When a singer modifications up their take care of some time and releases new music, the second is usually referred to as a comeback. Mononymous divas Madonna, Rihanna, and Cher are iconic testaments to this periodic phenomenon. For Taeyong, a member of the Korean pop group NCT, dyeing his hair a brand new shade or mixing up the way in which he does his make-up is principally a month-to-month incidence. He’s a chameleon, taking over a brand new look each time NCT or certainly one of its subunits drops a brand new music video. This 12 months alone, he’s reworked into at the least 5 totally different folks.
The phrase “comeback” has a particular which means within the Okay-pop world. Each time a gaggle releases an album or single, the primary efficiency is known as a comeback. With it, the group takes on a special “idea,” or themed look, just like the ‘90s, schoolgirl or boy, or perhaps a tropical trip.
For boy teams like NCT, a few the members will dye their hair a vibrant shade or alter their smoky-eye look to replicate their newest idea. These hair and make-up tweaks are usually refined. Nevertheless, they’re all the time drastic for Taeyong. Within the final six months alone, his hair has gone from blue to blonde to inexperienced to chocolate brown to purple to a number of different shades of brown. His make-up modifications together with his dye jobs, too, changing into darker, subtler, or sparklier with each. He is just like the Technique actor model of a Okay-pop star, totally embodying every track together with his look and perspective.
Once I’m on stage and the make-up and the entire look fits me, it boosts my confidence. It displays what I do onstage and the way I carry out.
“For every comeback, [our stylists] change up my appears so much,” Taeyong tells Attract. As a result of I’m based mostly in New York and he was selling NCT’s latest single, “Black on Black,” in Seoul, we chat over the telephone at 1:30 a.m. ET. Noting that Okay-pop has so many visible components like choreography and music movies to characterize the music, Taeyong says NCT’s ideas, together with hair and make-up, are one other essential component to replicate the music in a visible approach. In truth, his hair and make-up turn out to be so ingrained in every track that when he performs them a pair months later with a complete new look, the track has a very totally different vibe to it.
The NCT issue
Relying on the group, comebacks sometimes occur each three to 6 months. NCT, which stands for Neo-Tradition Expertise, is an anomaly, although. In the meanwhile, it’s comprised of 18 members from Korea, Japan, Canada, Thailand, China, and the U.S., making it at this time’s largest Okay-pop group.
Though 9 to 18 members of the group are sometimes onstage, Taeyong persistently stands out. You possibly can thank NCT fashion director Ellena Yim for that. She has his look, in addition to each member of the group’s, all the way down to a science. To place his fashion merely, she calls it “kaleidoscopic,” and I could not agree extra.
He can pull off daring hair colours and hairstyles, sturdy make-up, and flashy piercings or chokers suddenly with out making it really feel prefer it’s ‘an excessive amount of.’
“It’s often essential to seek out the best stability when placing hair, make-up, and vogue all collectively. If the hair is flashy, then make-up or equipment are often stored minimal in order that the general look isn’t over-the-top,” she tells Attract. “However with Taeyong, we’re capable of strive varied types that is perhaps too daring or daring for others. For example, he can pull off daring hair colours and hairstyles, sturdy make-up, and flashy piercings or chokers suddenly with out making it really feel prefer it’s ‘an excessive amount of,’” And rattling, does he put on a diamond-studded choker properly, may I add.
NCT’s in depth lineup isn’t the one facet that units it other than different teams. Bear with me as a result of issues get a bit advanced from right here. To make it so simple as doable, I’ll use NCT’s latest album, Empathy, for context. It’s comprised of songs by not solely NCT but in addition its subunits: NCT U, NCT 127, and NCT Dream. (Subunits are mini teams inside a gaggle that launch songs and work on separate tasks collectively.)
Taeyong is clearly featured on NCT’s songs with the 17 different members. However you may as well hear him rapping on songs by NCT U, a subunit that modifications its members based mostly on the vibe of the track. He is additionally the chief of NCT 127, a nine-man subunit based mostly in Seoul. To advertise Empathy, a brand new music video got here out for nearly each track on the album, and every had its personal comeback. As anticipated, Taeyong tried out a brand new look with each single one. Different members who participated in multiple track, however, solely made slight modifications to their hair and make-up.
General, NCT focuses on always evolving and experimenting with totally different musical types with every comeback, and Taeyong’s ever-changing hair and make-up show simply that. He wouldn’t have it every other approach, both. “Once I’m on stage and the make-up and the entire look fits me, it boosts my confidence,” he says. “It displays what I do onstage and the way I carry out.”
So which actual appears has Taeyong experimented with? Let’s break down his standout ones.
