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Bold images of Korean idols as signs of Y2K revival trend in Korea 

Korean idols received negative criticisms for following Western-styled Y2K inspired fashion trend. 

Criticism for following the “Underwear-as-outerwear” trend 

In the photos that were taken to social media, TWICE’s Mina, Momo and Jihyo wore their underwear as outerwear. The clothing items were body-tight and in bright colors. 

Korean sports entertainment newspaper “Sports Chosun” stated that: “Momo is wearing the most provocative outfit ever seen before”. The newspaper described her outfit as almost see-through, creating the feel that she only wore her bra. Meanwhile, Jihyo wore a light blue bodysuit, with item’s details in her breast area that resembled the bra. Mina donned her outfit with a Prada bra. 

The sensual costumes brought varying feedback with some ill-intended criticisms against TWICE. There were comments saying: “When TWICE’s members are older, they have no other choice but to emphasize on that maturity. They express this through their costumes”. Others believed the group’s outfits were a bit extreme. Netizens stated: “They looked as if wearing lingerie while dancing”. 

Despite the varying criticisms, the fashion underlying Mina, Momo and Jihyo’s choices of clothing is actually on trend in the West. The clothing items that look like lingerie belong to the “visible underwear” trend. Many Korean stars such as Hyoyeon, Lisa and Jennie are following this trend. Nevertheless, the audience in Korea do not readily accept this style of fashion. 

Previously, IVE’s Ahn Yujin was caught in a wave of negative criticism when she followed the trend. She wore a short-sleeved body shirt with her bra as outerwear. Many comments lashed at her stylist for letting the idol wear the revealing clothing. They believed it was not appropriate to let a 2003-born idol wear this style. According to “Edaily”, some comments were: “This fashion reminds me of underwear”, “she is a minor, if you were her age, would you dress the same?” 

Not a new fashion trend 

The “Visible Underwear” or “Underwear-as-Outerwear” were first popularized in the 2000s when famous popular stars such as Madonna and Britney Spears wore this kind of outfits on stage. However, the trend died down for a while before returning to 2021 along with the Y2K revival waves. 

During quarantine, many people found themselves “indulged” in comfortable clothing, allowing them to be more comfortable with putting on bolder apparel in public. The sentiment allows revealing fashion style to take the lead and the “visible underwear” to be more prominent than ever. 

Moreover, many big brand names are popularizing the bra-showing trend. Versace’s 2022 Fall Collection introduces dresses with revealing bras, similar to Jihyo’s outfit. In their new collection, Valentino introduces  a latex dress with breast outline that resembles the bra laces. Giambattista Valli also debuts a strapless dress with the breast section that looks like a bralette. 

Many celebrities also wear this kind of clothing to events. Attending the “MTV Movies and TV Awards”, Venessa Hudgens wore a bra from Versace. Meanwhile, Megan Fox showed off their undergarments with a see-through dress at the “MTV Video Music Awards 2022”. 

This trend is not only for people who follow a more sensual style. Sport bra enthusiasts or just energetic people can also follow the trend for bolder outfits. 

Bra models from Calvin Klein, Miu Miu and Celine can be coordinated nicely with many outfits. The fashion enthusiasts can even combine the “visible underwear” with the “whale tail” trend. 

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