That Davichi reign just won't let up! The duo's new power ballad, "The Letter," enters the Gaon singles chart at No. 1 this week, making it their fifth hit single this year alone. The pair previously reached No. 1 with "Turtle" and "Be Warmed," while "Just The Two Of Us" and "Because I Miss You Today" both peaked at No. 2. Judging by the charts, there's no question that Davichi is one of the biggest female acts in K-pop today.
A few spots down is miss A's "Hush," which rises six spots to No. 5. Despite not topping the charts, the sexy single's been able to place first on two music programs so far, making this a fairly successful comeback for the somewhat struggling girl group. It also shows the importance of timing: T-ara's "No. 9" fared the same --if not better-- than "Hush," but was blocked on music programs by blockbuster acts like SHINee, IU, and K.Will.
Anyway, just below miss A is BIGBANG's Taeyang, who climbs 10 spots with "RINGA LINGA" to No. 6. This will likely be the peak for the single, which is another sign that BIGBANG's solo projects outside of G-Dragon just aren't doing the numbers that that they used to. Seungri's "Gotta Talk To U" peaked briefly at No. 3 back in August, whereas a few years ago Taeyang was reaching No. 1 with songs like "I Need a Girl" and Seungri was sweeping music programs with "What Can I Do."
Speaking of BIGBANG, T.O.P's "Doom Dada" enters at No. 10 this week. This isn't too bad considering that T.O.P's main activities outside of BIGBANG are either acting or as part of the GD&TOP unit, and "Doom Dada" still has a chance to rise a bit next week like "RINGA LINGA" did.
Trouble Maker's "Now" is already down to No. 13, which is a little surprising considering the NINE music program trophies the song has picked up. But again, this just shows how important timing is when it comes to winning Mutizens.
Check out this week's key K-pop hits, below!
No. 1. Davichi - The Letter
No. 5. miss A - Hush
No. 6. Taeyang - RINGA LINGA
No. 10. T.O.P - Doom Dada
No. 19. M&N - Tonight
Let's take a look at Nazi-inspired fashion.
Villains always have the best outfits.
From Darth Vader's polished black space armor to The Joker's snazzy purple suit, bad guys always seem to show up their protagonists in the fashion department.
Way more handsome than Batman. static.giantbomb.com
But could there possibly be a real world equivalent to the type of over-the-top villain fashion often found in fiction? It would have to be sleek and imposing, austere and dangerous. Probably black.
Maybe it's him. Maybe it's fascist ideology.
Let's call a spade a spade. From an aesthetic standpoint, the Nazi SS outfit is very well-designed. The long coat tied around the waist with a buckle portrays a slim, sturdy visage. The leather boots and matching cap look harsh and powerful. The emblem placements on the lapel naturally suggest rank and authority. And the red armband lends a splash of color to what would otherwise be a dark monotone. If the Nazi uniform wasn't so closely tied with the atrocities they committed during WWII, it wouldn't seem out of place at Fashion Week. Perhaps not too surprising, considering many of the uniforms were made by Hugo Boss.
Pictured: A real thing Hugo Boss did. i.imgur.com
Of course, today, Nazi uniform aesthetics are inseparable from the human suffering doled out by their wearers. In most circles of civilized society, that's more than enough reason to avoid the garb in any and all fashion choices. But for some, that taboo isn't a hindrance at all–if anything, it's an added benefit.
As a result, we have Nazi chic, a fashion trend centered around the SS uniform and related Nazi imagery.
History of Nazi Chic
For the most part, Nazi chic is not characterized by Nazi sympathy. Rather, Nazi chic tends to be associated with counterculture movements that view the use of its taboo imagery as a form of shock value, and ironically, anti-authoritarianism.
The movement came to prominence in the British punk scene during the mid-1970s, with bands like the Sex Pistols and Siouxsie and the Banshees displaying swastikas on their attire alongside other provocative imagery.
Very rotten, Johnny. i.redd.it
Around this time, a film genre known as Nazisploitation also came to prominence amongst underground movie buffs. A subgenre of exploitation and sexploitation films, Naziploitation movies skewed towards D-grade fare, characterized by graphic sex scenes, violence, and gore. Plots typically surrounded female prisoners in concentration camps, subject to the sexual whims of evil SS officers, who eventually escaped and got their revenge. However, the most famous Nazisploitation film, Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS, flipped the genders.
