Seunggi’s NYC diary & fashion shoot [ELLE, March 2011]

*** UPDATED with Elle Korea’s short film of “Cold City Guy” Seunggi. Love it! ***
Elle Korea finally broadcast the accompanying video/short film! LSGfan was totally anticipating this! Thanks Elle! Has such a sad, melancholy but beautiful feel to it…

Short Film~ Nothing on Me. Cold City Guy Lee Seung Gi. New York City.

(Images: Elle Korea, Video: leeseunggiworld)

And Seunggi’s New York City diary, in his own words…

That Man’s Monologue.
On the lively downtown streets of New York,
Lee Seung Gi starts his monologue.

06:30am
The City’s early morning air permeates through the window crevice.
I hurriedly left the Thompson Hotel. It was as if the bustling New York streets from last night had not gone anywhere as the Lower East Side was beginning to awaken. One step, two step, slowly picking up speed, I rushed off to Allen Street. About one hour passed? The cool air pounded my head and my chest. Nothing came to mind. I didn’t have confusing thoughts either. This is also the same in Seoul, as I daily walk out in the morning and when I return late in the evening. There’s no reason to walk around carrying your worries in advance. Upon reaching the 2nd floor restaurant, everyone is in the middle of breakfast. Greetings among knowing faces and New York’s fickle weather, apart from that, the rest exchanging trivial news here and there. A little after 20 minutes, I head up to the room.

08:00am
Now the day begins.
The stylist starts to work on my hair, and I think about what I’m supposed to do today. Talk among the staff is audible, I tend to be sparing in my words unless the talk is directed specifically at me. On 1 Night 2 Days, I end up talking in a loud voice as soon as I wake up. However, ordinarily I try not to talk as much. The voice in itself is important and a delicate instrument.
1 Night 2 Days and Strong Heart. I have gained many things by regularly doing both programs. Although one’s personal ability is important, I realized how important working together with ‘people who are good at what they do’ is and how important teamwork is. However, it’s also true that I gave up on various opportunities because of this.

12:00pm
Arrived at Union Square.
I cross the street and head to the park. I sit on the bench to catch my breath and there are quite a few people who recognize me. It’s okay to know that there are ‘watching eyes’ anywhere. I feel I’ve become more resolute about the watchful eyes of others.  In the past when I would see a news article or comments, I would think “Huh? This was criticized? I need to be careful.” I  used to be daunted like that. Now, the frequency of those moments are far less. That I’m mature and more grown-up unlike my age? I hear that a lot. Because the so-called entertainer has become a little more seasoned. Honestly, I was a beginner even when I was starting out. Talking with the hyungs was like that, it was incredibly hard. There’s a 17 year age gap between me and Kang Ho Dong hyung. There’s also about a 7-8 year age difference with the others. But that doesn’t mean that it’s easy now. I’ve developed affection, and it’s become comfortable too, so it’s to say that I’ve come to know how I need to act.

02:30pm
Eating a late lunch at ‘August’ in Greenwich Village.
I’ve crossed from east to west along Bleeker Street. Somehow this area feels familiar and I take in each and every aspect of it. Inside the bar, I make eye contact with some of the foreign patrons. They chuckle. Thoughts and greetings are exchanged just from eye to eye. I think of the words that I heard the most while filming dramas. “Your eyes are great.” “I can understand what you’re trying to say through your eyes.” The best compliment I like to hear. Early on, everyone looked at me and said I did not have the face of an actor. One filming director, half joking-half serious, even said, “It could not have been an actor’s face even as recent as 1990, but the world has gotten better and thus it is possible.”

05:00pm
Walking in the Gansevoort Hotel and The Standard Hotel vicinity.
As I ponder about whether this day is going well. I am not the type to listen to yes or no comments on site. This is probably because I don’t tend to do that, but I can’t necessarily say that this is always a good thing. In the past, I was impatient. That was a problem for me ever since I was young. I was above average in everything. That life had its ups and downs, and talk that a lot of relationship experience deepened one’s acting and singing worried me. I think it’s been about 3 years? Many people have been asking if I am dating, saying they had a good feeling about it. I learned at that time. ‘Ah, there’s no reason to be fixated on experience!’ There’s no need to artificially work in order to purposely create experience, and there’s no need to avoid it either. Various experiences in life will come naturally to me in the future, and those that are unintended should pass over me.

