This Saturday, thousands of K-pop fanatics will descend upon Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Irvine for KCON, a super-charged convention celebrating all things hallyu. K-pop--that's Korean pop for the uninitiated--is moving at a speed faster than Psy's pelvic thrusts, and the first-ever U.S. event will let devotees get some glorious face time with their favorite artists. There'll be shows (4Minute! VIXX! B.A.P.! Exo-M! Nu'est!), industry-led workshops,
idol worship autograph sessions and--yes--a whirlwind of crazy, eye-popping K-pop fashion.
David Yi, host of a new K-pop fashion web series on MNET called The Stitch, says K-pop style has become a symbol of empowerment for both the artists and their fans. "It's no longer about the cookie-cutter, girls-next-door, Girls' Generation-esque look," he says. "Groups like 2NE1 have a more fierce, colorful, unabashed style. They're choosing bold patterns and high-fashion touches. Now, you can be as wacky and wild as you want to be."
Audiences are reflecting the shift as well. Yi says Seoul's student-populated Hongdae area is "reminiscent of a new Harajuku," with guys and girls sporting candy-colored hair, futuristic sneakers and neon accessories inspired by their favorite band. Check out the "Gangnam Style" parody video "Hongdae Style."
those light-up sunglasses.)
What can we expect to see at KCON this weekend? Yi, along with artist Marla Campbell, helped us create this handy guide to spotting the ultimate K-pop fanguy and fangirl. See the full artwork and diagram after the jump!
Yi will be co-leading a KCON workshop on how to get the K-pop look for less. For more details about the event, visit www.kconusa.com and follow KCON on Facebook. Tickets start at $40.