The meeting that morning was attended by Minho, Eunha Seo, and Manager Gong along with the main stylist for the photoshoot Youngeun Hwang, and chief Taebaek Yoon who was in charge of KG fashion. Observing the two of them, Minho realized how much people’s clothes show their personalities.
In contrast to brightly-colored Youngeun in pink half-rim glasses and a purple bolero cardigan, Chief Taebaek wore thick-framed glasses and a short, half-sporty haircut.
“Eunha will suit any hairstyle we do, so we can style her hair wavy or straight according to the photoshoot concept.”
Chief Yoon looked over Eunha’s hair when Youngeun said this. Even a man’s hairstyle from the town barber shop would suit her with that beauty. Then it was time to make the schedule.
“It’s a one day photoshoot–will there be time to prepare both of them?”
“I’ll find out Chief Jay Kim’s schedule.”
“Sure. If he can make a trip we’ll go with him, or…”
Chief Yoon spoke as he looked over the schedule table.
“Or make it around the wavy hair. We’ll compromise with the advertisement company for the bold perm if they need an innocent look. Eunha has a lovely image in the new drama she’s in and they’ll like it if we have some photos that keep that look around the time it airs.”
Chief Yoon and Youngeun were doing most of the talking since it was the management team that got things ready for the photoshoot.
Eunha seemed to be used to this since she was just listening to their conversation without changing her expression. But it was the first time for Minho, so their conversation was unfamiliar and interesting. This was the so-called realm of the people who plan and create trends.
‘Their method is to think about the autumn schedule and decide on the hair style.’
It wasn’t a just a matter of dressing up well and taking photos. And because of this, Minho’s ears naturally pricked up and listened carefully whenever they talked about him.
“For Mr. Minho Kang–”
Minho straightened up his posture as Youngeun Hwang observed him from top to bottom as if she were evaluating him. Her clear gaze was like a laser pointer.
“I think we can dye his hair chocolate brown to create a dandy feeling, and there’s a lot of clean cut clothes so it could be good to go for the vintage look with a regent cut.”
“It’s ambiguous. It’s the first photoshoot for Mr. Minho, so rather than just following the autumn trends I’d rather have a defined look that gives an impression of his unique style.”
The two people looked at Minho and tried different outfits on him with their eyes. But they only brought out opinions about his individuality and took a long time to find a common ground. The reason was because Minho lacked the model like aura, unlike Eunha whose daily life was to do photoshoots.
Manager Gong who was watching them jumped in.
“How about we do a demo photoshoot with a few pieces from last year from this brand?”
Chief Yoon shook his head.
“Well, it’s a good idea but we need to come to a conclusion and report to the president by the end of today. They’re going to have a meeting with the advertisement firm tomorrow.”
“So that’s why I scheduled studio B just in case. We’ll finish the demo photoshoot by tonight so how about you report afterwards?”
Chief Yoon then nodded as Manager Gong spoke as if he was waiting to reply.
“Then this is enough. We roughly decided on the other things so let’s conclude here.”
Chief Yoon laughed as he got up from his seat.
“Manager Gong, you’re definitely a prepared man.”
“Mr. Minho Kang is a sponge. I even feel bad if I don’t prepare this much. I wasn’t able to find much viewer information for the interview so I need to go find some more later.”
“Good, that’s good. I heard he’s killing it on every program he appears in. The president who doesn’t even pick up calls from the world star has her eye on him.”
Manager Gong shrugged and glanced at Minho with a proud and pleased look in his eye. It was a short moment to feel good about the infinite trust in that gaze. There’s a saying that praise breeds willingness but that’s only brief!
‘He’s going to find more documents?’
Minho felt like he was going to cry if Manager Gong brought an encyclopedia’s worth of documents. But he couldn’t jump into their conversation and say ‘you don’t need to prepare so much or feel bad about not preparing as much.”
Minho only wished Manager Gong was busy.
“Everyone, good work. We’ll end the meeting here.”
Chief Yoon and Youngeun Hwang left the meeting room in turn. As Eunha stood from her seat Manager Gong spoke.
“Ms. Eunha. I’ll drive you on the day of the photoshoot. Shall I pick you up from school?”
“I’ll be home that day. It’s summer break season so almost all my classes are finished.”
Manager Gong meticulously wrote this in his schedule. When Minho glanced over, the planner and the set alarms reminded him of Eunha’s textbook. It seemed there wasn’t much point in hoping that he would forget to prepare the documents.
Eunha beamed a smile and said goodbye to Minho who now had to make an unexpected visit to studio B.
“I get to catch a ride from Manager Gong by working with you. Either way, it’s nice. See you at the photoshoot. And bye, Manager Gong.”
“Bye! See you then, Ms. Eunha.”
Eunha left as well, promising to meet again in a few days.
Manager Gong spoke with passion for his work shining in his eyes.
“We need to move quickly as well. The studio is squeezing us into their schedule so we can’t be late.”
Minho shook himself and followed behind Manager Gong who strode ahead.
“It’s going to be chaotic today as well, isn’t it.”
