Music · Pleats

Dressing Like Kpop Albums

I’m back with another lookbook style post! I came up with this idea one day and immediately latched onto it. If you know me then you know I love kpop and I love fashion. Planning these outfits was a blast and I hope you enjoy this concept!

For each of the 7 kpop albums I own I took inspiration from the photobook and packaging to create looks. These aren’t necessarily recreations of outfits from the photobook but outfits derived from the “vibe” of the album.

BTS — Wings

Top: Thrifted

Pants: Thrifted

Blazer: Thrifted

Shoes: So Aesthetic Shop

This album is rich and luxurious so for the fit I tried to incorporate lots of textures. Starting with leather pants and a “silk” pajama top (big believer in pjs for daywear), I decided to top it off with a white blazer. To add even more dimension, I opted for my beloved iridescent platforms.

NCT 127 — Chain (Taeyong Version)

 

Top: Forever 21

Jeans: Old Navy

Blazer: Thrifted

NCT’s Japanese album has a lot of graphics and sporty yet structured looks. To compliment the graphic element I chose my “sisterhood” graphic tee and paired it with black jeans and a black blazer for a casual yet classy look.

EXO — The War

Top: Dillard’s

Pants: Gap

Shoes: Converse

This concept is quite different from all the other albums I own. It’s rife with primary colors and beachy prints. It’s hazy, laid back, and summery so I chose an outfit that was the same. Yellow pants are the focal point and I balanced their silhouette with a flowy black floral print top. Some cute apple Chuck Taylors were the finishing touch to this fit.

BTS — Love Yourself: Answer

Dress (as top): Dillard’s

Skirt: Macy’s (?)

Shoes: Converse

A springy luxe concept, this album is characterized by lace and pastels, romantic silhouettes, and frills. In my outfit I matched the theme with a peasant style dress, worn as a shirt and a flowy white circle skirt. In the photo book outfits they wore chunky shoes to contrast the flowy clothes so I opted for my white Converse One Stars to finish the fit.

Monsta X — The Code

Top: Forever 21

Sweater: Aeropostale

Jacket: Thrifted (Hollister)

Jeans: Dillard’s (Calvin Klein)

Shoes: Gifted

The Code is soft and neutral with cozier shots and a black, white, and nude color palette. To honor this, I went with a white knit and a brown corduroy jacket. Then, I chose light wash jeans and tan ankle boots to keep the soft look consistent.

EXO — Don’t Mess Up My Tempo

Sweater: Forever 21 (Men)

Skirt: Forever 21

Jacket: Dillard’s

Belt: Aliexpress

Shoes: So Aesthetic Shop

Leather, chains, belts, and general motorcycle rebel gear define EXO’s fifth album. It’s hard and it’s cool but it’s also really hot. The main point of my outfit is the chain belt so I built the ensemble around it. To balance proportions I chose a bulky sweater and pencil skirt. I topped it off with the leather jacket because, you know, leather and EXO are a whole ship. Of course my platforms were the only shoe for this because I definitely needed to be taller and really powerful for this concept.

BTS — Love Yourself: Tear

Top: Gifted

Jeans: Old Navy

Jacket: Thrifted (H&M)

Boots: Off Broadway

LY: Tear is probably my favorite kpop album concept wise: it’s dark and brooding, casual yet rich, and painful but beautiful. I chose a black button down and black jeans with a black belted denim jacket. As you can tell, the mood was all black, so I finished the fit with black lace up ankle boots.

Let me know which look was your favorite!

Stay fly,

~Akilah

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Life · Palates · travel

Pho, Boba + Kpop Debates

You know a restaurant is a hit when you drive to a whole ‘nother city just to eat there again. Originally, we went to Chopstix because my sister was craving bubble tea. But at Chopstix we got so much more than just boba. When we first walked in, the cutest fish tank stood by the door. Instead of fish, though, it held pretty succulents and cacti. Further in, there was a lightbox with the name of the restaurant spelled out.

