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The top 5 moments for BTS and hanbok

  • Published : Dec 4, 2018 - 10:12
  • Updated : Dec 4, 2018 - 10:48


While the South Korean boy band spends much of its time overseas, through countless world tours and promotions BTS has never lost touch with its roots.

As torchbearers for the Korean Wave and representatives of the nation, the artists have often declared -- as Suga and Jungkook once did in an interview -- that they want to spread Korea’s culture around the world.

And as world-class musicians, the BTS bandmates often incorporate elements of traditional Korean culture both on and offstage, mostly by showcasing Korea’s traditional garments -- hanbok.

So here are the top five moments when the K-pop phenomenon slayed hanbok, giving the old-fashioned tradition a sleek, edgy style.

1. 2018 MMA


BTS’ last 20-minute set at the 2018 Melon Music Awards, which took place in Seoul recently, was a culmination of the act’s support for Korean culture.

Before delving into a mind-blowing “Idol” performance, Jimin appeared on stage to dance the “buchaechum” -- a traditional form of Korean dance using fans -- while clad in a modernized version of the silky robelike garments.


Fans raved on social media about his attire, made of black fabric embellished with gold, as well as his feathery orange fan and his silky-silver hair. It has since been revealed that his hanbok was designed by famous hanbok brand Cheon-ui-mu-bong.

Other members were also decked out in the distinct style of hanbok while performing “Idol,” with RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope and V sporting turquoise, navy and flowery traditional outfits.

Jungkook especially showed a blend of tradition and modernity by slipping into a pair of Nike Air Jordans.

2. “Idol” MV


Although the band members have always been cultural ambassadors of K-pop, it wasn’t until “Idol” that BTS presented its global fans with the full force of an authentic Korean experience. Jam-packed with traditional Korean elements, the brightly hued music video for “Idol” reveals hanbok’s beauty to the world.

Dancing against the backdrop of a bright yellow pavilion floating in clouds of vibrant hues, the BTS band members don stylish hanbok made of simple black fabric lined with gold.

They don’t wear the traditional “goreum,” a ribbon attached to the jacket. The clothing is the work of famous hanbok designer Baek Oak-soo.


When the video came out, foreign media were quick to report on BTS’ engagement with its cultural traditions and many fans all over the world praised the song and expressed appreciation for the cultural insight.

With “Idol,” BTS spread Korean culture on a global scale.

3. Chuseok


On Korea’s traditional holiday Chuseok, BTS greeted fans in various styles of modernized Korean traditional dress -- similar to what they wore in the “Idol” video.
In photos released by BTS in September, taken during the group’s US tour, all seven members are seen posing on a couch in their hotel room.

Band leader RM opted for a simple robelike black hanbok, while Jin, Suga and Jimin sported garments embellished with flashy golden prints. J-Hope, V and Jungkook also donned black hanbok with vibrant patterns.


Despite being far away, BTS made sure that fans in Korea were always on their minds.

4. Jin’s hanbok at airport


BTS usually opts for trendy streetwear for its outbound fashion statements, but there was one rare case when Jin caught everyone’s attention by appearing at the airport in hanbok from head to toe.

The surprise event occurred in November last year, when BTS arrived at Incheon Airport to attend Mnet’s Asian Music Awards in Hong Kong.


Among the other members, who wore casual outfits and covered their faces with masks, Jin stood out in a light gray robelike garment and “gat,” or Korean traditional hat. His adorable look immediately sent fans into a frenzy on social media, with some even suggesting that Jin should star in a historical Korean drama.

Jin later tweeted that his special costume was part of an episode of the group’s variety show “Run BTS!” which aired on Naver’s V app, where the members played a game to decide who would wear hanbok to the airport.

Though it was a onetime event, fans might be hoping for another round.

5. V


V’s first-ever small-screen debut also included hanbok.

From 2016 to last year, V had taken on a supporting role in the KBS drama series “Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth,” a fantasy period piece set during the Silla Kingdom (57 BC to AD 935) and tells the story of the “hwarang,” an elite group of young men who were highly educated and also highly trained in the art of archery.


In the series, V played the youngest hwarang, an innocent boy with a warm and friendly personality. While V usually wears his hair short, sometimes in bright colors, V pulled off various hairstyles for the drama -- from shaggy and disheveled to long and silky.

His traditional hwarang outfits and matching hairbands exposed his neat eyebrows and forehead, giving fans reason enough to hope for more images of V in hanbok.


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