The roots of the importance of fashion in african american culture
In no culture fashion was a great social startle symbol than in the African-American culture. It has in the roots of its history and identity of its people the importance of how to show themselves to the world. Religion had a primordial importance, always, when people went to the church, they should have a distinctive look, dress themselves in a certain way to look the best. The term “Sunday dress” was created during slavery, when a boss to be considered a good Christian had to ensure the slave food and an elegant dress to go to church. And in the church the gospel choir was the main attraction. The gospel gave birth to jazz, blues, R’b, rap, hip hop and from this was born the strong union between music and style on African-American culture, fashion is the symbol of social overcoming and membership group; or distinction between gangs or the understanding with the look the neighborhood the person came from, the American black culture produced trends and mystified brands.
New York: a huge walkway
No city was more representative of this process than New York, a huge walkway where neighborhoods such as Brooklyn, Harlem, the Bronx, Queens fought among them to be the more stylish and who more influenced the masses. In the new emerging culture of hip- hop fashion the main rule was to break the rules and create identification. Free from rules they had freedom to creativity, by staining jackets and sweatshirts with spray, writing names on the sides of the jeans. Creating icons like Shirt Kings (the cartoon characters on the t-shirts of Jeremy Scotty are ” tributes ” to them) or legends like Dan Dapper, which reproduced the logos of Louis Vuitton and Gucci and created their own models, often complying with the fancy requests of their customers and underhand anticipating trends that Gucci and Louis Vuitton have done only 10, 15 years later. Hip-hop culture made dresses and brands an icon, sneakers became status symbol or brands such as Polo Ralph Lauren, which were not sold in the suburbs, to have them a person should frequent the Fifth Avenue (to become rich) or buying them using “boosting.” To wear certain brands helped people overcome the insecurity of their poverty, giving them pride of their own way of dressing. Tommy Hilfiger at the beginning went to neighborhoods like the Bronx or Queens and distributed clothes, because he knew those stylish boys then would do anything to have that kind of cloth again and he also created trends and contaminated other guys until he got to the rappers, that would use the brand in their music videos on MTV, or movies like Bel Air, making him world trends. The ghetto fashion influenced markets and made millions, gave birth to thousands of urban fashion brands. It mixed the European fashion with the street fashion. Until it invaded our lives. There is nothing innovative in wearing shoes with elegant dresses and no revolution in Jeremy Scott’s parades, nothing that is not in an old photo album of Apollo Theater.
I recommend you seeing the documentary “Fresh Dresses”
There was a time when heroes dressed with lighted colors, bell mouth pants, exaggerated shoes … armed to the teeth, Kung Fu champions, wonderful and all rigorously black.The super hard pimp of SUPERFLY, the sexy agent Cleopatra Jones, the tough fighting martial art played by Fred Williamson and Jim Kelly … how often I admired the beauty of Tamara Dobson and Pam Grier, who later became a muse for Tarantino, but for me it will forever be Foxy Brown …What a pleasure to finally see white evil villains, greedy and incompetent, caught kicks by heroes who dressed with their own look, with a road language, all so cool, sexy, new … proud of their identities. It was the kind of cinema, perhaps naïve, and that turned out to be full of stereotypes, but in the beginning, very much alive, with rich colors, hyper violent and exhilarating: The Blaxploitation. I love the excess, exaggeration … the songs that are on mind like the chorus of Shaft … something that is not repeated, magic, I keep in my library of treasures.
Dress: Villa Park