Seo Ye Ji in the drama “It’s okay not to be okay” plays Go Mun Yeong, an unpredictable, fiery-tempered beautiful female lead who seems frighteningly cold-hearted and brutal but with a closer look, even surprisingly vulnerable and loveable.
Portraying a rich and popular author of children’s books, Seo Ye Ji is often dressed in clothes that bring out her beautiful features but make viewers wonder, “Isn’t that a bit too much?”
Large hats that seem more suited for 18th century England rather than 21st century South Korea. Dresses of flashy prints of flowers, bright colors and enormous frills that seem more suited for runways rather than daily life. Long, flamboyant earrings, branded bags, laces and all.
The fashion Seo Ye Ji flaunts in the drama seems to make her already intimidating, fierce character Go Mun Yeong even more unapproachable.
What’s interesting is that the beautiful but questionable fashion choices Go Mun Yeong make are very well intended by the stylists & fashion team of the drama production team.
According to the stylist, the eye-catching, beautiful and strong colors & design Seo Ye Ji is dressed in are meant to show in fact the vulnerability of the character Go Mun Yeong.
The flashy clothes and accessories, according to the fashion team’s description, are a form of “self-protection mechanism” Go Mun Yeong uses to portray herself as strong, unapproachable and perhaps even a little intimidating- all of which she is, in fact, not.
The apt use of attire to convey an interesting aspect of a character was also done in “Hotel de Luna” starring IU (Lee Ji-eun). Jang Man Wol, the character IU portrays in the drama, also sports flamboyant, eye-catching and sometimes even over-the-top attire like this: (FYI, she wore a total of 123 outfits throughout the 16 episodes)
It’s a relief to see a growing number of K-dramas featuring character and context appropriate attire. Gone are the days when viewers were simply content with aesthetically pleasing scenes and fashion on the screen.
The fashion team of the drama “Doctors” was criticized for dressing actresses Park Shin Hye and Lee Seong Kyung, starring as neurosurgeons, in flamboyant, restrictive and over-the-top attire like high heels, long, lacy skirts and long earrings – attire usually not adopted by neurosurgeons in real life who have to get from one surgery room, ward to another in crocs/loafers and ponytails.
On the other hand, stylist teams of dramas like “Good Wife” were praised for realistically (at least to a large extent) dressing actors according to the context.
Jeon Do Yeon, portraying a housewife-turned-lawyer, dresses usually in colors like black, grey, blue and white, having to present herself in court. The toned down colors also effectively reflect her sense of loss and betrayal when her character discovers her husband’s infidelity at the start of the drama. As the plot progresses and the character gains more autonomy and confidence, she is seen to be wearing more of brighter colors like pink.
“It’s okay not to be okay”
One of the reasons I’m really enjoying the drama “It’s okay not to be okay” is of course because of the chemistry between Kim Soo Hyun and Seo Ye Ji:
But it’s also because of the well thought-out, complex ways in which the two characters are portrayed. I’ve just finished watching episode 12, and I’m really looking forward to watching the rest and seeing how the character developments unfold!