When BTS announced their comeback in 2015, no one expected the drastic change in image that would result. Beginning with “The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Pt. 1,” the young men began to mature before our very eyes, both sonically and stylistically. In celebration of their upcoming September comeback, let us take a look back at the last half of the BTS’ style evolution.
The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Pt. 1
When the photos were released, BTS shocked everyone with a much softer and more vulnerable image.
The colours in this comeback are sedate. They include more pastels and natural colours, as all the shots centre around a cherry blossom tree.
The standout shots here are J-hope and Jin.
J-Hope was a pleasant surprise. His style is very simple and natural, using a white dress shirt and black blazer. His hair is not overly styled, using a shattered bang to assist in framing his face. His countenance is especially unique, since prior to this, his expressions were harder and stronger.
Jin has more of a natural action shot, almost as if he is not conscious of the camera but is enraptured with the flora surrounding him. His styling is similar to J-Hope’s with a few key differences that make his look tailor-made for him. The blazer and the dress shorts are not the same colour. The blazer is more of a grey/hunter green, which when combined with the neutral black shorts and white dress shirt create a look that seems as if it was made for this scene. The jagged cut-off sleeves of the blazer were a risk that paid off here. Normally, that would look sloppy, but here it does not. Black studs and a silver bracelet complete the look, not overpowering, but not understated.
Overall, BTS’ major transformation creates a fresh canvas to paint on stylistically. The next comeback builds on this foundation in ways that boggle the mind.
The Most Beautiful Moment in Life Pt. 2
The first observation from this group of shots is colour, grand amounts of highly saturated colour. Another observation is the amount of growth in confidence the group as a whole have. The group shot is reminiscent of the infamous Beatles “Abbey Road” photo, a bold choice for the group.
Each of them has a shot that could have made the standout list. However, there is only one member that took the front spot, Rap Monster. His solo shot, complete with pinned beret, graphic polo, suspenders and cuffed cardigan is a shock to the system. But even more stunning is his face. This is the first time that RM has ever looked straight into the camera in a photo. Even though half of his face is covered, there is still a “come hither if you dare” expression that we have never seen from him. What happened next, however, would shock the fandom to its core.
When the “Young Forever” photos were released, the era became known as BTS’ style puberty.
The image is even softer and more delicate than the previous two comebacks. In some cases, the softness is overpowering. But there are two cases where the style direction results in a remarkable discovery.
Until this point, V had only had a full bright dye job done once. There had been streaks of colour nestled into the natural colours that had been used in his hair in the two previous comebacks. This time, he dons a vibrant red crown that suits him to a tee. The use of the baby-blue suit and the pastel-pink shirt make his hair colour the focus of the shot.
Speaking of hair, it would be irresponsible not to consider Jin and his blond do. This unexpected style choice stunned ARMYs globally This is the first time Jin has ever had a colour this bright on his head. The choice to leave his eyebrows his natural colour was key in pulling this look off in a balanced way instead of an overpowered one. But the culmination of this style saga was about to commence.
With the release of “WINGS,” the group left all bystanders dumbfounded with their newly polished and mature looks, making ample use of balance between dark and bright colours in bold tones. The overall upgrade was in itself a reflection of the concept that the group had been embarking on since the release of “The Most Beautiful Moment in Life Pt. 1,” entering into adulthood. All of the young men look stunning. However, two of them excel during this time.
Rap Monster and V both show great ease in front of the camera. Rap Monster’s almost colour-blocked style, with standard blue jeans, white shirt and maroon blazer, is quite refreshing to see. The detail of interest here is the blazer itself. Made of velvet, it creates just enough visual interest to keep attention for a little while longer. The pose that he has taken in this photo is not an easy one to pull off, as gravity would cause the face to naturally droop to the side he is laying on. The fact that he is able to combat this while still being able to give such a killer shot is worthy of applause.
V, however, gets a standing ovation, not so much for what he wears but how he delivers his shots. He shows that he has the potential to be a high fashion model along the likes of Tyson Beckford, Sean O’Pry and Evandro Soldati. His solo close-up could have been a shoot for “Vogue Korea.”
You Never Walk Alone
With their first daesang win, the styling of this comeback feels free and celebratory. There is no planned structure or coordination in the outfits themselves. The colours are even brighter and more vibrant than before, thus adding to the air of accomplishment. Along with ease and confidence, there is one other quality that reads clearly through each and every shot: joy. They are a group of happy young men, and the styling uses that as its backdrop.
The standout in this era is Suga. On first glance, one would think he is wearing a simple black hoodie. But upon closer inspection, the hoodie has bits of glimmer and shimmer that play with the blue highlights in his hair, along with the blue paint splatters along his hands. This causes the eyes to dance across the photo, as more shades and hues of blue are caught. A clever style choice.
Into the future…
BTS has grown from a hard and guarded hip-hop style to a mature, polished and free style while still maintaining artistic integrity. ARMYs the world over have noticed and appreciate this. In a Twitter poll MACG Magazine conducted, the styling of “WINGS” was the overall fan favourite (40%), followed closely by “Young Forever” (34%), with “Dark & Wild” (20%) and “Skool Luv Affair” (6%) rounding out the list.
With the September comeback just around the corner, what do you think is about to happen in the ever epic saga that is BTS Style?