A wonderful holiday is just around the corner in Korea. Chuseok, aka the Korean Thanksgiving, is celebrated every year during a full moon in Autumn. Korean families come together to make delicious treats like Songpyeon, playing traditional games such as Yutnori, and enjoy time with their family out in the countryside, feasting on vast amounts of Korean food while honoring and remembering their ancestors.
However, many special events, performances and shows happen during this time and it is no surprise to see our beloved idols dressed in elegant Hanbok (traditional Korean clothing) and sending holiday greetings to their adoring fans. One thing fans highly await are some of the idol performances or photo releases of various groups in their Hanbok. Although the photos are glorious, nothing beats a performance that showcases the flow and movement of Korean hanbok! If seeing a dazzling display of Korean culture on stage with your favorite idols sounds like a perfect way to enjoy your Chuseok, then check out these 8 amazing Hanbok performances down below.
Without a doubt, when K-pop fans think of captivating performances of idols in hanbok, ONEUS are absolutely first to come to mind. During their “Luna” promotions, the 5 member boy group’s marvelous set combined with the song’s mix of modern music with traditional Korean instruments encapsulates the beauty of Korea’s historical past.
It is only natural that the boys donned intricate hanboks to fit the theme but they took it a step further by incorporating traditional fan dance choreography and even styling their hair to mimic that of warriors and kings in the past. The mystical feeling the song “Luna” expels is enigmatic and alluring as the boys seem to hypnotize listeners with their experienced vocals and synchronized dance moves. Aside from this, their performance of “LIT” (Taekwondo Version)” has over 4.5 million views and also continues the concept of utilizing hanbok. It is safe to say ONEUS are the mascots of Korea. Their performances are truly a work of art.
BTS put on an unforgettable performance at the 2018 Melon Music Award Show with their “IDOL” stage. In order to not only show off their musical popularity but also promote the beauty of Korean culture, the already traditionally music-oriented song featured a display unique to Korea’s musical history just for the event. The stage came alive with the magic of Pungmul, a traditional folk-related dance now seen as modern performance art that was used for rural holidays among village communities and farms, and to accompany shamanistic rituals.
With that, the members of BTS were also seen sporting various hanbok combined with a refreshing modern-day look. Throughout the performance, not only did the worldwide famous boy group perform their hit song effortlessly, but they also utilized traditional instruments such as Jing and Jangggu (drums) alongside fans, masks, and Sangmo dancers. The rich development of Korean music was highlighted throughout BTS’ performance that night and was a trip through time for all that were lucky enough to see it in person.
BLACKPINK’s 2020 Inkigayo performance of “How You Like That” has 16 million views for a reason. The stage is completely flawless and stunning. Our favorite K-Pop queens showed us all how to wear hanbok with style as they rocked a beautiful fusion of modern textures and cuts with traditional fabrics and styles. Emphasizing their signature colors, the hanboks not only maintain the essence of BLACKPINK but also shimmers and complements each member’s individual presence and features as well.
The modern styling tipped its hat to Korean culture as it showcased the girls’ long slender legs rather than hiding their sporty frame under thick silky layers that expand over the body like a flower bud and glide just above the toes traditionally. The form-fitting outfits help showcase the intricate and energetic choreography while also projecting a powerful energy from the girls in each and every angle. Sometimes all it takes is the perfect outfit to make you feel unstoppable and these hanboks are winning.
Believe it or not, the lovely quartet known as MAMAOO even had their own dazzling hanbok stage that amazed fans. At the 2020 KBS Song Festival, the lovely ladies took to the stage to perform “Maria” and “AYA” and this aesthetically pleasing hanbok version is fan service no one knew they even needed. In the beginning, HWASA dominates the stage while revealing her midriff through a hanbok stylized just for her killer looks and personality. Once the other members made their appearance for “AYA” the stage seemed to have evolved and became more intricate to see.