When we were seated, the party next to us was having a heated debate. They asked us what we thought, “BTS or EXO?” My sister, wearing her Love Yourself Tear t-shirt firmly defended Bangtan Soyeondan. But while I love BTS, I of course had to defend EXO. Honestly, meeting other kpop fans was a great way to start our meal: we debated over the most attractive member of Got7 and Seventeen vs. Wanna One.

Finally, we began to peruse our menus. I settled on Chicken Pho, my dad ordered Shrimp Pho, my mom chose Basil Fried Rice, and my sister selected Beef Bibimbap. And of course we all ordered tea, I chose the Café Mocha Milk Tea with boba.

They make the tea fresh and let me tell you, it’s the best bubble tea I’ve ever had. The Café Mocha had a subtle coffee flavor, but nothing overpowering. It wasn’t too sweet and of course the packaging was adorable.

My pho was pho-nomenal! So warm and flavorful and I was really feeling the ginormous bowl it came in. I also tasted some of my sister’s leftover bibimbap and it was spectacular. The perfect ratio of spiciness and the rice was cooked perfectly.

We all had such a satisfying experience, we actually drove back to Chattanooga to return to Chopstix. This time I ordered Beef Crispy Noodles and Lavender Bubble Tea. At first, I was unsure about the crispy noodles because they were the texture of wontons. I wasn’t convinced that I wanted to eat a huge plate of that texture, but the vegetables and meat were so delicious I couldn’t stop eating even if I had wanted to. Then I figured out that if I mixed the noodles into the broth, they softened to a more preferred texture. The dish was amazing and the leftovers were even better the next day.

My lavender tea was spectacular. It had a definite lavender flavor but it wasn’t medicinal. I honestly love this restaurant so much. From the décor to the service (we had amazing waiters/waitresses’ both times) and of course the food. Everything was perfect and I would fully recommend it!

Stay fly,

~Akilah

What’s a restaurant you’d drive to another city for?

Music · Pleats

My Favorite Dance Practice Outfits

One of the millions of reasons I’m obsessed with Kpop is the fashion. Even when they’re practicing, the outfits rival stage ensembles. So, today I’m sharing  5 of my favorite dance practice outfits. Please keep in mind that these are in no particular order and there’s certainly many more than five, but we’d be here all night if I went through all of them. Also, appreciate my screenshotting skills because I tried hard for you guys.

 

Jungkook – 뱁새 (Baepsae/Silver Spoon)

JK_Baepsae

Perfection in fabric, that’s what this outfit is. The cut of the jeans is quite unexpected in a world of skinny jeans. The white button down riffs on that classic work-wear silhouette but looks breezier. And JK’s beloved Timbs truly pull together the look.

 

Minghao (The8) – Crazy in Love

I’m not always a fan of extremely long t-shirts like this one, but Minghao makes it work. The proportions are balanced because of his fitted joggers, and while I’m not a huge fan of his socks being pulled up so far, it does keep the look more streamlined. Unfortunately, I can’t for the life of me, find this shirt. I’m in love with the way it looks and wanted to see the smaller print of what it says. So, if you happen to find some details, let me know in the comments!

 

Lucas – Boss

Lucas_Boss

I almost did TY’s outfit from Boss, and while it is sensational, Lucas’ outfit really draws me. It’s simple: a white long-sleeve, black jeans, gold chain, and Adidas, but it’s styled so expertly. The top is tucked into the jeans and the jeans are belted, the gold chain is an excellent touch and the shoes tie in the sleek black and white color palette.

 

Sehun – The Eve

Sehun_TheEve

Again, while simple, this outfit makes a big impact. The wash of the jeans are that perfect medium denim and offer nice contrast to the black hat, tee, and shoes.