06:00pm
Arrived in Soho.
The weather is still very chilly. People on their way home walk quickly and whizz by. Standing in front of the subway station, I stare out blankly at those people. In order not to stop the flow of traffic and find my way through. Following my debut as an 18-year old singer, although it appears as if things have developed well with no big hurdles, honestly there were times when I felt really hopeless. I longed to become number one no matter what, while seeking out a higher position. However, having experienced that sort of difficult time early on, I am unwavering now. Talk that people are unable to recover from their characters following their projects is a luxury for me. There is some of that in my personal life too. Exercising, going around eating delicious foods, also watching movies, receiving skin care treatment. However, this is all organically connected to my work. I’m sure a time will come when an escape will be needed from work. I believe you just need to know that time will be forthcoming.

07:00pm
At some point it became dark out.
I’ve returned to the hotel. As I inserted my plastic card, the door clanked open. Walking through the dark sitting room, I immediately plopped my body on the bed. I must have forgotten to close the window when I left. The curtain faintly fluttered as a palm-sized breeze seeped in.

English: LSGfan via Elle Korea

I’ve been waiting for Elle Korea to profile this feature.  First of all, I was TOTALLY surprised he was staying at the hip, trendy 60 Thompson!  Good for Seunggi!  But, um, totally not what you think of when you think of Seunggi!  Haha.  It’s all good, that’s what makes me like him.  Why do I have a sneaky suspicion Elle Korea booked him there, and not Hook!  I would be SO surprised if Teacher Lee Sun Hee and Captain Hook also stayed there!  Not trying to insult their style sense… I’m just saying…

Loved this photoshoot so much!  Even more than the beloved Ceci Magazine shoot! Probably because this was set in NYC and I knew exactly what Seunggi was talking about when he mentioned all those specific locations!  Elle Korea definitely chose a great area!  A particularly fashionable and stylish area… hopefully Seunggi’s Cody tagged along and learned a thing or two!

The photoshoot locations were in some highly trafficked spots.  Also, lots of Koreans in that area (a lot of New York University international students).  So I’m sure a lot of people recognized him.  But like Seunggi said, most New Yorkers typically just make eye contact with celebs.  Either too cool to spazz (LOL!) or you just get used to seeing celebs walking around.  I totally should’ve headed over to Soho when I heard about the tweet sighting… and should’ve tried to mistakenly bump into him!

Also love that they scheduled breakfast at August in the Village!  I hope Seunggi studied up on his NYC lingo and properly referred to the area as “Gren-itch” instead of its “Green-which” Village spelling!  Ha.  I’ve eaten there a few times and it’s totally cute and charming.  Plus, it’s like one block from the must-stop-in Marc Jacobs store.

I’m just SO in love with ALL the fashion and looks for this shoot that I can’t help but to gush about it.  Lots of Korean fave labels (Ferragamo, Gucci, Versace, particularly Burberry’s new collection) and some more boutiquish brands.  Nice mix.  Despite liking the natural and guy-next-door Seunggi type of images, fans seem to really love these chic ‘차도남’ (short for ‘Cold City Guy’) looks and transformations.  That’s how Elle Korea’s press release described Seunggi’s fashion shoot.  Basically, ‘차도남’ is that cold, ruthless bad boy Kdrama male lead guy that we can’t help but to fall in love with after he totally changes upon meeting some girl he falls completely head over heels for!  In other words, a fictitious and unreal figment of our imagination!

