on them soon.)
  • We cooked a lot of Thai, Korean, and Chinese foods (what else is new?)
  • I baked sugar cookies and brownies

 

Fashion

My Kpop merch came in!!! I bought an EXO sweatshirt and a BTS t-shirt, I also bought my sister a Monsta X sweatshirt for her late Christmas gift. I’ll be doing a lookbook in the future so look for that sometime.

January was a huge month for shows: I especially loved Menswear ’18 this season specifically Etro, Undercover, and Joseph.

 

Books

I completed three books this month for my British literature course

  • A Tale of Two Cities ~Charles Dickens
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland ~Lewis Carroll
  • Favorite Father Brown Stories ~G.K Chesterton

I absolutely loved A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens’ writing style is eloquent with hints of dry humor, which I adore. The French revolution is the perfect backdrop of this narrative and it’s amazing to see the philosophy behind this tumultuous time in history.

 

Life

I turned 16 this month!!! I had a great beginning to my celebrations: dinner with family then friends over on Friday night. It’s not over yet though, look forward to something special birthday related coming soon.

Also, I bought my first ever Kpop albums this month, I feel like the obsession is solidified now. I bought BTS’ Wings, EXO’s The War, and Monsta X’s The Code.

I binge watched Project Runway on Hulu this month. I didn’t realize how much I missed Tim Gunn, the heightened melodrama, and that infamous runway.

And as I’m writing this on the final day of January, I’m sick. It kind of sucks because my sister was sick earlier this month and I managed to not catch it. But my body has finally succumbed.

 

Kpop

I’m adding this section because I think I need to chat about Kpop every month, send help, I can’t stop.

SM Entertainment posthumously released Jonghyun’s album Poet | Artist

This album is gold, truly poetry and art. All the tracks are spectacular, I’m partial to Only One You Need and Sightseeing. Jonghyun you did so, so well.

Monsta X released their Japanese MV Spotlight

It’s lit, you need it in your life, also Jooheon is totally bias wrecking me.

JBJ released the My Flower MV

I love this song and the choreography so much. Also Hyunbin’s rap is spectacular, if you want to know why he’s my bias this will tell you why.

iKON returned with Return (I’m amazing) and the MV Love Scenario

This choreography is amazing, but does it bother anyone else the way he pronounces “scenario”?

iKON also released the Beautiful dance practice

I love this song and Junhoe’s voice is gorgeous here. Also, the dance is lit

VAV released Spotlight

I actually started stanning them right before this comeback and finished memorized the members two days before. The aesthetics of this video are on point! All the lighting, colors, and dance scenes are magical. They’re underrated for no reason so show them some love.

Sunmi released Heroine

Oh my gosh this video is amazing! First of all her outfits are gorgeous, second the song is life, and third the dance is spectacular. I love the charisma she has in this song, Gashina was amazing but I think I like this even better.

EXO released their Japanese album Countdown

I’ve listened through the album once and it’s pretty good, Electric Kiss is so amazing and I’ve been addicted to the dance practice. Of the other tracks however, Into My World is my favorite.

Finally, what I think is most exciting: BTS is supposed to release an album sometime in early 2018!!! I still haven’t recovered from Love Yourself: Her, the AMAs, Mic Drop Remix, The Wings Final, or their Vogue video. Now, I have to save some money for this upcoming album.

I think that’s it, there was a lot so hopefully I didn’t forget anything.

 

January Mixtape

In my journal, I’ve started keeping track of what songs I’m obsessed with in each month so here’s January:

Lady Luck ~EXO

Heroine ~Sunmi

Lullabies ~Yuna

Fantasy ~JBJ

Rhythm Ta ~iKON

Only One You Need ~Jonghyun

Come and Get Me ~Lecrae

Rewind ~Zhoumi

 

Stay fly,

Akilah

 

 

 

Music · Pleats · Uncategorized

Five Things Friday: MAMA 2017 Red Carpet

Fashion and music have always been deeply connected and it seems to be even more so in Kpop culture. I looked at the coverage from the Mnet Asian Music Awards and wanted to write about my fashion favorites. I’m including the group photo even though I’ll be focusing on my single favorite look (photos from Soompi.com). Also, I’ll denote from which city the look is from because I’m merging Japan and Hong Kong.

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Johnny ~NCT 127 (1st from the left)

(Hong Kong)

Trench coats or trench coat-like blazers seemed to be quite in vogue on the carpet, and Johnny’s polka dot one definitely caught my eye. If you’re an NCTzen then you know that Johnny’s really into fashion with his “Johnny’s Fashion Evaluation” show. And I think this daring look suits him. I like how he kept the rest of the outfit simple and clean to draw attention to the statement jacket.

