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Released on January 11, (G)I-DLE’s’s newest track HWAA helped them achieve the feat of becoming the first fourth-generation K-pop group to debut at No. 1 on the Melon chart. The song is inspired by the Korean character 화, which can mean both “fire” and “flower,” with lyrics about the desire to burn the cold away and bloom like a flower after a hard breakup. Full of vivid imagery, the music video adds to the three-stage progression in the song, as the girls change from outfits that symbolize “winter,” “fire” and “flower.” The sets and styling incorporate elements from traditional East Asian architecture and clothing, which highlight the presence of East Asian string instruments in the track. The sets also mix natural and modern elements, with 3-D trees, glaciers and a massive bird’s nest alongside projected digital artwork à la TeamLab exhibitions. This immersive combination helps the video move visually from a bleak winter to a blooming spring to its final moments of red-hot passion.
The music video starts off with the girls standing in front of a glacier, all clad in V-neck, long-sleeve, white maxi dresses (a modernized take on the traditional hanbok) and knee-high white boots. The ethereal look is intensified with the later appearance of glitzy rhinestone face tassels.
Although the outfits are quite minimal, the girls elevate them with dramatic hair and makeup. Minnie’s ultra-crisp white eye shadow perfectly complements the outfit, while her straight red hair with bangs, Yuqi’s bob with blunt bangs, and Miyeon’s hime cut are all extremely sharp and striking, adding to the unfeeling energy of a lonely winter.
As the ice melts and spring arrives, the girls transition from pristine white frocks to colorful floral prints. In addition to dancing in front of a jungle recreation, the girls sit on whimsical leaf-wrapped swings. Yuqi even rocks tiny pressed flowers on her cheeks!
They also move from a white backdrop to a setting with traditional East Asian design elements, such as mirrors, windows, folding screens and white paper lanterns. The girls hold fringed umbrellas and hand fans, and incorporate accessories like ornamental hair sticks and hair clips.
As the music video moves into spring, the darkened backdrop maintains a mysterious air. Minnie’s black-and-white, balloon-sleeve, floral-print maxi dress with a high, ruffled neckline perfectly encapsulates that allure. She accessorizes with pastel hair tassels and timeless green gemstone studs for a splash of color.
Sitting in a room with seigaiha-patterned walls, Miyeon wears a sleeveless midi tulle dress with floral embroidery in romantic red, which is paired with luxe gold-tone flower earrings with pearl centerpieces.
The only member not in a one-piece, Shuhua wears a girlish set consisting of a one-shoulder top with a pleated rose-shaped sleeve and an A-line mini skirt, both in a white and red floral print. Her layered pearl choker imbues the look with a more mature mood while still fitting the color scheme.
Soojin is known for her sex appeal, so this vividly colored, floral-print ruched mini sheath dress with mesh panels and puff sleeves is the perfect pick for her. She completes the look with a wide velvet headband in dark green to echo the green notes on the dress’s floral print, as well as a pair of large pearl drop earrings for a glam, dolled-up effect.
Soyeon’s puff-sleeve, off-shoulder dress comes with tonal floral embroidery that’s more subtle than the prints on the other girls’ dresses. Its rich royal blue shade gives off classic vibes and perfectly matches the fringed parasols the girls later carry. Her pink eye shadow and butterfly pendant pearl dangle earrings add softness to the grand dress.
With its red and green floral print, Yuqi’s white dress comes in a similar color palette as Miyeon’s, but its sleeveless, tiered cut makes it more youthful. Similarly, her rhinestone bow choker keeps things fresh and fun.
For the girls’ final transformation, they dance in front of a red screen in a variety of red dresses. Accentuating her tall physique, Minnie is clad in a va-va-voom sleeveless midi sheath dress with allover sequins and a high side slit. Shuhua goes the opposite route in an elegant ballerina-esque long-sleeved gown with lace panels, ruffles and a high-low hem. Miyeon’s sleeveless, V-neck midi number also features ruffles and an asymmetrical hem but in a more form-fitting cut. Soyeon’s long-sleeved playsuit is a relatively low-key, everyday piece, while Soojin’s feathered, poufy mini and Yuqi’s tiered tulle mini are uber-playful and party-ready.
As with their winter outfits, the girls collectively don matching boots. Here, they’re wearing red ankle boots instead of white knee-highs, all with rhinestone tassels that emulate the face tassels they paired with their white dresses.
In terms of accessories, red features heavily to tie in with the rest of their get-ups. Shuhua ties her hair in a half-up style with a red ribbon to complete her dreamy aesthetic, while Soyeon adorns her look with a gold-toned hair stick and red beaded dangle earrings. Opulent gold perfectly balances the intensity of the predominant red hue, and is seen on pieces such as Miyeon’s statement textured square earrings and Soojin’s bow and pearl earrings, which undulate beautifully as she dances.
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