 

Jin – Blood Sweat & Tears

Jin_BS&T

Black on black looks *NCT plays in the background* are a staple in dance practices but Jin brings it to another level. Although it’s a button-down, the shirt doesn’t have a stiff quality, but rather hangs perfectly relaxed. Because this look is so sleek, I appreciate the minimalism of the one hole in the black jeans. Also, it looks like his shoes are suede, which brings in an unexpected texture. This outfit contrasts amazingly with Jin’s pink hair…it’s just a whole look.

 

Let me know what your favorite dance practice fits are!

Stay fly,

~Akilah

 

Music

Favorite Albums of 2018 (So Far)

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In which I fulfill my dream of being a music writer, and share my favorite albums of 2018’s first half in no particular order…

Positive

Artist: Pentagon

Genres: Kpop; Khip-hop

Release Date: April 2

Favorite Tracks: Do it for Fun; Shine; Off-Road

In the past, I’ve never been able to fall in love with Pentagon’s B-side tracks, and thus the rest of their albums. Although their title tracks always stand out I’ve been underwhelmed by the rest of the songs. Positive changed that. Each and every song on this album is magical, from the infectious and high-energy Shine, to the gritty hip-hop line’s Do it for Fun, to the acoustic choir infused Let’s Do it Together and every track in between. It’s an all around good-feeling album that explores a plethora of different sounds.

The Kids Are Alright

Artist: Chloe X Halle

Genres: R&B; Indie

Release Date: March 23

Favorite Tracks: Happy Without Me; Baby on a Plane; Fake

I’ve been a fan of this sister duo since they were doing covers on YouTube. Now that they’ve released an EP, mixtape, and now full-length studio album under Beyoncé’s Parkwood Entertainment, I can say I’m still a fan. We are graced with Chloe’s melodiously deep alto and Halle’s piercingly bright soprano that compliment each other so well. The Kids Are Alright is an album that’s decidedly Generation Z. Rather than fitting into the mold of traditional R&B, it dips into Indie, Hip-Hop, and even Rock at some points. Lyrically, Chloe x Halle exemplify our upcoming generation with lyrics that moan about a broken society but ultimately believe that “there are still cool people in the world”.

 

Blooming Days

Artist: EXO-CBX

Genres: Kpop; Kr&b

Release Date: April 10

Favorite Tracks: Sweet Dreams; Thursday; Blooming Day

Chen, Baekhyun, and Xiumin have been a dynamic trio since the beginning of EXO’s first sub-unit. Blooming Days, however, really drives home just how much musical chemistry they have. The album’s days-of-the-week concept is fresh without feeling contrived and the decidedly R&B direction feels just right for this sub-unit. There are slow melancholy tracks like Monday, sweet laid back tracks like Playdate, and of course those classic EXO flirty numbers like Blooming Day and Vroom Vroom. Each member gets to shine in his own unique way and we get a front-row seat to see who EXO-CBX truly is.

 

Lost & Found

Artist: Jorja Smith

Genres: R&B; Soul

Release Date: June 8

Favorite Tracks: Teenage Fantasy; Blue Lights; Don’t Watch Me Cry

When I first heard Jorja Smith’s voice I was instantly hooked on her deep soulful tone. Her music reminded me of Adele’s: longing, mournful, and tinged with heartbreak. But it was charged with wokeness and social commentary. Lost & Found continues in that vein. But not only do we hear her beautiful tones we hear expert lyricism especially in her Lifeboats Freestyle. Each track is unique in it’s lyrics and music but they paint a cohesive picture because of the longing that is evident in each. Longing for lost love, satisfying truth, and a just world.

