Fresh Dressed is the first-ever documentary about the history of hip-hop fashion, out now in theaters all over the U.S. We recommend you see it. You will be entertained and educated, and perhaps inspired to decorate your jacket.
Energy and insights in Fresh Dressed come from music and fashion leaders including Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Dapper Dan, André Leon Talley, Riccardo Tisci and the duo of Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osbourne from Public School.
But the overall product is excellent mostly because it was directed by Sacha Jenkins, a 20-years-deep veteran of journalism with Beat Down, ego trip and Mass Appeal magazines. Mainstream America remembers his The (White) Rapper Show on VH1. Some Pratt Institute students call him their professor.
Now you will know him from his interview with the Nordstrom blogs.
Check our interview with Jenkins and the trailer for Fresh Dressed below. And if you’re already feeling TL;DR, check this audio clip from Jenkins about how hip-hop style relates to freedom:
Listening to Montreal rock band No Joy gives us visions of a professional snowboarder on a sunny day, flying off a jump, doing something complex and elegantmidair.
Not something we necessarily understand. But we’re into it.
We do know that No Joy leaders Laura Lloyd and Jasamine White-Gluz derive their looped and soaring music from guitars and effects pedals. The rest of their new album More Faithful is a mystery to us. We’re cool with that–and highly recommend it as a soundtrack to summer road-tripping, camping, head-banging and zoning out.
We spoke to guitarist Laura Lloyd after a recent concert in Seattle about Tevas, tinnitus, complicated time signatures and chia seeds.
Vaadat Charigim: Dan Bloch (denim jacket), Juval Haring (hoodie), Juval Guttmann (black tee); images by Manuela Insixiengmay
In case of the summer bummer, we’ve been known to turn to shoegaze rock–the subgenre made from loops and layers of guitar noise–and travel to a place where pain is beauty.
It usually works.
When we caught up with Juval Haring, who fronts Israeli shoegaze band Vaadat Charigim, he described himself as “pessimistic” and “cynical.” He also deadpanned about his first name, which he shares with his drummer:
“Juval is a common Israeli name. I’m kind of like the Israeli Craig.”
Haring is funny. His band’s new album, Sinking As a Stone, generally, is not.
With little to no musical support system back home and yet over 1,000 concerts played so far, Haring explained what Berlin, Germany, and Portland, OR, have to do with each other, some of his more existential lyrics–and why he keeps on rocking in the free world.
Looking for dreamy tunes to soundtrack summer hangouts? We thought you might be!
Check this exclusive mix from independent Brooklyn-based music label Mexican Summer–the brain trust which popularized Best Coast and Washed Out a few years back–compiled by the man in charge, Keith Abrahamsson. The music is a blend of the beautiful and the strange. You will find rock, pop and electronic music. Old styles and new ones.
And it all goes together fluidly.
If you like what you hear, we recommend spending more time with Mexican Summer and its sister labels Anthology and Software. In our opinion, Abrahamsson and his crew are 100% trustable.
Here’s a new context in which to view her: solo recording artist.
Nicks is currently working on her own album as a vocalist, and we’ve been turning up on the bus ride to work lately to her cut “One Good Reason.” Check that out below–and get the low-down on her favorite jams, movies and travel bucket list.
Anthony Thomas Melillo has our full respect as a fashion designer and creative individual, for the shape and hang of his clothes and for believing in himself over time. Basic casual wear with a tailored fit? Not common in the late 1980s/early 1990s. But today, his sports luxe style is everywhere and his brand ATM at the forefront, making, for one, arguably the perfect t-shirt.
We spoke to the West Chester, PA, native on the phone at his New York showroom about the importance of fit, feel and drape. And about how decades spent editing in the publishing industry at mags including Vogue and Esquire tuned him into the world and honed his instincts.
Legendary drummer, bandleader and fiercely proud Bay Area native Sheila E. was the hardest of hardcore divas in the 1980s. It broke her down. Now she uses music to build people up.
Back when she ran with Prince and his crew, the timbale expert enforced 12-hour rehearsals for her band and gave commands, not suggestions. She had hits (“The Glamorous Life,” “A Love Bizarre”) and built a lasting work ethic into countless musicians, like Raphael Saadiq who joined her cohort when he was 14. She also became a cold, unfeeling person. She details the transformation in her book The Beat of My Own Drum.
Now that’s all behind her and she’s found the love of music again. You can hear it in her album Icon from 2014 and see it in her music-therapy foundation Elevate Hope. We caught up with her while she was coaching a bunch of young players in Seattle for More Music at the Moore Theatre, teaching them to find their own voices.
We did not talk to her about Prince. We did talk about her dad, Latin jazz heavyweight Pete Escovedo; her godfather, Tito Puente; Krush Groove, the classic hip-hop movie she co-starred in with Run-DMC; and the fact that it took her leaving her family cocoon of supportive musicians to learn about the sexist notion that women shouldn’t play the drums.
Images courtesy Shomi Patwary and Atlantic Records
Music video director Shomi Patwary has been on our radar since his video for A$AP Rocky’s “Multiply,” with its awesome dance cameo from Yung Gleesh. Now Patwary’s caught our attention again with Ty Dolla $ign’s “Drop That Kitty,” a crossover hip-hop/pop jam with rising stars Tinashe and Charli XCX.
We caught up with Patwary on the phone while he was in New York filming another A$AP video and planning a project with Diddy’s son Christian Combs. He told us about rolling with the punches on “Drop That Kitty” and casting a surprise guest star who reminded him of his dad.
It’s been a good year for former punk rocker Tina Nigro, who is the costume designer for the instant-smash Netflix comedy series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.
Created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock–and starring roommates Kimmy Schmidt and Titus Andromedon with their landlady Lillian Kaushtupper (Ellie Kemper, Tituss Burgess and Carol Kane)–Unbreakable is a comedy that almost lets you forget it’s about overcoming abuse and struggling with poverty in New York City.
We talked to Nigro about the concept of “fitting in” and styling for the bright and bold Kimmy and Titus, as well as Jane Krakowski’s designer-wearing Jacqueline Voorhees and her scheming teenage daughter Xanthippe (Dylan Gelula).
We also touched on how Nigro wore a single, disembodied arm of a motorcycle jacket in high school. And that she happened to buy Kimmy’s Munki Munki pajamas at Nordstrom.Shop: pajamas
Don Was is one of our heroes, a triple O.G. in the music biz who doesn’t believe his own hype and never stopped being a fan. He’s still blown away by all the new styles in the world, and despite making classics has steered admirably clear of the mindset that “it was all so much better when…”