The One & Only CL
Performances and style that is unique to CL. A distinct presence emerges from her heart and soul. Moments that are very much like a ‘show’ to the twenty four year old diva, who is walking on the path of an icon.
Fashion editor: Joo Ga Eun
Feature editor: Kim Areum
Photographer: Kim Yeong Jun
Stylists: Ji Eun, Yang Seung Ho
This place that had Ariana Grande’s Problem reverberating from the speakers was the studio that was preparing for ELLE Korea October issue’s cover shoot. Entering the make-up room that feels like the preparation that goes on backstage before a performance, we meet 2NE1’s CL, the first Korean musician to grace the cover of ELLE Korea and also the youngest star to do so.
“Really? I’m really happy that I’m the first among musicians (to grace the ELLE cover), and it’s nice to hear that I’m the youngest too.”
She, who had just finished dressing up, looked as excited as a young lady that was preparing to go out with her friends.
With her petite frame in a Burberry Prorsum sky blue dress, cheerful disposition, her quick way of speaking and the husky laughter that she would occasionally let out, it was as if Elsa from the animation, Frozen, has appeared. CL has transformed from a hip-hop warrior with overflowing charisma to a princess!
“I’ve heard a lot of ‘you’re more feminine that I expected’ from people that I meet for the first time. Because if they’ve only seen me on stage, they know me as a ‘woman with a strong force’ don’t they? (laughs) Even though I was in love with the rebellious punk look when I had my debut at 18, I actually like feminine styles too. I’m happy to be able to get chances to show different sides of me. That’s what today is too!”
Tiffany‘s newly launched T collection was chosen to highlight the modern femininity that CL had not been able to express as much as she wanted. Even though the items are designed around a motif of the alphabet ‘T’, the designs are bold.
“It’s a collection that I really like. Although I often wear flashy jewelry on stage, I tend to prefer wearing a few rings or bracelets with simple designs in daily life.”
CL had met Tiffany’s Design Director, Francesca Amfitheatrof, at the presentation that was held in Seoul recently. The two, who had instantly become friends at that event, spent the next day together.
“There are those people that just click with you at that moment that you meet them right? She was exactly like that for me. She wanted to try Korean food, so I brought her to a restaurant that I knew, and we talked throughout the night. She had designed jewelry for Chanel, Fendi etc and had also introduced Jeff Koons and Murakami Takashi to Korea through her work as an art consultant. I had a lot of fun listening to a variety of her life stories and we agreed to meet again in New York.”
As a musician and global fashionista that represents K-pop, CL’s international network of friends is often talked about. She, who is referred to warmly by Jeremy Scott as ‘my girl’, comfortably eats, dances, and shops with overseas musicians and artists such as will.i.am, Muse, Snoop Dogg and more.
“I believe that you can be friends with anyone as long as your souls connect, disregarding age. I have a lot of curiosity. And I’m not embarrassed to reveal that I’m a fan of someone. If I liked what they do or their works, I would make the first move in saying that ‘it’s really cool’. I think that makes them comfortable with opening their hearts to me.”
Out of all the meetings that decorate CL’s Instagram, there is also quite a few that happened thanks to ‘coincidental luck’. That was the case when she met legendary group Queen’s guitarist at the car park a few weeks back.
“I’ve listened to Queen’s songs ever since I was very young. It was a pity that I couldn’t watch their performance in Korea but as I inadvertently entered the car park, Bryan May was there! What’s interesting is I had just slept in a t-shirt with a drawing of Freddie Mercury on it the previous night. I walked over, greeted him and asked for a photo together. He pointed to an accessory that I was wearing and said it was cool.”
Just like Queen, Michael Jackson and Madonna, the musicians that CL dreams of are those possess an aura on top of their music. CL, who longs to be like them, have certainly passed the idol road and is now walking in the direction of the road of an ‘icon’.
CL, who is 24 years old this year, is already a pro among pros and for her, today’s photoshoot is a show that stimulates her passion. For every cut, from deciding the outfit to producing a pose that is most appropriate, she communicates her thoughts passionately and is perfectly engaged. She even suggested a nude upper body for the cut in which she is wearing a dramatic long skirt from Thom Browne! The girl who stood in front of the camera and covered her chest with her fingers that were adorned with jewelry showed no signs of embarrassment. Who else among female stars would be such a bold and active subject? Her outward world views and actions, that are results of her growing years in France and Japan, and her parents (as it is known, CL’s father, who is a physics professor, writes story books and designs robots), does not make her appear as a ‘wild child’.
The overflowing confidence and energy that she emanates as she shouts “I am the best” is not a moment’s showmanship but comes from the bottom of her heart and soul, which the audience instinctively feels.
“I’m not afraid of failure. Even if I wore something that didn’t match me well and ugly photos are taken.. then well, that’d just be that. It’s not fun to try things that are safe from the very start. If I have amassed a 100 I would take away 50 and start over. That’s my way. I don’t define CL’s color and style. I want to live colorfully. Just as my name, ‘Chaerin’, refers to a colorful mystical animal.”
In the earlier half of the year, CL had once again took away 50 as she challenged herself in the creation of 2NE1’s 2nd full album, Crush. She, who had backed away from being a singer-songwriter due to ‘her own reasons’ had participated by writing songs and lyrics for the first time.
“I fell deeper in love with music.” With a soft expression on, CL looks as if she was in a dream. “I had thought of myself as someone who ‘expresses’ music rather than ‘make’ it. Just like how meeting a man, that is your ideal type, in real life could disappoint you, I felt that if I knew too much about music, it could shatter my fantasy of it. However, at one point of time, I had things that I wanted to say and I wrote them into songs. Although I didn’t know that they would be included in the album, I’m very happy to be able to share them with everyone in the form of results. As expected of music, it didn’t disappoint me.”
CL, who had once again reaffirmed her love for music, has been occupied with multiple international projects and schedules, which includes 2NE1’s 2nd world tour. Even though so, these days she is not only passionately thinking about creating successful performances.
“While doing the world tour, I’ve met a lot of fans that say ‘I want to become someone like (you)’. Not just being ‘cool’ or appearing sexy, I’ve been greatly concerned with what sort of message it is that I should convey to them. This is also why I meet people with many experiences and listen to their stories.”
Last July, CL had attended Haute Couture shows in Paris as a guest editor for ELLE. Even as she exchanged greetings with the movers and shakers of the global fashion world and was soaked in the sea of cameras, CL had ‘maturely’ thought about her position and role.
“I’m not a model right? When I wear beautiful clothes and attend fashion shows, I’m going to do so as a musician and as someone who represents Asian women. Whether it is musicians or others from Korea.. such that when these people see me, they could be proud that I was there.”
The CL whose future no one could have easily predicted from 6 years ago, when ‘Fire’ quickly made all the other female singers’ stages seem bland in comparison, has arrived at this point today. Looking forward, CL’s future could very well surpass the cliche notion that she would ‘expand overseas’.
“I think that it’s important to live each day with faith. I believe that if you look at it that way, the great dream that you dream of would seem closer. Just as I didn’t know that I would be here 6 years ago. I’ve become a cover girl for ELLE Korea! In the future, I’m going to live every moment with a 100% too.”
Source: Elle Korea October 2014
Translated by CLtheBaddestFemale.com
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