Now that we’ve gotten introductions out-of-the-way, I don’t want to waste another moment on niceties outside of stating that I am a super fan of Ironing Board Collective, and only pray to be as distinguished a gentleman as Mr. Leo Plass, who incidentally, has shown me through words and images the more serious side of shaving apparatuses.
Sketchers brand shoes(my stink eye’s on you, Boston), wrAnkled clothes (you read right), and Mach 3 turbos: All tell-tale signs you don’t love yourself.
There are other’s that fall into that category like smoking in bed, Cheez-Whiz, and watching Two and a Half Men; but I’m beginning to leak into future posts. I just wanted to pause and stretch out in this judgement free-free zone. Yay. On to attire.
If there were two styles I had to draw from for eternity, and I’m talking across mediums, I’d have to say New Jack Swing and Baroque sensibilities, which in their über ornate, fanciful, and satisfying constructions, are basically one in the same. “Bell, Biv, BACH, and DeVoe?!” you say? Yes, and stop yelling at me, we just met. Also, you mustn’t take stuff so literally, it’s not an attractive quality.
I’m a Classical Violinist, a Writer, a Dancer, and now a Fashion Blogger; and now more than ever this connection makes sense to me. This is the lens with which we’ll be looking today, and here are some pictures:
Fashionably, this is on the lighter end of the Baroque/New Jack spectrum, like GUY themselves who kind of kicked this music into gear. Teddy Riley, in the flared out Ray Bans on the far left, is the most prevalent producer in the genre. He can’t sing exactly, but makes his voice sound all vocodery without actually using a vocoder, and can tickle the hell out of some synths. Aaron Hall, on the far right, is a great singer, and takes the ticket for best baroque embellishments with his severe frames and gold chain. Tried and true staples and hard-hitting accents, lesson learned. I think the guy in the middle is somebody’s cousin.
Then he takes it to another level with some shimmery outfits and flat-out putting his name on stuff. We’re sliding into ornate which is a gateway drug to Rococo. No, I’m not surprised that Bobby took it and ran with it, just describing the scenes as we stroll along… Now, here are my stepfather and me thinking we’re Bobby Brown, thinking he’s Teddy Riley:
Back to basics. A derivative of a derivative is often an original. Other than being of a like era, our steez isn’t a straight rip. His patchwork jeans and bomber jacket shatter the gloss of the previous pics. Though, the Gumby cuts are true to form. Ours were homemade, by the by. More importantly, Naim’s belt has the word DICK, in gold, as its buckle. Kinda like Bicycle shorts with your name on it, but more badass. Fear(check our faces and read the belt) and common decency would prevent me from stealing either of those items, and I’d so want to.
This is your brain on drugs. Actually, I love this under valued era of MJ, even though it’s that place just under the apex where sweat starts to gather. At the behest of Quincy Jones, Teddy Riley also produced the hits on this album like “Jam” and “Remember the time“, both intricately layered melodically and choreographically. The Dangerous album cover is more dogs playing poker than the Baroque and shimmering images of the “Remember the Time” video. This gilded universe will eventually bleed from Michael’s brain, to his album, and into his house!
The cuffs on both Michael and Iman remind me of Wonder Woman in a swoop of fantasy on history on fantasy, basically it’s all just fun. What’s really great are the common notes between Egyptian costume gilding, Reformation architecture, and the plucky, bright notes of New Jack Swing. It’s all drops of gold, there to show off a culture. I have one last photo that brings these influences of mine together:
My Grandmother the singer. This particular night was in London in the 80’s after a performance. She’s bringing that same sort of classical, gold flecked vibe from the Iman photo, but the laurel like headband and flowers suggest more of a Roman victory than an Egyptian affair. This kind of overt lux was big back then and I think for people starting off low economic and achieving greatness it seems like a natural progression. In fact, it seems classy compared to the flagrant use of gold fronts, rims, and pimp chalices (Okay, I like those) that have jumped from just Hip-Hop accessories to song content. It’s safe to say a little from this genre goes a long way. I tend to take some from columns a and b with a general rule that gold flecked is more substantial than gold encrusted.
Thank You for spending this time with me. I’ll catch you here next week where I will no doubt expound further my disdain for Sketchers brand shoes. It’s usually happening before I know it.