Music Video Fashion: Red Velvet – Russian Roulette
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I should be doing these Red Velvet fashion reviews in order. So after I post “Dumb Dumb” and “One of These Nights” I’ll go in order with “Rookie”. Because I’ve already covered some of Red Velvet’s newer releases, I’ll skip those.
But today I really wanted to talk about “Russian Roulette”. It’s one of my top 10 fave Red Velvet title tracks. Genius.com describes “Russian Roulette” as a, “is a synth-pop song with retro influence.” To me this reads as a mash up of Jeff Benjamin of Billboard and Bradley Stern of Pop Crush described it as.
If you look at the “Russian Roulette” Wikipedia, the full quotes are,”a synth-pop song that incorporates 8-bit and arcade inspired sounds” (Jeff Benjamin). And “a perky, retro-sounding electro-pop tune” (Bradley Stern). I summarize as a bop. It’s definitely one of Red Velvet’s red concepts. It always reminds me of why I prefer red concepts for their title tracks.
I’ll go in more detail once we get to “Bad Boy” and “One of These Nights”. The Korean general public tends to like the ‘red’ concepts more than the ‘velvet’ ones. I’d argue the same for a chunk of international Kpop fans too. That’s why “Automatic” is still underrated. I compare it to Twice’s “1 to 10”. Once know how great of a song it is and how it shows a different side to the girls.
But most fans, especially the Kpop fans that think the only good girl group concept is a “strong, girl crush concept”, miss out on it. They don’t check for Twice’s b-sides because they don’t think they have the range to do anything but cute viral songs. And misogyny but that’s a talk for another day.
Bringing the discussion back to “Russian Roulette”, this was generally loved by most. It was a success for Red Velvet. They managed to keep the upward momentum from their previous releases. Album wise this is probably one of my least favorites.
I like four out of seven songs from Russian Roulette – The 3rd Mini Album but the b-sides on here aren’t as memorable for me as “Something Kinda Crazy”, “Red Dress”, or “Ladies Room”. The Red – 1st Album is sooooooo goood.My favorite song from Russian Roulette – The 3rd Mini Album that isn’t “Russian Roulette” is “Sunny Afternoon”. It continues to carry more of that retro 80s vibe.
Clothing wise this is the least interesting Red Velvet fashion I can think of. I forgot how forgettable the styling is in “Russian Roulette”. The main charm of the music video is the plot itself (the girls trying to take each other out). The clothes and hair were an afterthought. That said there’s six different looks in “Russian Roulette”.
Let’s get into it!
Look 1: Gym Class
I completely forgot about Wendy’s bantu knots in “Russian Roulette” lmaooo. It’s whatever. I know I had to address it at some point. I do like this hair color on her though. I hate Joy’s lemon hair here though. I think I was so salty about the stylists doing this to her, I got tunnel vision and only remembered how she looked here. Irene and Yeri have my favorite hair colors here. Seulgi’s hair is second place. Orange is fine on her but not my favorite on her.
Clothing wise this look is cute for what it is. It fits the scenes fine. I do like that towards the end we see some bracelets. I love Yeri’s thin sliver hoop earrings in these scenes. I’m not much of a fan of her necklace though. I love the different color and length of tub-socks.
Look 2: Tennis Club
My favorite part of the tennis look is the use of red and white. It’s simple but effective. I the scene with Yeri chillin in Irene’s lap. You get a good closeup of Yeri’s makeup here too.
I also enjoy the scene (last pic) where everything starts to snowball. I’m a sucker for space buns ( I regularly wear this look myself). So I’m happy to see them on Wendy. Hers and Joy’s earrings here are interesting. They remind me of Silly Bandz.
Look 3: 80s Inspo
This group look was designed around Seulgi and you can’t convince me otherwise. This is one of my favorite looks in “Russian Roulette”. I wish we had better shots of the other members but really we just get Seulgi and Joy for this. My two main faves so I’m fine with that.
I like that they played with a retro costume for “Russian Roulette”. We need more Retro Red Velvet in the future.
Look 4: Breakfast Time (Automatic Call Back)
This look is my favorite in “Russian Roulette”. I love the juxtaposition of the girls looking so soft and sweet but have sinister motivates. I love Irene’s closeup scene. The peachy color of her hair matching the boarder surrounding her is super pretty. It has an ethereal vibe to it. I’m a big fan of Yeri’s closeup with her holding a cereal box.
Look 5: Another Feminine Look
Similar to the previous look, I like that the outfits and makeup are super dainty and feminine. I feel like the filter/lighting has a bit here but I think it fits the scene well. I’m not too big of a fan of the bottom halves of theses looks though. At first glance looking from the top I think, “Oooo I want that.” Then as my eyes go lower I reconsider. It’s a little too Alice in Wonderland volume for me.
Look 6: Individual Looks
So this section is more of looks we see briefly/don’t connect to a larger group look. The first two are from the very beginning of the video. The third is about half way through and the last one is connected to Irene, Yeri, and Wendy being at a pool. Pretty much all three of these scenes are so short, I decided to throw them together here.
I think Wendy and Yeri’s looks for the pool is super cute. The other pictures here of Seulgi and Wendy are pretty stunning too. I have no complaints.
I didn’t want to spoil too much if you haven’t seen the video all the way through. “Russian Roulette” is a video where the less you know, the better. Next Red Velvet post will be “Dumb Dumb”. My goal is to get all of their videos covered this year. Then Jump over to Twice. This will be in addition to new releases and other topics like how to dress like. I want to finish out the rest of Blackpink and get to some male idols. The next post is September Best/Worst. Let me know what y’all thought of this post and if you have topics you’d like me to tackle on Twitter or Tumblr.