Last Tuesday marked the release of South Korean K-pop star Lee Taemin's third EP entitled Advice, along with an accompanying music video two days later. With this album being the 27-year-old's last before his mandatory military enlistment on 31 May, the five-track audio-visual masterpiece acts as a farewell note to his fans. The EP also features a collaboration song with Girls’ Generation member Taeyeon called ‘If I Could Tell You’. But it's the title song that shows off the grandeur of the K-pop powerhouse's talents—his wide vocal range as well as his rapping and harmonising skills.
The release of the music video was nothing short of phenomenal—garnering 14 million views on Youtube in just a week. The charismatic Lee pushed the boundaries of his expressions through a series of location and style changes. Besides the well-thought out set builds and high production value of the 'Advice' music video, the looks that Lee were in definitely caught the fandom's attention.
Lee starts off the video by playing the piano topless while wearing a pair of distressed trousers and a balaclava accessorised with silver chains. His upper body was painted with black brush strokes and covered in both real and drawn-on tattoos. As the video progresses, it takes a 180 degrees turn. The balaclava was taken off to reveal long hair as well as smudged eyeliner—a look that's a departure from his usual. Lee pushes gender boundaries even further with subsequent fits, exposing black stockings with lace trims under white knee-high socks. And just when we thought it was over, Lee reaches the crescendo of the R&B song dancing in a white crop top, a Supreme sports bra and matching sweatpants. Yes you read that right—a sports bra.
Lee's stylist, who goes by Wook (@punkyspider), has been the mastermind behind all of his gender-fluid looks. The partnership between the two has evolved Lee's outfits over time but the DNA of his style remains. The sight of Lee in a crop top isn't a foreign one. He was first caught wearing one during his early years with SHINee, and it made a return in his previous music video, 'Idea'. The look bears a resemblance to that in the 'Advice' music video with the singer's torso being revealed underneath a white crop top. The name 'King of K-pop' (given by his fans) could not have been a more fitting title. Lee's gender-nonconforming style reiterates his versatility and presence as an artist in the 21st century.
By the last second of the three-minute video paragon, we are left with a bittersweet feeling. Lee was described as the first of his kind from South Korea and many are left to wonder what the K-pop industry is gonna do without him for the next two years. Who perhaps could take over the mantle?
Scroll through the gallery above for some of the most stylish scenes from Taemin's 'Advice' music video.