As for Seunggi’s monologue, I feel sort of mixed.  Seunggi is obviously a better writer and perhaps even more deeper than your typical celebrity.  I mean, my Korean isn’t great, but I think he was using like major SAT-ish words!  A lot of the words, I’d never heard of!  But writing and concept wise, I felt like he was trying a little too hard to be profound, which I’m sure people can’t help but to do in these types of feature profiles.  But guys (and people in general) who “try to hard” = annoying.  Nevertheless, a lot of what he wrote was so honest and frank…  Some of the things he wrote made me sort of sad (just because the pressure he feels on a regular basis is so evident), yet most of what he wrote was really inspiring and thoughtful.

I can only imagine the things that were on his mind during his time in New York City… The Carnegie Hall concert. The relentless press articles rumoring his departure from 1 Night 2 Days and Strong Heart.  Rumors about him focusing solely on Japanese activities. And on and on.  I’m so glad Seunggi’s first trip to NYC was a memorable one.  You can totally tell he was smitten by the City.  Hope that he gets a chance to come back for a longer period and take in all the other many sights and activities too!

And of course, the very cool NYC fashion shoot photos…


Black leather jacket, pants, boots (Burberry Prorsum); Grey shirt is from the stylist’s collection.


Black leather jacket, white tshirt, denim pants (Versace)


Beige trench coat, white t-shirt, striped scarf (Salvatore Ferragamo); Pink studded backpack bag (MCM)


Double-breasted trenchcoat, beige scoop neck shirt, denim pants, brown backpack (Burberry Prorsum)


Blue jacket, beige shirt, grey pants, studded black belt (Burberry Prorsum)


Orange trenchcoat (Z Zegna); White shirt (Ermanno Scervino); Khaki pants (Burberry); Loafers and printed briefcase (MCM)


Grey knit cardigan (Emporio Armani); Grey shirt (Gucci); Grey pants (Ermanno Scervino); Navy colored ipad case (MCM)


Double breasted beige trenchcoat, pocketed beige shirt, khaki pants, studded and chained black belt (Burberry Prorsum)


Jacket and grey shirt, blue knit, khaki shorts and brown belt (Gucci); Boots (Ann Demeulemeester); Grey messenger bag (MCM)


Black vinyl trenchcoat, black belted vest (Ann Demeulemeester)


Black leather jacket (Burberry Prorsum); Purple shirt is stylist’s collection

Noticed that Seunggi’s all-Burberry Elle magazine trench outfit is identical to the way it’s modeled head-to-toe for the Burberry Prorsum trench. Nice look…

And if you’re a Burberry fan (like most Koreans, as well as LSGfan), then you probably loved the Burberry Prorsum Women, Autumn/Winter 2011 Collection show streamed live from the lovely Kensington Gardens a few weeks ago in February during London’s Fashion Week.  Love the snow falling at the end of the show!  So pretty.  And I’m SO IN LOVE with all the tops and jackets, especially the white jackets at the end!

Highlights, celeb cut~ Burberry Prorsum Women, Autumn/Winter 2011 Show
btw, Kate Bosworth looks gorgeous!  And she just did a movie with Jang Dong Gun!

Burberry Prorsum Women, Autumn/Winter 2011 Show

And not as interesting (what can you say, it’s mens fashion!), but to keep the post Seunggi-related.  The Mens fashion show from a month earlier in January.  Rain instead of snow at the end.  Not as exciting as the womens show but still nice…

Burberry Prorsum Men, Autumn/Winter 2011 Show (from January)

Seunggi’s worn Burberry several times.  I’m still amazed his stylist was able to somehow fit Burberry fashion into a real outdoor variety show like 1 Night 2 Days

And Seunggi (aka Daewoong) in Burberry in My Girlfriend is a Gumiho Eps 13-14

The second Burberry sweater should be unforgettable to DaeWoong and My Girlfriend is a Gumiho fans…  Going back to older recap posts made me totally miss the drama!  Watched some eps again recently (again!) and it just made me love the drama even more!  Can’t wait till Seunggi’s next drama!

And also in the Elle Korea March 2011 fashion special issue~ Ha Ji Won and JYJ’s Jaejoong (not pictured).  Hm, hope Seunggi’s wish of working with Ha Ji Won someday comes true.  How can anyone not love her?!

