After the more mellow track, “Where Are You?” in 2017, CLC are back to their dark side with a luxurious twist in “Black Dress”. Fans were already curious with the monochrome teaser images and the bloody text teaser revealing the title track but the true concept turned what would originally be a femme fatale concept on its head. It’s easy to say that these themes may be similar to some of their senior group 4Minute: possibly comparing the designer print looks and dark tone to “Volume Up” but with CLC, they have taken this style into their own and stepped out of that comparison in a big way.
Looking throughout the music video, we see both innocence and also the dark sides of women. Yeeun is mainly seen in the story in a white nightgown and watched over as a subject by a team of suited ladies, including Seungyeon and Elkie. We see something similar to a male gaze behind how the girls act in the masculine attire; watching Eunbin as she pole-dances or making notes what could be Yeeun’s activity.
Some of the other members appear similar in white gowns but they are stoic in their actions as if emotionless whereas Yeeun appears to be different. She seems to want to conform or even end how she appears to others. The shadow CLC is in fact restricting her deterioration. They pick out a pair of scissors to leave behind but when Yeeun wishes to use them on herself, she is stopped before she could take the scissors to her chest. They know she wants to step away from what she appears and in time, Yeeun gives in to their wills and becomes one of them; donning a similar suit and joining them as the group ventures on to protect or maybe destroy. The song itself speaks very briefly about creating a new look for someone and showing their confidence. In Yeeun’s case, she is removing the pure image and when she is in her new attire, she shows a fierce side and smirks to herself in the mirror – completely different to the frozen and possibly forlorn expression she had as an innocent girl taken under CLC’s wing.
There is almost a Black Swan style to the video as many themes show the change. There is a natural change that escalates to joining a darker side and embracing the possible danger behind their beauty. Similar to Natalie Portman’s transformation from twisted human to beautiful swan, Yeeun is instead morphing to a similar way that the others did. The feathers they hold as writing tools are also seen floating around Eunbin during her solo pole dance may be seen as shedding one’s image or to link with a supernatural side, a sign of clarity or someone watching over in a time of need. Maybe the darker CLC are more than they appear. They did stop Yeeun from taking more desperate measures with her scissors and in fact guided her to become her own confident self. Furthermore, it is interesting to note Yeeun’s conformation to the group. In Asian culture, particularly in Japan; cutting hair can be seen as a dramatic life choice either as an act of shame or in the case of this music video, to break away from one’s past and reclaim their power.
Overall, it is good to see CLC go back to their fierce side and in a more interesting manner. “Hobgoblin” showed a wild side and was possibly seen as one trick experiment for the group as they were often seen keeping to their sweet Pop image. This time around, they have fully embraced the attention gained with that comeback and they are finally making it their own. The music video almost acts as how they have progressed naturally. They do still dip back into their soft side – as seen with their last single but they now have morphed into their element and found their own power, thrusting them into the spotlight once again.
If you haven’t checked out CLC’s latest track; “Black Dress” and their seventh mini-album is now available to download on iTunes.