For today's dose of cutie patootie, I decided to take a look back through the different album concepts and Ilhoon's ever evolving look.
BORN TO BEAT
First Mini Album
Released April 3, 2012
This was the debut album jacket shoot with teaser images.
He looks real young here as he was still a fetus. He's at his heaviest weight wise and you can see his face is a little fuller than in later concepts. I personally think he looks great and I don't think he needed to slim down at all, but this is Kpop and they have strict ideas on images so for later concepts Ilhoon dieted quite a bit.
He looks healthy here and still has his baby face. So adorable. As for the shoot itself, this was our first introduction to Ilhoon the not-so-tall yet dark, handsome, brooding rapper and his strong eyebrow game. I really like the black, paint-dripped pants and combat boot combo he's sporting.
Second Mini Album
Released September 12, 2012
For this concept Ilhoon had a really funky style, mixing patterns and colors and piling on the accessories. They also started playing with his hair a lot more, giving us some really neat hairstyles to adore.
This look plays into the MV concept for WOW which was the main single released off this album.
Third Mini Album
Released September 9, 2013
For this concept, BTOB went darker and frankly a bit sexier. With Ilhoon sporting leather, pleather and chains... and abs, it was easy to swoon. His hair went dramatically lighter to a suiting blonde color and the style changed from the funky curls to edgy and dangerous.
The brooding Ilhoon from the debut days returned but with an added air of maturity and sexiness we hadn't seen before. You can really tell the difference the weight loss played not only on his chiseled abs, but his facial features as well.
Fourth Mini Album
Released February 17, 2014
Again alternating the dark and light looks, BTOB came back with Beep Beep which was a brighter, fun concept. The cover images saw the boys in over-sized flannels and jackets while the album jacket showed them in a colorful, playful manner.
Ilhoon's hair underwent the most drastic color change to date with a bright white color and chunky bangs. He looks like he could be painting graffiti and generally being a really cute delinquent. ...but did you see those arm muscles??? Cutie patootie's been working out!
Fifth Mini Album
Released September 29, 2014
Move brought us You're So Fly which was another bright, colorful, fun music video, but the album shoot didn't reflect that as much. Ilhoon, who was only 17 when BTOB debuted, has visibly been maturing before our eyes as each comeback rolled around. Here you can see a stark contrast to the younger Ilhoon images. He still has that youthful look, but his features have matured in a manner that only comes from growing up and not from dieting.
THE WINTER'S TALE
Sixth Mini Album
Released December 22, 2014
It's Christmas Time!!!! The title song off this album is one of my favorite Christmas songs. I loved it before I even knew who BTOB was. I just loved the MV and the song and seeing these cuties dressed up as Disney and Winnie the Poo characters is so stinking cute! So naturally, the album images had to be just as adorable, right?
The first picture is probably one of my favorites of Ilhoon. He looks like he's five and it's seriously precious.
First Full Album
Released June 29, 2015
Complete marked the beginning of the ballad trilogy that would play out into 2016. This was a turning point for BTOB as their ballads were wildly successful, even earning them first place on a music show for the very first time. This also means the concept and styling during this period changed drastically.
The boys became men. Clean lines, mature images and toned-down colors were now the standard. Funky shirts, leather jackets and mismatched accessories were traded in for slim-lined suits. Ilhoon began his love affair with suit shorts which he would sport along with Minhyuk through out the ballad series promotions.
An additional bonus to this period (in my opinion at least) is Ilhoon's longer, gorgeous brown locks. I love his hair most when it's a bit longer and can have more diverse styling options. His hair during this concept was just beautiful. At times he had it in a pony tail or pulled back and it looked so good.
Seventh Mini Album
Released October 12, 2015
I Mean was the second release in the ballad series and it featured a softer look for the boys. Ilhoon's hair went super dark and rich in color to an almost black but not quite. It's shorter than the previous concept and the styling is fluffier.
I really like the styling choices with the white fuzzy sweater and pink pants. Not just for Ilhoon, but that whole shoot, for all the members. The colors compliment their skin tones very well and whoever dressed them did a great job.
Released February 24, 2016
BTOB took a break from the Korean ballad series to release a cute, lighter Japanese single. Japanese concepts generally have a much different feel from the Korean ones and as such, the clean, youthful image sported with this release followed suit.
Ilhoon went back to a shorter, blonde look while donning simple tops and minimal accessories.
Eighth Mini Album
Released March 28, 2016
For the third installment of their ballad series, white, blue and pink were the main colors for the theme with minimal make-up and clean hair cuts and styling bringing out an even crisper, yet softened look.
Ilhoon's hair while remaining blonde, went even shorter with a very defined cut. This is my least favorite hair style on him. It still looks great, I just miss his longer, funkier hairstyles. The shorter hair does really make his eyebrows stand out and his eyes pop though, so... tradeoff.
Released June 15, 2016
The boys donned very nice suits for this gripping ballad release. They look like proper, fancy gentleman for this concept. Ilhoon's hair is very similar to the Remember That look, with only subtle changes. His eyebrows were lightened though and his overall styling matured. That steely gaze out the window doesn't hurt either.
This song is one of my favorites. It skyrocketed to the top of my list as soon as it was released. It also earned BTOB their very first Number One placement on the Japanese music charts. The styling concept for the boys was very well done but the vocals on this are outstanding. Honestly, the vocal line outdid themselves. Ilhoon, Minhyuk and Peniel had a hand in writing the lyrics and it really is phenomenal.
If you haven't yet listened to L.U.V or seen the MV, you can check it out on my previous cards:
And if you're wondering WTH is going on in the MV, click >>>HERE<<<
What will Ilhoon look like for the next concept? Well, if this image taken just four days ago is any indication, we may be in store for another funky or upbeat concept soon.
In case you didn't notice a pattern with the release dates of their previous concepts, BTOB tends to release a comeback every September, with the exception of last year when they released their first full album in October.
In June of this year, Leader Eunkwang hinted at a possible September comeback, while Peniel said at KCON NY that the group does intend to do another upbeat or sexy concept at some point in the future.
So does Ilhoon's electric blue hair mean anything or did he just decided it was time for a change? I guess we'll just have to stay tuned to find out.
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