G-Dragon is Korea’s ‘Fashionistar’
It was an anticipated fashion event in, of all places, the airport. G-Dragon, a K-pop legend and icon, was going to make an appearance after a long hiatus, and the media was curious as to what he was going to wear. After all, it is claimed that he started this whole airport fashion thing in Korea. His destination was Monaco, to attend the Chanel Cruise 2022/23 fashion show.
The “king of K-pop” has been one of the luxury brand’s house ambassadors since 2016, when Karl Lagerfeld was still at the helm. Prior to this, he was already a sought-out guest at their shows and had a relationship with the brand since 2014. It didn’t matter that Chanel only produced ladies’ clothing. There are no gender restrictions, after all. This “ambassadorship” was reportedly a first for a Korean artist; it eventually opened the doors to others being selected to endorse or be house ambassadors of luxury brands from Europe.
First and foremost, G-Dragon, GD, or Kwon Jiyong (his real name), from the legendary group Bigbang, is a musical genius and cultural phenomenon. His trendsetting and unorthodox ways are evident in his wardrobe. Early in his career, he would already be seen in outfits from Thom Browne, YSL, Louis Vuitton, Haider Ackermann, Balenciaga, Givenchy, and more. He changes his look always and is a fashion chameleon.
Though he works with a great stylist, his daredevil manner of dressing extends to his real, everyday life, and not only during public appearances. So his style is his own. He has been included in the BoF (Business of Fashion) 500, which is a list of people shaping the fashion industry.
Back to Chanel. His appearances at the Chanel fashion shows were always fascinating. He would cleverly combine the signature ladies’ boucle jacket with print or plain tops; torn jeans, corduroys, leather or velvet pants; wear a wide-brimmed or furry hat, and embellish with pins and brooches galore. He would even deck out his shoes with multiple pins, a topic written about in GQ magazine. His latest accessory is a subtle, bejeweled Chanel logo tooth grill. He also promotes coveted Chanel bags, but he paints and doodles on them for a more whimsical look.
Mostly, G-Dragon would mix up Chanel clothing with pieces from his own Peaceminusone brand. In 2016, G-Dragon established his own cool streetwear brand, Peaceminusone, or PMO. It is supposed to be an extension of the star’s persona. The background for this name is quite interesting and rebellious. Make a peace sign with your hand, then bring down your pointer, and what do you have? He should have named the brand Middle Finger Up. The PMO logo is the circular peace sign minus a line. When separated, the initials GD are seen.
Another logo of the hip line is a daisy with a petal missing in the 8 o’clock position. This signifies the number 8, which is lucky and significant to him. You see, G-Dragon was born on August 18, 1988, which is 8-18-88.
It is difficult to fully encapsulate G-Dragon’s unique fashion style. There has been overwhelming commentary and photos of his outfits through the decades. He has been in the spotlight since he was a child.
Amazingly, in the latest Chanel fashion show, creative director Virginie Viard was seen using a PMO daisy pin. I would have to say that so much thought has been put into Peaceminusone’s name and logo. The same goes for the items they sell. They have brilliant jackets, tees, bags, and accessories — all with the fashion imprint of G-Dragon. Although items are available online (peaceminusone.com is always sold out!), Peaceminusone has had pop-ups in Paris, London, Miami, Hong Kong, Osaka and, of course, Seoul.
G-Dragon’s style is always evolving. Through the years, he has also had countless (it seems) hairstyles and hair colors, where he was always ahead of his time. When he first came out in a mullet in 2017, it looked like a weird throwback to the Eighties. A couple of years later, some K-pop idols followed suit.
Another aspect of his style is androgyny, which, with his delicate features, is complementary. He wore skirts and dresses back in the day when it wasn’t entirely accepted, and freely mixes women’s and men’s fashion, even shoes. Recently, he was seen wearing Chanel ballet flats and Mary Janes.
The first Nike collaboration with G-Dragon was launched in late 2019. It was called the Air Force 1 Paranoise. This had many Koreans lining up for blocks at the Nike stores and online, it sold out in seconds. He is dubbed as the “sold-out king.” Sneakers now are like art. The artistic collaborations go up in value and resellers make a lot of money. The same goes for these shoes. GD then launched the Paranoise 2 a year later. The Paranoise sneakers came in a black or white outer layer, which peels through time to reveal an artwork GD has made underneath. The latest collab called Peaceminusone X Nike Kwondo 1 looks like a brogue dress shoe made with leather and a detachable flap. By the way, the packaging of the GD shoes has the Nike logo spelled out in Hangeul or Korean, which I am sure instills national pride.
Who says you can’t wear sneakers to formal events? Sole Supplier UK has included G-Dragon as one of the 10 Asian icons who shaped the sneaker industry.
It is difficult to fully encapsulate G-Dragon’s unique fashion style. There has been overwhelming commentary and photos of his outfits through the decades. He has been in the spotlight since he was a child. His influence in Korea when it comes to popular culture is such that when he entered the military, citizens were worried about how dull their fashion scene would be without him. But he is back, as seen in the recent Chanel show. It looks like this “idol of idols” will contribute his own out-of-the-box take to the fashion world again.