Thursday, May 31, 2018

#MAGAZINE: RENASCENCE Issue 06 - Part 3 - Fashion and Music

RENASCENCE - Issue No.06.3


Editor’s Note
Words by Monde Mtsi. Image by Neo Baepi.

Stumbling into 2018 has been a rather turbulent experience. Between finding my feet (again!) and deciding to switch things up with the blog and magazine, it has been educational in more ways than one. With the first quarter of the year behind us, it was a tough decision to change the format of the production of RENASCENCE Magazine; what still remains, though, is the passion that goes into producing it.

With that side, for the interim, RENASCENCE will be produced as a long-read post on the blog, Renaissance Men. This helps us keep you informed, makes the read a bit more byte size and allows us to track your favourite sections better. During this time, we are working on rehashing things to provide you with a much more fulfilling digital experience of one of your favourite men’s content portals.

In issue number six we focus on the illustrious relationship between fashion and music. To keep it clean and easy to digest, we’ve dissected the issue into three parts; each offering content to give you different perspectives on these multi-billion, if not, multi-trillion dollar industries.

In Part Three we take on cover star A$AP Rocky for his contributions to fashion through his music and collaborations. In our opinion piece, we discuss the relationship between music video and fashion film and how music has seemingly evolved its adaptation of its sound through the incorporation of conversational styling. Solange sang ‘don’t touch her hurr’ and in out trend focus, we look at the popular culture hair trends stemming from hip hop currently floating in the scene. For our feature, we celebrate Wakanda with an in-depth look at the title track music video, ‘All The Stars’, by Kendrick Lamar and SZA – taking into account the visual fashion references and their meaning from a cultural and societal format.

So get your coffee fix, sit back and indulge in some original local content. Don’t forget to share, comment and like when you’re done. Feel free to read it all over again, as well, if it’s too damn good to let go of.

Lots of African luxury love,
Monde Mtsi
Editor


Editor’s Choice

If you’re a Cape Town baby you need no excuses to stay home during the chilly seasons. Yet, somehow, there are times when you have to step out and you find yourself having to contend with the weather and some rather unpleasant folks. I’ve picked three must-have items to either stay home or brush off the nuisance in public.

Should you find yourself in the need to deal with itchy feet and go outside, take a good, solid step in these gorgeous Church Tassel Loafers from Armando Cabral. The male supermodel turned entrepreneur continues to design footwear for men that exceeds expectations, combines design with practical comfort and sets a tone to any occasion. These are great for both work and play and are versatile enough to work with formal trousers and jeans.

If you’re a lover of music and enjoy solitude from time to time, a private listening session of Jay Z’s 4:44 album is a recommended idea. The album, a somewhat responsive contribution to the lyrical world to Beyonce’s Lemonade, is a great listen when you just need to unwind, find solace and deem your manhood gratified.

If the gents disrupt your listening session with an unexpected visit and hoist you out of your bachelor pad, don’t forget to grab your Prada Linea Rossa shades. These babies are great for the autumn winter sun as they are polarized – meaning they deflect all UB and UV rays. You’re protected while like sublime.


Grooming Selection

The only stubble you should come across is that of cereal stalks left in the ground after harvest – not on your face. I have three shaving tools that will declare war on your face and win your skin over to ensure the smoothest shave possible.

Yes, we got a little carried away and sourced two shaving tool options for you, however, with good reason. Starting with the Gillette ProGlide Razor, this is first a wet-shave option for you. Secondly, it’s battery-operated and sports three incredible blades – making for a super fine shave. I’m not one for razors, but this bad boy is awesome. Smooth finish, super close to the skin and the follicles take their time to grow back, allowing my shave to last longer. What I particularly enjoy about this tool is that it didn’t give me shaving bumps like other razors. It’s also great for packing for trips away where you are unlikely to find a spot to charge or plug-in your electronic shaver.

Next up I thought it would be worth your while to introduce you to the Vichy HOMMESoothing After Shave Balm. The formula is designed to leave your skin protected, nourished and hydrated. It does not leave any greasy white marks and comes in a neutral scent – meaning you can splash on your fragrance or Old Spice afterwards and there won’t be conflicting smells. What I appreciate about this Vichy HOMME balm is its fast-absorbing action, meaning no grease – no shine. Just a natural matt finish.

My second shaver option is more than just a shaver. The Remington Grooming Kit is pretty much your all-in-one hair removal system. Compact and designed with an easy grip handle, this razor – based on the shaving head you use – can cut hair, shave the sides of your head down to a number one buzz cut, clean out your nose and ear hairs and even shave and trim your beard and mustache. It comes with a charging cable, allowing you to use either plugged in or not. What I love is its travel size and battery longevity. I generally charge it once every two months for use over a prolonged period of time.


Opinion

Fashion films and music videos are probably one in the same, and likely to have been since the beginning of their time. It’s probably just a matter of who title the one or the other first. Music tells a story and through music videos illustrates it visually for the listener to see the message. Fashion films depict a mood and story-line through close and use fashion films to make the story much more entertaining and engaging, allowing the viewer an opportunity to hear what they are seeing.

Some of the most popular earlier examples of music taking on a much more prominent stance as potential fashion films include Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’. From the red leather ensemble to his backup dancers, the scenes wouldn’t complete without the to-die-for street-style pieces the crew wore. I do think modern day’s most prolific example of fashion films in music – if not the beginning of them, really – was the exacting production by Kanye West on ‘Runaway’. A simply complex visual and audio experience, somewhat monotone executions: the pink décor and earth set against blue skies with a completely all-black cast in all-white fashion.