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Jin ~BTS (3rd from left)

(Hong Kong)

Jin’s outfit was one of the more conservative out of the members. His navy colored double-breasted blazer with black lapels was tailored absolutely perfectly. I like the simple white shirt and flower to complement it too. The shoes, however, are horrible in my opinion. They look like those shoes you have to wear if you work in a restaurant kitchen for safety reasons. But, the tailoring of the suit really makes this look for me, so I guess I’ll over look those hideous shoes.

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Jun ~Seventeen (1st from left)

(Japan)

It takes special skill to pull off a turtleneck on the red carpet. If you’re going to go for it this is how. The long-line pinstripe blazer balances the high neck of the sweater. It was definitely a good choice to go for matching pants too because it keeps the look clean. Overall, this was a welcome refresher from the dark suits.

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Sehun~EXO (1st from right)

(Hong Kong)

Ok, it’s no surprise that Sehun made it onto this list. Aside from being one of EXO’s visuals, he’s an accomplished model boasting runway shows and Vogue covers. EXO slayed this red carpet and they definitely deserved the “Best Asian Style” award. Sehun’s look was classy and a bit avant-garde. A black suit, simple and no fuss, was elevated by this amazing shirt. It has this cool shawl type piece over the right shoulder (his left) and it seems to have an asymmetrical hem. I really need a photo with no blazer to get the full effect of its greatness. But, I can tell, this look is gold.

 

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Jooheon~Monsta X (Center)

(Japan)

Monsta X’s stylist was paying attention. The burgundy shade of the blazer expertly sets off Jooheon’s platinum blonde hair (which is amazing by the way). If that isn’t enough, the blazer is velvet with velvet lapels. Then we have this gorgeous mauve tie, and although it’s not shown in this photo, some black fingerless gloves. This look is my absolute favorite of all the idols I saw and it’s perfect that they placed him in the center.

Let me know what you thought of these looks in the comments, or if I missed your faves let me know!

Stay fly,

~Akilah

Music

Kpop Comebacks Review –September

Kpop comebacks were lit this month, so I thought it would be fun to review some that I watched/listened to and enjoyed. I’m evaluating the music videos in five categories: concept, aesthetics/cinematography, fashion/beauty, choreography, and song. I’ll be discussing my thoughts in each of these categories, giving a one to five rating in each one, and then granting an overall score out of a possible 25.
BAP: Honeymoon

Concept: This video sparked lots of questions for me as it refers to the concept. Why is Yongguk’s hand bleeding? Why is Zelo trapped in the dark while the other members are on the island? And what’s with the TV in the forest? If y’all have any answers to these questions or if you can direct me to a fan theory that does, definitely comment below. Anyway, I enjoyed the classy/elegant concept in this video. (3)

Aesthetics/Cinematography: Scenery wise, this MV was probably the most stunning I’ve ever seen. I believe it was filmed on Jeju Island and I appreciate the move from a warehouse/garage/set that most groups tend to go for to an outdoor area. The aerial shots were killer and the editing was on point. (5)

Fashion/Beauty: Mullets reigned in this concept, and I have to say I am not a fan. I didn’t like the way Yongguk’s hair was styled at the table scene in the end but in the forest parts it was cool. Youngjae gets props for looking classy and not succumbing to the mullet pressure. And the all white end looks truly saved the day. (2)

Choreography: There was no dance at all in the MV, not even a head bop, but a couple of days later we received a lit dance practice. Jongup definitely came to slay this choreo with Michael Jackson-esque moves and he came mullet-less yay! The synchronicity is on point and the sweeping line dance move in the first chorus floors me every single time. Unfortunately, this video is an excellent example of a Kpop pet peeve of mine: unnecessary back-up dancers. All the members were trained in and are competent in dance. Why do we need extra people to muddy the waters? (4)

Song: With a breezy, chill feel, this song quickly became a current favorite of mine. The whistling at the beginning and the chord changes in the bridge are wonderful. Jongup’s vocal performance was flawless . I was also intrigued by the position of Yongguk’s rap, putting it at the end rather than in a verse was a nice touch. (5)

Total: 19

Pentagon –Like This

Concept: Parking lots and apples? I don’t really know but there seems to be pain and difficulty here, especially looking at the lyrics with the video. (2)

Aesthetics/Cinematography: I like the use of different locations and lighting techniques. Also E’Dawn’s car scene displayed excellent angles. (4)

