Halloween is one of my favourite times of the year, with its built-in perks of being able to watch horror films and feast on tonnes of candy. The best part of Halloween, though, is that I get to wear strange clothing in public and no one questions my fashion choices. In the world of Kpop, where many artists are well known for their unique fashion styles, it’s Halloween every day. There is great importance placed on the costumes that many idol groups and artists wear. If you're still strapped for a costume idea, try checking out these concepts for an awesome Kpop-inspired Halloween.
First, a little history: Halloween is heavily based on the historical Celtic holiday of Samhain. All Hallows' Evening, shortened to the much simpler “Halloween” is the last night in October, which signals the end of the fall harvest. With winter approaching, there was a fear in many villages that the harsh season would cause a large amount of deaths. Halloween was traditionally known as the night of the dead, where ghoulish spirits of the undead would wander through villages, terrorizing people. Some historians believe that dressing in costumes would frighten the spirits away. Many scholars believe that this is where the tradition of dressing in costume originated. This is not an entirely Western holiday either, with many of these customs have translated into global societies.
Let’s hear it for these six great concepts that could be your next Halloween costume!
1) Kpop Pirate
The massive success of Block B’s “Nillili Mambo” was partly due to their fantastic costume department going all the way with the “pirate” theme. Not only was the video shot on location so that it didn’t remind us of Seoul, it also featured everything from cutlasses to old-school pistols. The theme wasn’t shoved down the throats of the viewers either, and they were quickly able to decipher through the lace and ruffles that the boys of Block B had transformed into ruthless thieves and pirates. The specifics of the costumes changed throughout their presence on music shows, but the whole time we could still tell there were up to no-good antics. Yar.
In their early debut, B.A.P. embraced the idea of costume with their alien military “matoki” concept. The combination of aggressive hard-hitting music with the members playing the roles of an alien surveillance team formed a strong base from which stylists and music producers could play with. The heavy beats are a perfect reference to the marching of an army and the masculine identity that is played up through leather outfits and the sounds of gunshots. Obviously we know B.A.P are regular humans, but it's that feeling of suspended disbelief that makes for a more entertaining watch.
When AJAX debuted they didn't really garner too much attention or love from fans. Soon enough they returned with “Insane,” boasting slick suits and impressive visual sets. The story is about the group members being trapped in a psychiatric ward and the resulting insanity in their minds. Although there have been dozens of music videos with this concept, “Insane” works so well because of the use of colours and props to get the point across. Wearing white scrubs is easy enough for a costume, but in order to sell this one, you have to babble out nonsense. I'm especially partial to the scene with the room full of Siamese cats.
4) Futuristic Freedom Fighter
It was difficult to decide on a female group to include in this list. It had to be 2NE1. These ladies are known best for infusing a heavy dash of fashion into their music videos and concepts. In fact, much of the Kpop aesthetic that has become popular could be attributed to 2NE1. “Come Back Home” does not feature gaudy costumes, but the concept is chilling: in a future world, virtual reality has caused people to lose their grip on humanity and the four freedom fighters create anarchy to save the planet. I am a big fan of science-fiction and this concept features a heavy dash of it, coupled with a strong cinematic style reminiscent of many 80s sci-fi classics. In any case, any excuse to wear oversized goggles and pleather is a good excuse to me.
5) Crazed Fangirl
There are plenty of Kpop concepts that feature the crazy fangirls holding the attractive male idol hostage for whatever reason. “Paprazzi” is one of the more memorable videos out of this concept because, for one, the song is incredibly catchy. Finding girl group concepts that are more than “cute” or “sexy” is not an easy feat, but this video manages to give the viewer more than just short dresses. The concept outweighs the costume in this particular case because the story is simple and relatable. Kan Mi Youn lives out the ultimate Kpop fangirl fantasy in this tongue-in-cheek concept without being too aggressive, and manages to take a complicated, sometimes scary reality, into a cheeky music video.
6) Sushi / Mermaid / Little Red Riding Hood / Anything Orange Caramel!
Last, and certainly not least is Orange Caramel. These three talented ladies have brought us hit after hit with imaginative, creative, and original costumes every time. First “Magic Girl” brought us giant sparkling bows, “A-ing” gave us Little Red Riding Hood, and Catellena handed us sushi and mermaids. Orange Caramel has got their costume department working overtime. Orange Caramel remains one of the best Kpop groups as of late based on their quirky but memorable concepts. After every release, we're waiting to see how they can top themselves next time.
'L' lives in Ontario, Canada. She is a pop culture and media junkie and has helped organize kpop parties and events across Ontario. Her biases are BTS, Block B, M.I.B and Infinite.