I haven’t been able to get the styling of this era out of my head. Just roaming around rent-free for weeks.
I’ve talked about SHALALA, twice already. I don’t even really like this song, lol. In my June 2023 faves, I talked about my thoughts on SHALALA musically.
And I talked a little bit about the styling in SHALALA in my “Long Flight” article. So now we’re talking in depth about most of the looks in “SHALALA”.
Most because there are multiple looks Taeyong wears that aren’t including in the music video. I’m going to link three different places where you can look at more picture from this era.
One is Kpop Multi Fan on Tumblr. They have a bunch of teaser photos from SHALALA along with videos tagged. They did a good job documenting stuff.
Yonglq is another Tumblr account where they’ve been keeping track of everything during this era, an update account essentially. I got one of the knight images from them. I couldn’t bother with using my 600 tweets to hunt it down on Twitter, lmao.
And last source is SM Entertainment themselves under album images, I discovered during my EXO articles that SM has high quality images from different eras from their artists.
Some have more images than others, and they seem to be pretty good at updating them after a new release comes out. That’s where I got the thumbnail picture for the other fave EXO songs from, btw. Under album images.
I’m sure there are other accounts I could have mentioned for this article, but these were the main ones I used. I also found another style account that I think would be helpful if you’re interested and buying (assuming this stuff is still in stock), and that’s Style Of Taeyong on Instagram.
They don’t have every item, but they have multiple items, and they’re one of the few accounts still actively finding when Taeyong wears, so give them a follow if you’re interested.
There are eight looks in total in this article, I’m going to start with the photoshoot/teaser looks first. So let’s get started!
Look 1: Gumby Meets Michelin Man
I was today years old when I learned Fox bought the rights to Gumby in 2022 and plans on bring it back, lol. I feel like that might be a dated reference, but I think Michelin Man is well known? I include links just in case, lol.
I think it’s safe to say, this is the look most of us think of with this song and album. It’s so goofy, but I love it. It reminds me of a bit of Missy Elliot’s “The Rain“.
The YK2 late 90s new millennium thing is totally in full swing now. And I keep bringing it up because now there’s a modern take on this aesthetic that keeps popping up everywhere.
I feel like because so many of us younger millennials and older gen z were kids during this era and watched a lot of reruns of shows, movies, music videos during like 2000-2007 of stuff from the late 90s and early 2000s, this era is ingrained in our brains, and now we’re old enough to have nostalgia for it, and we have access to money to buy this stuff, it’s having a resurgence.
The longest sentence ever, lmaoo. But that’s my short answer to why we’re seeing this newish take on YK2 stuff. I’m here for it.
As I mentioned in my Long Flight article, Taeyong has ALWAYS been the fashionista of NCT. If there’s gonna be an odd, fashion forward look, Taeyong is likely the member to wear it. This man is not afraid of going against the grain, and to be honest, he’s gonna look good in it regardless.
I’ve compared Hongjoong from ATEEZ and Taeyong a lot. It’s almost scary how similar the two are when I think hard about it, both leaders and rappers of course, they’ve both worn mullets (1, 2 about a year apart from each other), they’ve both designed their own custom sneakers (1, 2) and are interested in art in some form or another. And of course, going back to fashion, they’re both well known for trying new things not because they think it’ll be popular, but because they think it looks cool.
Basically, I need a vlog or show with them hanging out and being creative together, thank you for attending my TedTalk.
I say all of that because I love a good weirdo in Kpop. Weirdo in an affectionate way. Like slightly alternative and edgy in fashion, but make it pretty boy. When I think of this specific genre of Kpop boy, I think of people like Hongjoong, WOODZ, DAWN, the OG Weirdo It Boy archetype, G-Dragon.
And of course Taeyong is on that list as well. And the point of all this is to say, this CHENPENG 2022 Autumn Winter look is a perfect example of everything Taeyong has been showing us, if you’ve been paying attention since debut.
He’s not like other girls, he’s weirder, lmao.
I can’t think of an image that better represents Taeyong than this look and the cover for his official solo album and debut. It’s weird, kinda ugly, high fashion, editorial, so many adjectives. You can’t look at it and NOT have a strong reaction to it. You either love or hate this look.
Kinda like Taeyong. Very few people have just a meh, lukewarm take on him. Taeyong has always caused a strong reaction from people, also since debut.
I can’t count the amount of times people have attempted and failed to ruin this mans career just for him to come back stronger and even more assertive and flamboyant in his music and visuals.
It just feels like everything was practice for this exact moment in time. And that’s why I’m obsessed with it. It’s so genius. I wish I could have been a part of the styling team for this album, I know they had fun putting all these looks together.