Fashion/Beauty: Pentagon is a group where generally all the members look amazing in many concepts. Jinho with blonde hair worked and Yan An lived up to his status as official visual. Wooseok with a hat was a look, but underneath the hat his fluffy, shaggy hair cut irritates me to no end. Bangs don’t suit Yeo One well in my opinion but he rocked them considering. The real star in the visual department for me this comeback (and kind of every comeback) is Yuto da! His black parted hair is my favorite look of his so far, it really frames his face well and looks natural. (4)

Choreography: The amazingly talented Kino choreographed this dance and he killed it. In terms of choreography it’s probably my favorite of the September comebacks, yes, even over BTS’ DNA. Like This showcases a powerful yet graceful style that I admire. It’s nice to see such emotionally charged choreograpy like this (see what I did there). The use of slow motion at the bridge is masterfully done so it doesn’t seem cheesy. My absolute favorite move is the one in the chorus at “weonan dan hanaye becheul” it expertly shows all the emotion in that line through movement, so even before I looked up the English lyrics I could sense the desperation and determination. (5)

Song: This song is essentially about determination “Even if I fall and my knees bleed, I’ll keep on running like this.” It’s a beautiful message backed by a beautiful vocal performance. The line distribution is impeccable, especially for a ten member group and the ratio of rap to vocal doesn’t feel uneven at all. I especially love how the positioning of E’Dawn’s energetic rap breaks up the songs mellow feel. (5)

Total: 20

BTS –DNA

Concept: This concept is fun and bright but with enough of a hardcore feel. It’s perfectly and totally Bangtan. (4)

Aesthetics/Cinematography: The camera angles at the beginning of JK’s whistle, the use of shadow in the choreo scenes, and the vibrant colors make this MV pop. It’s an excellent example of gorgeous cinematography, all you artists need to get a pen and take a seat. (5)

Fashion/Beauty: Taehyung with gray hair, Jungkook with a part again, Yoongi somehow slaying powder blue, Jin’s black hair making an appearance, and Namjoon with rust colored hair made this a lit era. J-Hope’s color was nice but the bangs aren’t my favorite. Let me know if you want to sign my petition: Bring Back Hoseok’s Forehead. Jimin’s “noodle” hair looked rather strange to me even though it was poppin’ in Serendipity. In terms of fashion, Tae gets an award for best dressed but I love Kookie’s silk shirt and Yoongi’s tank and button down combo (which I recreated here). Honestly, all the looks were lit in this MV, even Hoseok’s jersey over sweatshirt look grew on me. (4)

Choreography: We saw classic Bangtan with pelvic thrusts and head bopping, but we saw lots of fresh takes on the choreograpy. Taehyung did a sweet solo, Jin was the center in a dance scene (he’s come so far), and J-Hope slayed the ending. I love the part where they link hands in a formation and the ending “la, la” dance especially. (5)

Song: This song is so catchy. Everyone shines with JK slaying pre-chorous, Tae singing in his low register, Jimin’s breathy vocal coming through, and Jin’s sweet soft voice. Our rap line came with it too: J-Hope’s excited tone and Namjoon’s aggressive one contrast perfectly. Yoongi rapped a lot in this song and I couldn’t be happier, and there’s nothing more adorable than his pronunciation of “real love”. The bass line was poppin, especially in the second verse, and the whistling of the melody was an ingenious way to make sure that every single ARMY is hypnotized by this bop. One of my favorite things about older eras of Bangtan was Jungkook rapping and we got our golden maknae showing his gifts once again in this song, and no I didn’t forget about our Chim Chim because he slayed his rap too. I can’t forget that Namjoon and Yoongi co-wrote this song. I’m so proud, BTS fighting! (5)

Total: 23

I watched a lot of comebacks in September so if you want to see a part 2 featuring B1A4, EXO, Lay, and others comment down below. Also be sure to tell me your thoughts on these comebacks if you’ve seen them and if you haven’t tell me your favorite song release of September, Kpop or otherwise.
Stay fly,
~Akilah

Music · Pleats

DNA ~BTS (Bangtan Boys) Inspired Outfit // Suga

We’re now living in the DNA era and look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now! This MV is aesthetically, musically, and choreographically stunning. Inspiration hit me from every angle while watching this the 75+ times I’ve seen it since 5:09 a.m. On Monday September 18, 2017. One of the things I was struck by was Yoongi’s outfit in this comeback. Everyone’s been talking about the abundance of Gucci, Jimin’s sequined jacket, and Hoseok’s tiger sweater but Yoongi’s outfits aren’t getting enough love. The first look he sports in this MV is my focus for today. It’s simplicity is what makes it so amazing: a red and black striped tank, jeans, suspenders, and a white button down. Check out my take on this lewk!