The dorm room poster that will ensure you never get laid. images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com
Ilsa was a female SS officer and the victims were men. She spent much of the movie wearing her Nazi uniform in various states, sexually abusing men all the while. As such, Ilsa played into dominatrix fantasies. The movie was a hit on the grindhouse circuit, inspiring multiple sequels and knock-offs and solidifying Nazi aesthetics as a part of the BDSM scene.
Since then, Nazi chic fashion has been employed by various artists, from Madonna to Marilyn Manson to Lady Gaga, and has shown up in all sorts of places from leather clubs to character designs in video games and anime.
Lady Gaga looking SS-uper. nyppagesix.files.wordpress.com
Nazi Chic in Asia
Nazi chic has taken on a life of its own in Asia. And unlike Western Nazi chic, which recognizes Nazism as taboo, Asian Nazi chic seems entirely detached from any underlying ideology.
A large part of this likely has to do with the way that Holocaust education differs across cultures. In the West, we learn about the Holocaust in the context of the Nazis committing horrific crimes against humanity that affected many of our own families. The Holocaust is presented as personal and closer to our current era than we might like to think. It is something we should "never forget." Whereas in Asia, where effects of the Holocaust weren't as prominent, it's simply another aspect of WWII which, in and of itself, was just another large war. In other words, Nazi regalia in Asia might be viewed as simply another historical military outfit, albeit a particularly stylish one.
In Japan, which was much more involved with WWII than any other Asian country, Nazi chic is usually (but not always) reserved for villainous representations.
OF COURSE. i.imgur.com
That being said, J-Pop groups like Keyakizaka46 have publicly worn Nazi chic too, and the phenomena isn't limited to Japan.
In South Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand, Nazi imagery has shown up in various elements of youth culture, completely void of any moral context. For instance, in Indonesia, a Hitler-themed fried chicken restaurant opened in 2013. And in Korea, K-Pop groups like BTS and Pritz have been called out for propagating Nazi chic fashion. Usually such incidents are followed by public apologies, but the lack of historical understanding makes everything ring hollow.
So the question then: is Nazi chic a bad thing?
The answer is not so black and white.
On one hand, seeing Nazi chic on the fashion scene may dredge up painful memories for Holocaust survivors and those whose family histories were tainted. In this light, wearing Nazi-inspired garb, regardless of intent, seems disrespectful and antagonistic. Worse than that, it doesn't even seem like a slight against authority so much as a dig at actual victims of genocide.
But on the other hand, considering the fact that even the youngest people who were alive during WWII are edging 80, "forgetting the Holocaust" is a distinct possibility for younger generations. In that regard, perhaps anything that draws attention to what happened, even if it's simply through the lens of "this outfit should be seen as offensive," might not be entirely bad. This, compounded by the fact that Nazi chic is not commonly associated with actual Nazi or nationalistic sentiments, might be enough to sway some people–not necessarily to wear, like, or even appreciate its aesthetics, but rather to understand its place within counterculture.
Ultimately, one's views on Nazi chic likely come down to their own personal taste and sensibilities. For some, Nazi chic is just a style, an aesthetic preference for something that happens to be mired in historical horror. For others, the shadow of atrocity simply hangs too strong.
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Miryo and Narsha of veteran K-pop girl group, Brown Eyed Girls, have teamed up together to form a subunit, M&N. It's the first unit project for BEG, who up until now have stuck with full group activities or solo releases.
Fans expecting something as big as Narsha's "Bbi Ri Bba Bba" or Miryo's "Dirty" from M&N's debut single, "Tonight," will probably be disappointed. Rather than going all out for M&N's promotions, the pair have settled on a small digital single release -- "Tonight" doesn't even come with a proper full-length music video. The breezy midtempo recalls Brown Eyed Girls' 2012 non-promoted seasonal release, "A Midsummer Night's Dream," so it's more like a side project than a real K-pop comeback.
The good news is that M&N have recorded "Tonight" in both Korean and English, which their international fans (like us!) definitely appreciate. Since they sound so good, we wouldn't mind some more English-language BEG down the road.
Hopefully we'll still get another full solo release from Narsha or Miryo at some stage, but until then, M&N is a nice way to fill in the time between BEG's group releases.