The Intergalactic Ice Boy
After coaching with the leisure firm SM Leisure for 4 years for his spot in NCT, Taeyong, born Lee Tae Yong 22 years in the past in Seoul, formally debuted as a part of NCT U in April 2016. From the second his face seems in “The seventh Sense,” a track he helped write, he set the tone for the subsequent two years of his profession: He’s a robust drive to be reckoned with. His stunningly chilly, otherworldly look mirrored his gruff fashion of rapping and the sharp actions he added to the group’s choreography. His icy white hair may provide you with frostbite simply by it, and his daring black brows supplied a stark distinction. His pores and skin glistened with an almost holographic glow that made viewers marvel if he was even actual.
To not be dramatic, however Taeyong has the pores of a champagne glass. Even in probably the most up-close selfies he shares on NCT’s Instagram and Twitter, his pores and skin appears extremely poreless and clear. I dare you to discover a blemish in his makeup-free pictures, too.
Earlier than debuting, he says he didn’t have a precise skin-care routine. “I didn’t deliberately deal with my pores and skin or search for make-up,” he says. “After my debut, in fact, I placed on quite a lot of make-up, so I must deal with my pores and skin extra.” Additionally, he says he pays extra consideration to his hair, too, now that he’s clearly dyeing it so incessantly.
Nowadays, his skin-care routine remains to be fairly easy. He focuses totally on washing his face. As a result of his days are sometimes stuffed with occasions, appearances, and performances, he says, “I are inclined to placed on make-up for a very long time and even have a number of touch-ups. So when I attempt to take off my make-up, what I attempt to do is gently cleanse my pores and skin so it received’t be irritated after being uncovered to make-up merchandise for fairly a very long time,” he explains. “That’s the one specific step that I’m taking to deal with my pores and skin proper now.”
Irrespective of how busy he’s, he says he makes time to deal with his cleaning routine, which additionally helps calm him down. In truth, he believes skincare is a type of self-care. “I discover it very therapeutic,” he says. “That’s why it’s essential as a result of I really feel like I want to seek out that house the place it calms me, too.”
The Emo Frontman
In July 2016, NCT 127 got here out with its first track, “소방차 (Fireplace Truck),” with Taeyong as its valiant chief. By this time, his roots began rising in, giving his undercut an edgy black-and-white impact. His make-up was extra punk-inspired this time round, too, with sooty, lived-in black liner. You’d assume he was the lead singer of an emo band taking part in Warped Tour in 2007, not the chief of South Korea’s latest Okay-pop group.
Beginning off his profession with this look proved to be troublesome for Taeyong. His confidence degree wasn’t precisely as excessive as it’s now. “I had barely extra issue pulling it off in comparison with the opposite ideas,” he says. As a result of the look was so putting to start his profession with, “I feel if I had completed this idea later with extra expertise on stage, I may have pulled it off higher,” he provides. “Possibly if I did it after ‘Cherry Bomb,’ it will have related the types higher.”
The Millennial Man
“Cherry Bomb,” which dropped in June 2017, totally solidified Taeyong’s intimidating but charismatic stage persona. Across the eight-second mark of the music video, Taeyong seems with cotton-candy-pink hair that falls in entrance of his eyes, which had been adorned with matching dusty-rose smoky eye make-up. Let’s be actual: Pink has been traditionally related to femininity. Nevertheless, Taeyong offered it in an extremely trendy, androgynous approach that displays millennial magnificence requirements in not solely Korea but in addition America.
I feel I ought to dye my hair pink once more quickly.
This look was my introduction to Taeyong. Final summer time, I caught NCT 127’s efficiency at KCON NY, and my eyes had been fixated on the pink-haired fellow who commanded the middle of the stage. The conference is a little bit of a blur to me now, however I vividly keep in mind what seeing his pink hair for the primary time was like. “Lots of my followers thought the pink hair was actually memorable,” Taeyong says once I admit this to him. “I feel I ought to dye my hair pink once more quickly.”
His “Cherry Bomb” idea occurs to be certainly one of his favorites, too. Motive being? “The track itself was very highly effective, however on the identical time, it has a special aspect to it, a special energy to it, so the look mirrored these totally different components of the track,” he says.
The ‘90s Film Unhealthy Boy
To announce the kick-off of NCT 2018, the group’s yearlong challenge that features Empathy, SM dropped the NCT 2018 Yearbook video, which launched all 18 members, together with three new additions. Taeyong began it off trying just like the quintessential dangerous boy from a ‘90s film, full with completely sleek-yet-disheveled russet-brown hair and a silver lip ring. His eyes had been additionally rimmed in a heat brown shadow that made it seem like he’d stayed up all night time in his storage training together with his rock buddies for the college’s upcoming Battle of the Bands.