 

Love Yourself Tear

Artist: BTS

Genres: Kpop; Kr&b; Khip-hop

Release Date: May 18

Favorite Tracks: The Truth Untold; Paradise; Anpanman

In this 3rd studio album from BTS we get the best elements of the first two: that hip-hop aggression of Dark & Wild, and that introspective longing of Wings. This album shows the growth of BTS while still staying within that beautiful “Bangtan style”. This is exemplified subtly in how Suga whispers his name before his verses, how the intro track is completely in Korean, and how we have past and current songs connected like Attack on Bangtan and Anpanman. Although this release isn’t a concept album, it still stays committed to it’s theme of exploring the dark side of love. Thus, the album is decidedly darker in tone than Love Yourself: Her, with more of an R&B leaning. It explores Latin pop sounds in Airplane pt. 2, a tasteful use of autotune in Outro: Tear, and bumping electronic beats in Paradise. Tear also provides a space for every single member to shine, I definitely hear the vocalists’ growth in conveying emotion, and the rappers’ growth in embracing and honing their distinct style. Lyrically, BTS uses inspiration from folklore, fairytales, and personal experiences to craft a world in which we can loose ourselves.

 

Check out the playlist here:

Stay fly,

~Akilah

 

 

Music

Kpop Convo

The week of June 11, 2017 will go down in History as the time I was introduced to a seized by Kpop. My friends and I traveled to a music production camp in Indiana but Never Ever expected to become Stuck in new fandoms. We met a new friend there who showed us videos. I was captivated by the Beautiful visuals and Dope dances, before I knew it I was All In. This post is basically a conversation about Kpop so I hope you Like It. My favorite songs, videos, groups, and dances are Limitless so we won’t get through all of them, at least Not Today, but I hope this serves as a Very Nice introduction.

I can’t begin to talk about Kpop without first mentioning Monsta X. They were the first group I stanned (supported, loved) and they’re still one of my favorites. Beautiful: the first song I liked, first dance I learned, first video I loved. Minhyuk was my first bias (favorite member) then I added Shownu and I.M. but basically, it’s the whole group. Monsta X is such a multi-talented septet: every single member can dance, sing, and rap not to mention they’re all visuals. Watching variety shows with them is quite rewarding because they seem to have so much fun together and are talented actors. I fully recommend Monsta X-Ray seasons 1-2. In terms of videos: if you’re new definitely check out the Beautiful and Stuck MVs. if you’re an OG Monbebe but are still looking for more check out Amen dance practice.

E-X-O! When I first watched Monster I honestly didn’t like EXO. I was really confused by the concept but the more I watched and researched the more I was captivated by the concept behind EXO. I don’t have all their storyline details together so I won’t explain it here (maybe a future blog post?) but you can see most of it in the Mama music video. SM Entertainment (EXO’s management company) is my favorite member of the “big three” (YG, JYP, and SM Entertainment). Their concept genius is out of this world, but concept genius isn’t everything. SM has a reputation of ill treatment and I hope that they treat their idols as individuals made in the image of God from now and into the future. In EXO my bias is Sehun (yehet!) and my bias wrecker is Lay (Yixing). If you’re looking for the coolest rap and set design check out Overdose. Or for a fun live performance check out Lotto. The Eve is my ultimate favorite: the dance, flawless; the song, beautiful; the lyrics, deep: “Weak lights are running, the moment the darkness flees we must wake up to this new morning.”

One semi-rookie group I can’t get enough of is KNK. Also known as Keunakeun which means great or to be great. KNK stands for K-pop kNocK as in “knocking on the door of Kpop.” I stumbled across their MV Knock and it’s become one of my favorite songs: it’s addictive and the dance is quite original. If a sweet love song is what you’re looking for, definitely check out Angel Heart for all the feels. KNK are such dorks they are always laughing hysterically and falling on the floor (don’t ask me why). My bias is Seungjun because he is good at everything: singing, dancing, rapping. On stage he looks so cold, model-y, and chic, like he doesn’t even need fans. Yet off-stage he acts like a 6’3″ 5 year-old. Youjin is my bias wrecker because vocals be fi, and he’s a graceful dancer. Honestly, they are sort of underrated so you should definitely check them out. They’re so silly and cuddly and I promise you’ll love them.

Don’t let this conversation be one sided, Please comment about your favorite groups and leave some song suggestions to Save Me some trouble.

I left you a treat, comment if you find it!

Stay fly,

~Akilah