The song itself is a story, a beautiful at that, and the music and score really add a dimension of sorts to it. When you incorporate the full story and fashion throughout, you begin to see yourself transported through what seemingly appears like a foreign land, yet, this land is so comfortable its reality is real to your mind. The fashion’s nuances between historical slave-trade, modern congeniality and Afro-futurism leave a scent of auspiciousness that draws you further into the story and into the fashion.



As if a can of stylish worms were then opened, we have subsequently seen more and more musical plays come to the fore utilising fashion as a narrative alongside the lyrics. Some of the best moments in music with fashion film include Migos with ‘Stir Fry’ and for feature long experiences, look no further than Beyoncé’s two visual albums: ‘Beyoncé’ and ‘Lemonade’.


Trend

Remember that one time, at fashion camp, when Marc Jacobs sent all his white models out onto the ramp with fake dreadlocks and the world was in uproar. Then there was that girl, Solange, who released a song titled, ‘Don’t Touch My Hair’. All this fuss over something that grows out of the skin on your skull.

Truth be told, hair has a lot more personal meaning than most humans would admit. For some it stems from the roots of one’s culture and race, their religious beliefs and even how they identify as self against the world. It’s BIG business. It’s no wonder fashion and music have taken it upon themselves to ride the wave (in) an appropriate manner.

Case in point: A$SAP Rocky, apart from being a #mcm of mine for eternity dons a set of neat braids which are usually tied up into a cute little man bun. It’s presentable, manages his afro and still has a lot of street cred. Mister Hotline Bling, Drake, rocks a smooth operator beard and skin-fade. It’s close to the skin, neat and has a mixture of references between preppy and thug without making your parents uncomfortable at the dinner table. Fetty Wap is a popular artist; someone who is fashionable in music with one of the industry’s biggest hair trends – dreadlocks and his are [currently] coloured blonde. Thing about his is that they are controlled and maintain appropriately, allowing them to grow neat and handle-friendly.





How To Wear It: Firstly, it’s important to figure out the shape of your head. Then understanding your level of patience with taking care of your hair would be next. Once those two points are secured, you’re ready to decide which hairstyle is going to be best for you. Try not to be too adventurous the first time you try this trend alert. Cutting off all your hair because of a change of heart doesn’t always go down well.


Feature

If clothes about Africa could sing they would sound like the score and lyrics of All The Stars by Kendrick Lamar and SZA. Black Panther and its Wakanda explosion have left the world with a music video that through its fashion orchestra by stylist Dianne Garcia with a beautiful contemporary example of modern day African fashion.

In the wake of the world once again looking back at Africa for everything from resources to creativity, fashion took another step onto the podium of the world through the premiere of the internationally acclaimed Marvel Comics blockbuster – Black Panther. Set against what appears to be a modern-day future-present representation of Earth comes Marvel Comics only black and African superhero – Black Panther – a young man who must step up to the plate and be an honest representation of his home country’s heritage and teachings. Hailing from a fictitious land known as Wakanda, where they speak Xhosa and wear, among other items, traditional BoSotho blankets, Black Panther set the fashion world alight.




One of the hottest fashion moments from the Wakanda/Black Panther trend has got to be the drop of the dead hot track and music video ‘All The Stars by Kendrick Lamar and SZA’. The video, styled by the epic Dianne Garcia depicting scenes from the movie but utmost, using the wardrobe as an opportunity to further the storyline and bring it back to the people in a much more modern and ready-for-the-streets manner, is one of the most current examples of how fashion can be adapted into music to tell additional stories within music videos. In opening scenes, Lamar is seen stepping into a group of young African men standing in front of a female figure wearing African tunics with red Kufi hats. On a continent that plays home to many from the Islam religion, this could be considered as an acknowledgement of the Muslim society in Africa, their place in this continent’s society and the role religion plays for many Africans in their early childhood development.



However, Garcia was just getting starting. In a follow-up scene, Kendrick is seated in a typical African township setting: electricity poles, one-room zinc shacks, dusty sand-scapes, children with a soccer ball. All this and Lamar with his group of African Fashion Gangsters dressed is hyped-up colourful suits, looking extra dapper. This scene alone talks about the standard of menswear in Africa, having developed from mundane to exciting and with men daring the streets of West and Sub-Saharan Africa with dandy attire in outrageous colours, tailored and polished off with beautiful leather brogues. Dianne gives SZA her moments to face the music with two exotic scenes filled with dancing flamingos, feather boas, sensual blue leotards, tribal facial painting and tropical leaves. The scenes reminisce of African tribes that celebrate specific cultural moments or perform mating rituals through elaborate costume and vibrant performance dance.



If anything, it’s a beauty to watch the video as it unfolds. Even if you watched it with the sound on mute, the stories of Wakanda and Africa would be evoked immediately and unashamedly. There is a seamless and timeless visual language conjured by the song and the accompanying wardrobe. All The Stars is definitely one of fashion’s most relevant music videos to date and we can only hope it inspires others to treat their visuals with the same approach when it comes to their repertoire.]

#RENASCENCEmagazine #wakanda #blackpanther #kendricklamar

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