Regardless of his sometimes intimidating aesthetic, he’s truly extremely candy. (And NCT followers referred to as “NCTzens” are recognized to defend that reality.) His confidence to drag off so many appears is obvious in the way in which he talks — he by no means second-guesses himself or pauses. For instance, once I ask if he’s the trendiest member of NCT, He declares, “I’m” in English with out hesitation. Nevertheless, in Korean, he provides, “I need to be.”
However he’s additionally the identical man that admits that solely two of his piercings are actual. “One is on my earlobe and the opposite is on my cartilage,” he says. “I solely have two as a result of including extra would create extra ache for me. The remainder that you simply’ve been seeing are simply clip-on equipment to match my appears.” And may I add that he additionally giggled once I informed him his pores and skin is wonderful.
The Kingpin From an Alternate Universe
The primary NCT music video of the 12 months dropped in February with NCT U’s “BOSS.” Taeyong coloured his hair a wealthy shade of strawberry-jam purple, shaved a slit into certainly one of his thick, daring brows (Yim says they had been to make him “look fiercer”) and swept burgundy-toned brown shadow onto his lids only for the video.
“Taeyong’s appears for ‘BOSS’ could be distinguished into two totally different ones: first is a black military-like outfit and the second is impressed by bicycle owner vogue,” Yim explains. “Each of those appears had been to provide a really feel that Taeyong is ‘the boss of the world.’” To boost this vibe, she decked him out in a harness and chains. He additionally popped in piercing inexperienced contacts, which Yim says “had been used on him to make him seem to be a fictional character that doesn’t level to a selected period or nationality.”
Of all his appears, Taeyong lists this one as closest to his private fashion. When he’s not performing, Taeyong says his aesthetic is “fairly hip and classy.” He likes to drag inspiration from magazines and video clips. “They had been largely U.S. and Japanese vogue,” he says. “However today I actually just like the fashion of European vogue as properly, so I particularly have a look at European magazines.”
The Attractive Dancer
For the “Child Don’t Cease” music video, his fashion turned darker, streamlined (although his variety of ear piercings appeared to double), and, dare I say, seductive. Nicely, that was the purpose. “The principle idea that we had been aiming for Taeyong inside ‘Child Don’t Cease’ was an attractive dancer,” Yim says. Style-wise, “his appears consisted of sporting solely a jacket with nothing beneath, easy, sleeveless tops, in addition to an oversize shirt paired with skinny denims. We went for appears that will intensify his physique strains when he danced,” she provides.
We used so much of glitter so he glowed each time the sunshine hit his face.
Extra importantly, for Taeyong’s make-up, “we used so much of glitter so he glowed each time the sunshine hit his face as he was dancing,” Yim explains. She’s proper, he appeared to flicker like a flame all through the video. She additionally added a second slit to his forehead. For his hair, he dyed it a extra vivid shade of purple than for “BOSS.” His hairstylist crimped his hair or clipped it again with gold bobby pins, relying on the scene.
The Freshman in Love
In March, NCT 127 launched its new music video for “Contact.” 9 seconds in, you possibly can spot Taeyong with auburn hair and shimmering smoky eye make-up. All of the sudden, the whole lot you’ve recognized about Taeyong for the previous two years is null and void. With softer tones for his hair and make-up, NCT 127’s chief seems to be extra approachable than ever earlier than. A single music video helped him swap from the man your mother warned you about to the one you’d need to take residence to fulfill her as quickly as doable, like after the second date.
“‘TOUCH’ was a cute and a loveable idea that Taeyong has by no means tried earlier than as NCT 127,” Yim explains. “To match the general temper and idea of the track, we selected a pure brown hair shade and styled his hair in order that his bangs are down. His make-up was stored pure.” For his outfits, Yim selected romantic, pastel tones. Among the many NCT members, the look was referred to as “Freshman in Love,” she says.
I really feel like this displays the ability of music, as a result of music itself has many various types.
So how was Taeyong capable of handle the transition from dangerous boy to smooth boy in only a couple months? “I feel this was solely doable as a result of we’re NCT,” he says. “It was actually enjoyable for us to undergo this expertise and have this chance to modify up our appears in keeping with the totally different music. I really feel like this displays the ability of music, as a result of music itself has many various types.”
With NCT 127 gearing up for his or her return to KCON NY in June, I totally count on Taeyong to shock me with a brand-new look. As we wrap up our telephone name, he reveals he’s rising out his hair. “It’s at present undecided which coiffure I’m precisely going for,” he says. “What I do know for certain is I’m rising out my hair to strive a special fashion that others haven’t completed, one thing that brings out the idea of NCT much more.” The colour might be chosen later to match it, he provides. It’s not a mullet, although, he assures me. Hallelujah.
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