(Images: DClsg; As labeled; Videos: Burberry)

Check out larger, high quality photos at DClsg post link

Check out photo slide show at Elle Korea

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16 Responses

  1. Wow, Ann, thank you so much for translating this! SeungGi’s writings were definitely too deep/profound for me. haha

    When I read the Chinese version, I was definitely depressed for a little bit, thinking about all the stresses he’s been under and the sacrifices he’s had to make. But I’m glad that he seems to be taking everything in stride now.

  2. Dear Ann,

    Great post! Love everything about this Elle shoot. Went to my local Korean grocer to place the magazine order – hopefully I can get it. Just crazy about that Ann Demeulemeester boots and trench (vinyl!). Didn’t expect at all SG could pull off the 차도남 look. Showed how little I knew and how great he is. Please, someone give him a meaty drama role to take advantage of such talent!

  3. Having worked in a magazine myself, some proofreaders tend to change the words written by the author. I can’t help but wonder if they did some altering to Seung-gi’s. Anyway, he sounded so mature in that article, taking on this “it’ll come when it’s supposed to” attitude. I love that monologue. Thanks so much for translating this. (Oh, and my favorite shot was the one where he wore shorts…Just sayin’…) =)

  4. True that most mag/news editors have the final say and re-work things. but since it’s not an interview, but a piece directly from the person (SG)– ive found they usually give suggestions and ask the writer to tweak it. plus, the intent of the piece was SG’s diary/monologue.

    I feel like this interview sounds SO like SG. like very honest. maybe that’s why i thought he was trying a little too hard; b/c he was putting too much of himself out there. i’m always way impressed by his vocabulary and deep answers in all his interviews, written and in person. like if you go back to his video interviews from like 3 years ago; he talks in the same way!

    agree with all of you guys! I just love this Elle feature and I can’t help to re-read Seunggi’s monologue! I also attempted to buy my first Seunggi-related item when the mag first came out this month. but they didn’t have it at the Korean bookstore in K-town. will try again. want to see the other fashion spreads too, like ha ji won.

    • Ya I agreed with you Ann. I first noticed that he can really write when he started to tweet during MGIG even though it was into Chinese.

    • You won’t believe how people here are clamoring to buy that magazine. It’s selling like pancakes and this isn’t even in Korea. Thank heavens for online Kpop shops. Hahaha!

  5. seunggi oppa!!!!! I love it! he’s too perfect. ^__^

  6. I’m from the Philippines, Eunice.

    • Tishi,you got yourself a copy of the mag? ommo.. where should I get it (^excited!^)?

      • Yeah. Visit allstarkpop in Facebook. There are others who sell them, too. I dunno if they’re still accepting orders for that though.

  7. My local Korean grocer came through and I got the Elle. Though I know it would be a heavy affair (as all glossy fashion mags are) Elle really is like a telephone book! Quickly went to my Seung Gi and he’s right there among the featured articles. Love it totally.

    In the beginning of the film, SG seems to be just waking up. His downcast eyes (and eyeshadow) are just to die for. SG, come back in a drama for me, please!

  8. AM, you got the mag! it’s a special fashion issue so it’s even more heavy than usual. you’ve inspired me! i’ll check the korean bookstore this week. Want to see the Ha Jiwon spread too! it’ll be my very first SG-related purchase!

    AND ME TOO! I really can’t wait to see SG in drama again! And honestly, as much as I’d love to see SG doing sageuk sometime in his life, hope it’s not any time soon. hope it’s a serious drama but with humor in it too!

    Love the video! It made me make time in my crazy schedule to post something! I think SG was trying to sleep in a “cool” way per the 2009 Singles interview! :)

  9. wowo I ‘ve learned many thing thru his writing .. good to know him more

  10. Today, I save this page as a memorandum for my self, how life is up and down and how to live my life..just like doing the best of it, like Seung Gi…

    • So gald to have ‘stumbled’ onto this page. Love the photos and clothes, and love his mini diary.
      Haha… and to think that he did end up in acting in a drama with HJW…kinda prophetic and “a serious drama but with humour in ti too,” as requested by LSGfan

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