The new documentary Fresh Dressed celebrates the roots of hip-hop culture's early street style, when money seemed to matter less than your ability to dress with creative panache. "Being fresh was more important than having money," reminisces the always-dapper Kanye West. "When I grew up, I wanted money so I could be fresh."
(photograph by Ricky Powell via source)
Wearing Clarks, Cazal glasses without lenses and a Kangol topper signified you hailed from Brooklyn. Head-to-toe in a single-brand velour sweatsuit and sneaker - in colors loud, louder and loudest - meant Harlem.
And the Bronx?
Cut-out denims - with an unexpected source of inspiration: a pair of freewheeling, cocaine-smuggling hippies riding their choppers on a road trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. Yes, the iconic, Dennis Hopper-directed 1969 movie starring Peter Fonda: Easy Rider. "A lot of people won't admit it," notes Lorine Padilla, former wife of Felipe “Blackie” Mercado, the leader of the Bronx street gang Savage Skulls - about their style inspiration. "But that is the truth."
And what's not to love about flick devoted to fighting "the establishment" - which Roger Ebert points out in his 1969 review included pretty much everything from "rednecks to the Pentagon to hippies on communes." And to rail against a society filled with conformists, the well-appointed, self-proclaimed rebel would do well to take a page from Fonda's style playbook: flag-emblazoned leathers, badass cowboy boots, jaunty kerchief & cool-cat tinted shades. "Peter Fonda, et al., play outlaws living on the periphery of society," agrees Vice, about the way the on-screen outlaws were easy for anyone feeling disenfranchised to identify with, "so why not dress like them?"
- Lesley Scott
The anti-establishment vibe is a hallmark of the Apocalytical fashion tribe which is surrounded by a chic cloud of effitalltohellalready. 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.