Look 2: Dark Knight
My favorite of the initial teaser images. I love this goth, Blade (how many times am I gonna reference this franchise, lmao), Maleficent like aesthetic. It also has some late 90s Y2K aspects to it as well.
The second image is something I’d have as my lock screen if I didn’t already have difficultly chosing between this Sunghoon of ENHYPEN (I don’t remember if it was this exact one I saved or a slightly better quality one) and Yeonjun and Soobin’s W Korea photoshoot (current one as of writing). And really the other like 17 ones I have saved 😅.
Gotta have some for when you want to appear as a “normal adult”.
Normally I’d say I wish this look was the main look for the album, concept, whatever. But I feel like this is a safe choice. I do love it, and it’d be cool to see a music video with this look included.
But I’m not mad that it wasn’t in “SHALALA”. This looks like the first, screams editorial. If there was a W Korea or Vogue Korea logo at the bottom of these images, it wouldn’t be surprised at all.
Maybe next title track we’ll get a scene or two with a look like this.
Look 3: All Red Everything
You have to watch the teaser video with a few other looks in it to fully understand why I love this look.
I actually forgot this is where some of those other looks I was talking about earlier in the article are located in.
This is a red-orange velvet suit, and this is one of my favorite looks he’s ever worn. It’s so basic and simple, but the addition of the cowboy boots?
Chefs kiss man, 15/10. It Taeyong had a Cartier brand ambassador thing going on, this is the look I’d expect from it.
Classy with a slight edgy twist to it.
Okay, on to the music video outfits!
This first actual music video look in “SHALALA” is this black hoodie with gold on it. This is like hacker!taeyong and you never get a full body shot of. But I couldn’t skip it.
I like it, but there isn’t much to say on it. Looks cozy. I like the use of complementary colors here. Pink and green are two of my favorite colors. So I’m also here for that in media.
There’s a lot going on here, jewelry wise. I feel like Taeyong just showed up on set wearing this, and they started filming. This just feels like stuff he already had lying around the NCT dorms.
I think my favorite part about this look, other than wanting this tank in my closet, is being able to see some of his tattoos he’s gotten done over the last couple of years. I didn’t notice he was also getting them, for some reason I just noticed it with Ten and Johnny more, I guess.
This fit is just so dance practice vibes.
Glitter Sweater and Shredded Blue Denim Jeans
This was the look that planted the seed of me wanting to write this article. The way these jeans look like they just left Jurassic Park is so impractical, but I’m kinda here for it. Really, I like the way this sweater shines in “SHALALA”.
I haven’t talked much about shoes in this article besides the cowboy boots, but I like this platform Converse in this look. There are countless small items in this video I need in my closet.
The jewelry in this look is good too. Love a good cross moment.
My favorite music video look! I just adore an over the top, dramatic ass coat like this. Plus the sunglasses? Stylin’.
Clearly Taeyong loves these jeans because we get another pair of shredded denim. These snowman like boots remind me of doll shoes. This look is just so fun and silly. This type of chaos and fun in music videos is what I was talking about with HyunA in “Red“.
This just seems like such a fun set to be a part of. And this music video just keep getting stranger the further a long it goes.
These scenes in “SHALALA” took me out the most. So in the video, there is a yeti, knight, and I guess just Taeyong chilling at a bowling alley. They all end up getting mixed up into different universes and timelines thanks to hacker!taeyong.
So watching this Knight version of Taeyong working an office job, chatting with coworkers and getting promoted took me tf out. This is my fave side story going on in the video.
They even threw him a leaving party when it’s time for him to go and his coworkers are all sad about him leaving, awserdhtfghy. They included like a sitcom into this 4-5 minute long music video. Cinema at its finest.
Outfit wise, it reminds me a bit of Taemin’s shiny outfit in “Criminal“. I like it. The best accessory is the sword, love that he’s got this giant ass sword in the office.
I still don’t care for “SHALALA” as a song. I get why it was chosen as the title track. The choreography is good and perfect for dance challenges, I’m sure that was a huge consideration while working on the choreo.
But it’s still not a song I see myself wanting to listen to, like ever, on purpose. It has gotten stuck in my head because I had to listen to it while grabbing some screenshots for this article.
But it’s not to the point where I’m saving it on Spotify along with “Move Mood Mode” and “Virtual Insanity”. But I am excited for whatever Taeyong has next up his sleeve.
What are your favorite songs and looks from SHALALA? Let me know in the comments! Next article I’m finally talking about NCT 2018 Empathy. I’m excited to unlock the vault for that one.
You can buy Taeyong’s album on Amazon through my link ⬇️
Until next post,