Lounging on a barge in swimwear paired with edgy Margiela plastic/preppy loafers. Driving a getaway car clad in runway Tom Ford. Kidnapping the money-owing bitch's beatch in a coat from Ulyana Sergeenko Haute Couture.
And unholy, but irresistible, this blend of blood-drenched violence mixed with fastidious fashion of Rihanna's latest video, Bitch Better Have My Money, which immediately brought to mind the ultra-violent fashion dandies of the 1971 Kubrick classic A Clockwork Orange.
Based on the 1962 novel of the same name by Anthony Burgess, the unusual title referred to the lovely deceptiveness of pretty surfaces and what can lurk beneath. "A clockwork orange," explained Burgess in an interview, "meaning that he has the appearance of an organism lovely with color and juice, but is in fact only a clockwork toy to be wound up by God or the Devil."
What's so interesting about the Rihanna take on the topic of the well-dressed but violent dandy is the way she turns the notion on its jauntily-capped head. "Today's dandy revival provides a site for the interrogation of and play with masculinity, rather than the questions of the feminine, which have become the problem," explain Stella Bruzzi and Pamela Church Gibson, authors of Fashion Cultures: Theories, Explorations and Analysis. "Now predominantly a masquerade," they continue in their analysis of Clockwork, "the dandy's more plastic identities are used to hold out the possibility that the male might emulate both the pleasures, discipline and flexibility of the modern woman, whose ability to keep up with fashion increasingly parallels her ability to maintain a dominant place in the social hierarchy." (image)
Switch out the Clockwork dandy with Riri's - and the shoe (or in Rih's case, the Vetements boot) surely fits.
Psychobabble aside, I found the hyper-violence-and-fashion parallels of the two works interesting - particularly considering the hyper-violent, fash-obsessed times in which we live. While extreme, Rihanna represents women everywhere who are desperately trying on myriad various "plastic identities" to decide where they fit in the masquerade that is insta-modern life today.
- Lesley Scott
The aggressive feel of this endeavor is very congruent with the vibe of the Apocalytical fashion tribe which has a chic (but somewhat depressing) cloud of effitalltohellalready Doomsday & End Times that seems to follow them everywhere. For more of my posts about the Apocalytical tribe, CLICK HERE. To learn more about each of fashion's four mega-tribes that I track, START HERE.