A Unique and Eccentric Girl Group, Orange Caramel’s Outstanding Outfit Concepts
In all the years the Korean pop industry has been flourishing both in the domestic and international markets, visual concept and performance have always been something that sets it apart from other music industries across the globe. This is widely attributed to Korean pop being a pure sensory indulgence from eclectic music to colorful music videos to sensuous style, K-Pop has it all. Groups that have experimented with various concepts have come and go, most notably Girls’ Generation, Big Bang, VIXX, these groups are known to change up their concepts often from innocent, school concepts to the more eccentric voodoo doll concept. Yet none of these groups could do it like the girl group Orange Caramel.
Orange Caramel is a group that debuted under Pledis Entertainment, as a subunit of the group After School. Consisting of Nana, Lizzy, and Raina, the trio explores various concepts through their singles such as “Lipstick,” “Shanghai Romance,” and “My Copycat.” Though none of them speak to the masses quite like the hit single, “Catallena.” Released on March 12th, 2014, the song was an instant hit due to its addictive hook but also the styles that the members rock in their music video, as well as their live performances. Are you interested to know more about the outfits the group wore during this comeback? What makes it so different from their previous, equally unique comebacks? Let’s take a look at Orange Caramel’s unique style in “Catallena!”
Comeback with the Song “Catallena”
In March 2014, Orange Caramel came back on the scene with the single “Catallena,” which tells a story of a girl that is charming and is admired by the members of the group. The song itself was an instant hit within the Korean and international fandom, for its very catchy hook and repetitive chorus. Not only that, it sounds out the message of supporting women rather than tearing them down, admiring women for their accomplishment and charms. The members do not only admire “Catallena,” but they also express their want and need to be her, to be the center of attention in the room and captivate anyone who spares her even a glance.
This is later personified in the music video through the analogy of sushi and food, as the members of Orange Caramel are packaged in sushi and sold at a cheaper price compared to the luxurious “Catallena.”
“Catallena” Music Video
As mentioned before, the music video takes on the analogy of sushi as the member sings along to the tune of “Catallena.” The set pieces are unique setups of personified sushi plating, from the wooden plate, to the chopsticks, and even the rotating sushi bar setup, all magnified to the size of the members. This is to give the illusion of the members actually becoming the sushi, and driving the point of the song, the admiration they have for this “Catallena” figure, made up to be the most expensive sushi, the octopus leg.
Outfit Style in the Music Video
Due to the concept planned for the music video, the members were also dressed accordingly, as personified sushi.
First, we have Nana, the visual of the group, dressed as tuna. Tuna is one of the most prized types of sushi, due to the exclusivity of bluefin tuna and its dwindling population. Furthermore, tuna is a type of fish that people have likened to beef, for its fatty content and red coloring. Not only that, seeing the excessive marbling and the light pink color that adorned Nana’s outfit, it seems that she is dressed as the tuna belly, the most expensive cut of the fish, but of course, not more expensive than the octopus leg.
Next up, is member Lizzy, dressed up as what seems to be a piece of shrimp sushi. Shrimp in sushi and sashimi is unlike any other cuts of fish because rather than being eaten raw, it is usually blanched or boiled beforehand, revealing a pinkish-coral coloring and a sweet tasting flesh. Lizzy’s hair is dyed to match the concept with a greyish purple tone that compliments the coral headband on her head perfectly. The dress also boasts a strapless design, with gradient ruffles, embodying the spirit of shrimps perfectly.
Raina on the other hand, is dressed in a silver and a blue sequined piece that imitates the scales of a mackerel. The dress itself is cut with a strong shoulder and a deep v neckline. Not only that, but the dress also sports little ruffles at the end to accentuate the tightly fitted bodice against Raina’s figure. The mackerel is one of the more common pieces of fish in Japanese cooking, but it is versatile and can be cooked in multiple ways. In a sense, this fish perfectly represents Raina who is multi-talented.
Other than the individual outfits, the girls are also presented in the manner of a packaged fish that are commonly sold in supermarkets. This alludes to the form they are in before being turned into sushi, hinting at the fact that they were mermaids that are then turned into a piece of sushi. On the packaging, the prices that they come in are stated clearly, as it becomes a point on contention later on when “Catallena,” the octopus sushi comes into play, later on in the music video.
For the outfits that they were wearing during the choreography sections of the music video, they have several different ones, but they all share one similarity and that is: polka dot as the centerpiece of the outfit. One of the outfits, featured in the picture above, each member is dressed in a black on blue polka dot, a-line fitted pants, with a variation of black and white polka dot printed tops. Raina’s feature a peplum skirt, Nana’s with a sweetheart neckline, while Lizzy is the familiar straight neckline. What makes it slightly different is that each is wearing a different size of dots on her.
Similar to the previous outfit, the one above is technically still polka dot themed and has a similar cut to it but, the sleeves are a play at each other’s personality, along with the accent color chosen to complement the white polka dot pattern on a sheer fabric. Raina’s right and bubbly personality is represented with the color yellow, Nana’s with purple and Lizzy’s a bright coral. They have not missed a single detail, such as the color of the socks the members are wearing.
Similar to the colored outfits, Orange Caramels’ final outfit, the one also found in their teaser photo, has the same variant design as the previous one. This time, that variation is in the color of metallic fabric the polka dot design is printed on. The way they crafted the fit and style of the dress is still the same, and each one focuses on that particular members’ specialty and personality.
Outfit Style for Performances
For Orange Caramels’ weekly music show performance of the single, their stylist took it as their cue to be as creative as possible. The group no longer limits itself to just one type of dish or cooking as the inspiration of their outfits, but rather all kinds of cooking. From ramen and pizza, to all kinds of sweets and desserts, to pure orange juice, Orange Caramel has done it all. Not only did the outfits come in a dress form but also a headpiece that takes the form of its original dish. Out of all the designs they wore on the music show stage, it seems the outfit that garnered the most hype is the Onigiri shaped outfits that they wore, as a nod to Korean convenience store food.
So what do you think about the outfits Orange Caramel wore during the “Catallena” promotion era? Do you think they help communicate the message of the song better to a wider audience? Or, do you think it distracts people from the actual song? Comment your thoughts and opinions in the section below!