Triumphing as tvN’s highest-rated drama this year, Hotel del Luna is like a 16-episode runway show. For the first time, I suffered from fashion fatigue while watching a K-Drama.
IU dons over 100 outfits in the fantasy drama, changing looks every seven minutes on average. Her wardrobe spans from haute couture worth over US$4,000 to fast fashion you can get from major chain stores. According to Korean media company Insight, the production team spent over US$8,400 on IU’s fashion and makeup for each episode. No wonder every Asian fashion magazine is obsessed with this drama!
Korean stylist Noh Ju-hee was the fairy godmother behind IU’s impeccable looks in the drama. She mentioned in an interview that she deliberately chose vintage clothing and primary colors to reflect the strong personality of IU’s character. No single item appeared more than once throughout the drama.
As I watched IU transforming from one look to another, I couldn’t help but wonder – is there any style of clothing that she can’t master? From shoulder pad dresses in the 1930s and peplum suits in the 1940s to capes, gloves, stockings, chokers, gem jewelry, berets and wide-brim hats in the 1950s and frill bibs, see-through fabrics and balloon sleeves in the 1960s, she takes us on a nostalgic tour through the best designs in the history of fashion. Let’s look at some of her key styles!
*Click on the square images to get her looks!
IU’s images via @wwwwwwn88
1. Shoulder Pads
IU plays Jang Man-wol, the beautiful but deadly CEO of Hotel del Luna who’s lived 1,300 years. Strong shoulder pads empower her with an authoritative aura. The design also accentuates an hourglass figure when she cinches in her waist with a belt or peplum top, which is coordinated either with a pleated A-line or pencil skirt.
Capes are another way to channel feminine power. Instead of wearing sheer cloaks which would make her look shapeless, Man-wol flaunts dresses inset with structured cape sleeves. The result is a graceful but also enigmatic silhouette that reflects her status as the most formidable and stylish person in the hotel.
Man-wol relies on double-breasted peplum coats for military flair. White stockings, gloves and gem jewelry add vintage appeal, and she balances the look with modern hair-dos and makeup.
Similar to the above three, belts add structure to the silhouette. Man-wol’s wide leather belts evoke a sense of gothic romance while elevating the waistline to make her look taller. IU is only 1.62m tall so here’s her trick!
5. Bow Neck
The bow neck is nothing new in Korean fashion. It’s often featured in office romance K-Dramas. But Man-wol takes the design to a whole new level with infused vintage elements, such as sequin embroidery on the sleeves, jacquard and silky beige fabrics. The tactile finishes are reminiscent of high-end nightgowns.
Did you notice Park Min-young also wore the same frilly baby blue wrap dress in the first episode of Her Private Life? This dress is from Moschino SS19. Apart from this, Man-wol also wears blouses with frills at the collar, chest and sleeves to add drama to the bodice.
Another trick Man-wol uses to make herself look tall and sexy is layering robes over plain dresses. She adds definition to this slouchy style with allover florals, waist tie, mutton sleeves, flared sleeves or lace trims.
Man-wol’s romantic lace dresses are wedding-worthy. Coming in pink ditsy florals, plain white or black, these dresses have a cinematic feel to them that makes her look other-worldly. The opulent designs also match her big-spender personality.
Gaudy gem brooches are the icing on top of her many high-neck tops and dresses. The brooch gives off aristocratic vibes that set her apart from the rest, while drawing focus to her face and neck.
Being extra as always, Man-wol is a huge fan of fancy vintage hats. Her collection ranges from over-the-top floppy hats and rustic raffia bowlers to modern-clash-vintage denim newsboy caps and mesh berets. Again, these draw attention to her face and help elongate her figure.