“It’s Okay To Not Be Okay” Costume Director Reveals The Concepts Behind The Characters’ Outfit Styles

Each outfit concept tells a story.

Each episode of tvN‘s K-Drama series It’s Okay To Not Be Okay is surely visual-packed. By that, we mean the series offers not only the most absolute gorgeousness of the two leads Kim Soo Hyun and Seo Ye Ji (also known as Seo Yea Ji)…

“It’s Okay To Not Be Okay” Poster

… but also some impeccable and interesting details — like their outfits — that keep the characters so alive and relatable.

The series’s costume director Jo Sang Gyeong revealed in a recent interview that she intended these characters’ “default looks” to convey their personalities and backgrounds. She explained, “The outfits have been put together so the viewers can glance over the characters and easily guess their tendencies.”

Costume Director Jo Sang Gyeong

For Kim Soo Hyun’s character Moon Gang Tae, the director focused his outfits on the concept of devotion.

Because Moon Gang Tae has been leading a life of sacrifice to look after his hyung, he is not used to looking after himself. The “bland and basic” outfits are meant to portray his lack of care for himself.

His default look is a stretched-out tee with an old pair of corduroy pants. It’s bland and basic… I even had his costumes washed and slightly weathered so it gets that worn-out feel too.

— Jo Sang Gyeong

On the other hand, Oh Jung Se‘s character Moon Sang Tae is repeatedly seen wearing striped shirts.

The director shared that this came to be, based on some thorough research.

I looked into some artists who are on the spectrum. They are inclined to use repeating patterns in their works. So to convey the character’s diagnosis, I decided to dress him in a repeated pattern of stripes.

— Jo Sang Gyeong

In the case of Ko Mun Yeong’s character, played by Seo Ye Ji, the director opted for fierce, flashy, and some even eccentric, outfits — to actually portray her self-defense mechanism.

Set to be “gothic” to match her literary style, Ko Mun Yeong’s extravagant outfits are “supposed to contradict her utmost vulnerability inside.”

As for Park Gyu Young’s character Nam Ju Ri, her “default look” aims to illustrate “warmth”, according to the director.

Nam Ju Ri’s outfits come in layers of colors that create a cozy vibe. That is to represent her naive, soft personality. The outfit in the scene with her wearing a lavender colored shirt with a red colored coat is, possibly, the most accurate depiction of her lovely, warm-hearted nature.

— Jo Sang Gyeong

The director also revealed that the medical uniforms worn by Moon Gang Tae and his co-workers at OK Psychiatric Hospital are pastel-colored for a reason.

The series tries to shed light on the psychiatric hospital as a healthy, healing space — not a scary, life-threatening one. By giving the medical staff pastel-colored, vintage-styled uniforms, I aimed to soften the overall ambiance of the hospital.

— Jo Sang Gyeong

Finally, as something for the viewers to keep their eyes on, the director shared that Kim Soo Hyun and Seo Ye Ji will inevitably start to shift in their styles later in the series — as “their romance deepens”.

Moon Gang Tae will start to wear more colors, while Ko Mun Yeong will start to wear more casual and comfortable outfits. The changes in their looks will come as they start to grow closer.

— Jo Sang Gyeong

With that said, viewers are excited for the upcoming episodes — in which they will try to pick up on the director’s subtle hints, dropped in the characters’ outfits!

Source: SE Daily