The Korea Drama Awards are the pinnacle of everything K-drama related in Korea. But it’s funny for me in some regards because everyone looks so amazing and the event is so formal, and yet it’s also a crowd full of people getting awarded for making us all sob at 2 AM crouched over our laptops lol.
The personal highlight for me was the shock and awe of Hyolyn, soloist and formerly of Sistar, performing songs that I don’t think anyone expected (check out the audience reactions, especially during the second song — they’re hilarious).
But since I don’t watch dramas as they’re airing, the Korea Drama Awards gave me my list of series to binge for the next few months. There were some clear front runners from 2018, and I wanted to take a look at some of the notable actors and actresses that snagged the top awards of the night in their respective dramas. I may never be a Korean drama star, but there’s nothing wrong with feeling a little like one 🙂
My ID Is Gangnam Beauty was one of the breakouts of 2018 and became one of the top rated Korean dramas in broadcast history, which really surprised me because it’s an adaptation of a webcomic. I loved how it tackled the obsession in Korea (and honestly, the rest of the world) with physical beauty and gave the stage to some newer and lesser known faces on the acting scene. Cha Eun Woo, a member of the boy group Astro, snagged Best New Actor and the Hallyu Star award for his role — not too shabby of a way to start your acting career if you ask me.
He played a college student and is actually 21 in real life, so I think the styling was very appropriate. I like the relaxed fit of a lot of his outfits in the series, especially the oversized sweaters.
He caused a bit of a stir online as well when he dyed his hair grey for the role as the corresponding web comic character had grey hair. They also kept his bangs all down for the most part, instead of doing the popular “comma” hair for boy groups, and filled his brows in to the max so they didn’t get lost through his bangs. I think the fashion forward but relatively low-key look they went for suited him and the role perfectly.
Jo Woo Ri snagged the award for Star of the Year for her role in Gangnam Beauty as an antagonist of sorts, and although she’s a face that’s been around for a while, this is her first major role after being in the background in other dramas, most notably Descendants of the Sun.
She was also playing a student, but she definitely had more of a preppy vibe. I saw her wearing a few variations on an outfit with a Peter Pan collar and lace detailing, which I thought looked sophisticated without feeling overly stuffy.
Her makeup was also very clean and minimal — in my last K-pop trends article, I talked a lot about the orange-coral-brown eyeshadow looks popular in Korea right now, and Woo Ri had a similar vibe to her makeup as well. I think this was really appropriate considering her character is majoring in chemistry in the show. I know a handful of people who went through intensive science programs in college and they definitely did not have time for a cut crease and ombré lips.
What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim also broke into the ranks of most viewed dramas in broadcast history, landing a spot in the top 20 of all time, and it’s easy to see why. It checks all the boxes of a classic, feel-good Korean romantic comedy, and the public definitely showed it a lot of love as well, making it the #1 searched Korean language drama in the country. Basically, everyone loved it, and if you haven’t watched it, you should.
Pyo Ye Jin snagged the Female Popular Character award for her role in Secretary Kim as the trainee secretary Kim Jin-Ah and earned the title of “scene stealer” among the fans of the show. We all know what it’s like to be the new kid on the block trying to prove yourself in a new work environment, and Ye Jin won a lot of hearts with her punchy, upbeat attitude.
Her stylist definitely gave her some lips to match this personality with a lot of bright, punchy colors. I think that was a smart choice and provided some contrast to her lighter hair and brows and really emphasized how expressive she was on camera.
There were a lot of Korean drama hits in 2018, and 2019 is already setting some records for K-dramas only just a few weeks in. Sky Castle is crushing it right now, and I’m sure there’s still a lot more to come. What dramas are you guys watching this year? Do you have any standouts from 2018?