The daily routine of running towards a clear goal like a racehorse began.
Minho entered the makeup room to touch up his hair in preparation for the photoshoot.
The girl sitting in front of the mirror greeted him. It was Sora Oh with naive looking eyes without the double eyelids since it was before her makeup.
“Who art thou?”
“Oh my! Who’s this? Are you Sora by any chance?”
“What! You saw this face all through the filming.”
As she glared at him her charismatic female warrior character came alive. Minho sat in the waiting seat in the back and grinned.
“Ha ha. I’m joking, joking. Good to see you.”
He felt close to Sora as if meeting a comrade he had parted with, since he had come through the battlefield of the stables and Grandpa Hwang’s house with her. Sora who was glaring at him softened her gaze and smiled as well. It seemed she felt less uncomfortable since she had showed him her bare face a few times already.
“Are you going to an event or something?”
“Yes, going to the military corps.”
“That military corps is going to go crazy today.”
Their conversation briefly stopped since the stylist had to put basic makeup on her.
Sora asked with her eyes still closed,
“Oh right. How long has it been since you were discharged from the military? How’s my attire according to the eyes of a soldier?”
Sora gestured at her sleeveless dress that revealed the line of her shoulders.
“The stylist unnie always covers me like this every time we go to a military corp performance, saying the soldiers are going to run up on the stage.”
Minho was about to shout ‘why would she cover you!’ but then calmed himself at the next thing she said. But it was true. It would be highly likely that some would not be able to hold back their young vitality when they saw a figure like Sora’s and jump up on stage. But of course they would be restained right away and be given holiday restrictions.
“I want something see-through rather than this. The girls from Stelvia that are attending as well are dressing very boldly.”
She held the top part of her dress with her fingers and shook it, saying she didn’t like it.
Her bra strap that could be either undergarment or fashion showed naturally. Seeing it up close had an almost damaging effect on him.
‘That’s an aw-awesome view.’
His heart thumped as if he were terrified. She always had an easygoing manner but the underlying sexiness was still there.
Minho pondered what she meant by cover as he looked at her attire but his mouth dropped when he thought of see-through clothes vaguely revealing what was inside instead of that dress.
Minho saw Sora who had opened her eyes by now. Then he composed himself to look calm.
“So how’s my costume?”
“it’s enough. The soldiers need a good night’s sleep, after all,”
Minho replied, thumbing through a fashion magazine that he had absolutely no interest in.
“And there’s no need to overdo it. It’s more thrilling if you cover just enough.”
Minho’s opinion on girl groups was firm.
“Then oppa, does your heart flutter when you look at me?”
Minho looked at Sora from head to toe as he spoke, hinting.
“Make sure you put on some makeup before you go. Seriously.”
She seemed really mad so Minho quickly turned the magazine pages. It was the gaudiness of a fashion magazine where this guy looks the same as that guy and the other guy. Minho gave a nod to the stylist who was silently laughing and then quickly closed his eyes at Sora’s sharp glare.
Sora abruptly turned her head as if to say ‘whatever’ and concentrated on the makeup.
Minho listened carefully to the music that rang in the makeup room as the room became quiet.
Minho was waiting to be styled by the person assigned to him, but then he discovered someone walking into the makeup room and Minho fixed his gaze on him.
‘Woah, he has an individualistic style.’
He was a middle-aged man with hair like a lightning bolt soaring up to the ceiling wearing a gold suit that could only be seen at award ceremonies. It was the first time Minho had seen a fashion that seemed so all over the place but somehow balanced.
“Bonjour, tout le monde.”
All the stylists in the makeup room uniformly stopped what they were doing and bowed as the man brightly smiled and greeted everyone.
“Bien bien! I’m overflowing with energy today as well.”
There was a strange greasiness to his pronunciation. He waved his hands in response to his employees’ greetings then stepped aside from the door and led someone inside.
“Come in, mon chéri”
A beautiful lady walked into the makeup room. The man led her to the VIP seat right away.
‘Huh? Yejin Woo?’
The lady was someone Minho had seen once on TV. She was a famous actress who maintained her beauty from her prime even though her age was now 40.
“Mon chéri, wait here for a moment.”
The man pecked a kiss on Yejin Woo’s lips nonchalantly then walked over to where the beauty equipment was. Stylist Junghoon walked over to Yejin who had thrown on a robe.
“Monsieur Jung! How many VIP schedules do we have today?”
“We have two in the afternoon.”
“We have room today. Good~”
What the man was holding in his hands were the scissors with Jay Kim’s initials inscribed on them.
‘What? That man is Jay Kim?’
It was the person who Minho had only heard about as being ‘a skilled person who has no biases toward any hairstyle.’ He was that chief who was always MIA busy with something. Minho had felt him through his cherished object a few times but this was the first time he had seen him in person.
Seeing him today, he seemed like someone who normally lived with an open mind.
Sora’s expression grew brighter as she saw Jay Kim.
“It’s been a while since you’ve come.”
“Oh oh, mademoiselle Oh!”