The members were monochromatic as their purposefully red-styled hanboks created uniformity and synergy between the members. Each style had a unique quality to them but Hwasa and Solar seemed to have the most radical-looking hanboks as theirs seemed to touch base with the more modern approach of various versions of hanbok we have seen today. Hwasa’s look offered up a bit more sex appeal combined with a trendy punk vibe with wide pants and Solar’s appeared more tailored and flowing with various silk. Moon Byul and Wheein sported more traditional dress that also stepped out of the comfort zone and showcased the girls in high boots and pants giving them more of a Commander in action feeling rather than a cliche maiden concept. It plays perfectly with the powerful songs featured on this marvelous hanbok stage.
5. Stray Kids
While traditional hanboks alone are a stunning work of art to observe, modern-day hanboks continue to make a splash in the fashion scene and become more of a trending look in everyday fashion – similar to modern-day kimono fashion you can even find on various online shopping malls. Stray Kids definitely showcased the stylish beauty hanboks have in the modern fashion world as they sported rather chic, clean-cut looks for their various stages of “Thunderous” back in 2021.
What made this stage so unforgettable is just how much effort was put into each individualistic look of the member’s hanboks. While the uniformity of gold and black colors carried continuously throughout the group, some members were paired with leather gloves and eyepatches to complement their leather garments, an array of shimmering jewelry to reflect the gold additions in their silk clothes, and even various cuts and styles that made some outfits appear like sportswear and others like dress suits. The differing styles among them made it more alluring to focus on each member and see them rock the stage with these special hanboks.
Honestly, a performance that deserves more recognition is Dreamcatcher’s “BOCA” due to its rock-like anthem theme paired with Hanbok. It is such an unexpected blend of culture, sounds, styles and is a visual performance worth seeing once if you are interested in the many styles of Hanbok and K-Pop. Unlike other groups, Dream Catcher absolutely kept true to Korean hanbok’s famous silhouette and made it their own as it blends seamlessly with their sharp knife-like choreography.
Each of their hanboks has a representative color that comes to life with the fluffy tulle fabrics adoring their skirts. The lighting of the stage changes to reflect the differing colors and it isn’t very busy and helps the twinkling fabric of the hanbok shine with each and every step (seriously, it is sparkly!). If Dreamcatcher’s hard punk rock concepts aren’t enough to draw you in, this stage performance will keep you glued to the screen. Another interesting fact is that this stage isn’t just for show – it was made to help promote K-Culture with PikiPictures.
7. Oh My Girl
Oh My Girl are known as being an aesthetically pleasing girl group but this performance solidified the fact. Although seven members were present at the time, the now six-member girl group Oh My Girl has become famous for their various tracks such as “Dolphin,” “Dun Dun Dance” and more. This stage of “NONSTOP” was one of their more intricate sets as it included a wonderful opening stage that highlighted the beauty and charm of the girls as they gently walked forward and revealed their outfits one by one by lifting their traditional paper parasols.
With each member showcasing a separate style, fans simply couldn’t choose which member was the most stunning. What is interesting about this stage and song set is that “Nonstop” has such an ear-worm, pop sound to it that oddly enough blends alongside traditional Korean instruments like magic. The contrasting outfits compared to their MV also make it more unique to see “NONSTOP” in a whole new setting. The choreography also seems to be more light and airy due to the endless flow of their hanboks. Compared to other songs, “NONSTOP” seems like the perfect pairing for traditional Korean hanbok since the members can make more elegant movements in their delicate garments with ease.
Last but not least is, BTOB. The heart-warming boy group known for putting on a show with their sorrowful songs that are made for Korean historical drama pieces like Scholar Who Walks The Night. Although the group is known for charming us with their array of ballads, they brought energy to the stage for their hanbok version of “Missing You.”
This theatrical version left fans speechless because it was one of the most dynamic performances prepared for such a sad song. The stage itself glowed with a blue hue (the signature color of the boy group) that peered through a misty fog as the members appeared from behind silk curtains and moving partitions adorned with traditional Korean patterns. The four members present for the performance looked captivatingly handsome as each of their hanboks also took on a modern twist and showcased a different look for each member. Similar to Stray Kids, the colors remained cohesive and uniformed while creating a remarkable aesthetic that livened up this sentimental piece. Even the other groups watching fell in love with BTOB!
What do you think of these amazing idol hanbok stages? Was there an absolute favorite look you couldn’t get enough of? Is there a group you want to see perform in Hanbok next or even again? Share it with us in the comments below.