Jay Kim winked once at Sora then pointed to Yejin Woo.
“It’s the first time you’re seeing mon chéri? I brought her against her will. So that I can do her hair. Then I can do her anywhere all I want tonight.”
He lifted his hands and moved them as if he was squeezing something in the air as he said this. The gesture would have seemed sleazy but from him it was natural. Yejin Woo slapped his back saying there’s nothing he wouldn’t say but Jay Kim just laughed.
“I’ve seen you a lot on broadcast, sunbaenim.”
Sora stood up from her seat and greeted her with the utmost courtesy.
“Nice to meet you.”
Yejin nodded her head once and turned her gaze towards the mirror. Sora watched Jay Kim who was about to start Yejin’s styling, then spoke to him quietly.
“Chief, can you touch up my hair after you finish with Yejin sunbaenim? I’m performing at the military camp where a bunch of my rivals will attend.”
“Huh? If the time allows~”
Sora made an expression as if she had hit the jackpot and then asked her stylist who was doing her hair to excuse her and wait.
Jay Kim was standing behind Yejin Woo and began his work as he sang an unknown foreign pop song.
“You said it was a talk show right? Let’s do an iron perm. I’ll curl your hair with bling bling waves. You’ll be the only one shining mon chéri.”
“It’ll be tacky looking if it’s too curly. The hair shop I used to go to said that.”
“Non Non! It won’t be if you keep the resilience. Firm and shiny. Don’t go back to that hair shop that says tacky tacky.”
Minho was filled with interest as he watched Jay Kim from the back.
Jay Kim sprayed Yejin’s hair with a spray gun to wet it. And it only took a few seconds to brush it down and straighten it out. He softly touched her hair like a harpist stroking the strings of the instrument. Then he began to curl up Yejin’s hair with a round comb and a blow dryer.
These were the hands of a creator.
‘It’s like watching a magic show.’
Minho had no choice but to become engulfed by Jay Kim’s work. It was because he knew the feeling of each hair strand that passed through the fingertips. Then a possibility formed in Minho’s mind as he concentrated and watched Jay Kim’s movements without missing a beat.
It was the curiosity of thinking ‘I might be able to mimic the beauty skills without the use of Jay Kim’s scissors.’
Jay Kim who was finishing up the tip of Yejin’s hair with the scissors stepped back as he dusted off his hands. She checked herself in the mirror and then kissed Jay Kim on his cheek as if she was satisfied.
“The reward is too weak, mon chéri”
Jay Kim took off the robe and hung it on the chair. Then he wrapped his hands around Yejin’s waist and kissed her deeply.
Minho turned his head, embarrassed to watch them, then discovered that all the stylists were doing the same. It seemed like this happened often for he was originally this type of person.
Then Yejin said something to Jay Kim who kept expressing his affection without caring that everyone was watching them.
“The employees are watching!”
“Non non~ We are able to certify the love everytime we stare into each other’s eyes, mon chéri”
Yejin Woo still seemed embarrassed. She straightened her clothes and walked out of the makeup room with short and quick steps.
“Mon chéri, where are you going?”
Sora was shocked as she saw Jay Kim following behind Yejin.
“Huh? Chief! You have to touch up my hair.”
“Oh mon Dieu! Mademoiselle Oh.”
Jay Kim stared at Sora and made a face expression saying ‘darn it.’
“I do it a little later. It’s lunch time now.”
“It’s only 11 am. And I have to leave right after lunch since it’s in the countryside.”
Jay Kim made a really apologetic face saying ‘pardon~’. Then he followed behind Yejin as if he were a bee looking for a flower.
Sora let out a deep sigh. It was as difficult as winning the lottery to ask Jay Kim to style your hair if he didn’t do it the moment you met him. He was always gone unless there was a fixed appointment at a specific time, and he enjoyed his work in a carefree manner. They said he etched it in from the moment he signed the contract saying he would be working this way.
Either way, there was no one in the company to say anything to Jay Kim since he had the best skill.
“There’s nothing I can do, I guess.”
Sora put her disappointment behind her and looked around the makeup room for the stylist she had dismissed before.
Sora recalled what she had heard from Eunha when she came here a few weeks ago.
- Sora unnie. Do you know who did this hair for me?
It was a high bun that suited the aura of the outfit well so Sora thought it was obvious that it was chief Jay Kim who did that hair. But Eunha’s answer was different.
- It was Minho. Isn’t it amazing?
She didn’t believe it back then but after seeing Minho during the Youth Journal filming she thought it could be possible.
‘Who would’ve known that that oppa can drive a tractor and make fantastic nokdu pancakes?’
She quietly called him over.
“Um, Minho oppa.”
“I heard from Eunha. You’re good at styling hair?”
“I’m not that good.”
Minho glanced over at Jay Kim’s scissors that had been picked up by the employee and put on top of the tool box. He would definitely be good at it with those scissors but he would be useless without them.
Sora’s eyes glistened as she saw Minho wasn’t backing out saying no.
It really seemed like he could do it.
She decided to ask him.