I was recently turned on to this blog called Upscale Hype, which is basically the male equivalent of People Magazine Style Watch for dudes. Celebrities (mostly rappers) wearing designer fashion. I decided to type DRKSHDW into the search bar to see what popped up.
A$AP was wearing a piece to the Letterman Show back in January, which is not surprising as he’s been all over the game. But then I scroll down to see Justin Beiber wearing the sleeveless hoodie, Usher and Chris Brown in the cargo pants, Big Sean in a long sleeveless tunic and Chad Ochocinco in the shorts! These celebrities seem to be style icons in their own ways, each finding a way to make Rick Owens fit into their individual style mark-up. The bigger revelation here, for me, is what this means for this genre of fashion. “Ninja pants” and “vampire capes” are only for weird goth fashion boys. I distinctly remember this being the normal stance on anything related to the dark and drapey. Now, 5 years later, popular style icons are showing up to rap shows in long drapey sleeveless tunics.
Is this is the beginning of the convergence between directional design and urban fashion? No.
My final deduction after watching the timeline of popular fashion boils down to this. The long sleeveless tunic is not so far off from the XLONG tee. The drop crotch pants are not so far off from the sagging baggy jeans. These are (coincidentally?) just fancier, more expensive iterations on popular urban styling. Someone made the connection along the way, bridging the gap that seemed like an impossible crossover. There are elements wrapped into DRKSHDW that are easy to comprehend, but harder to acquire, constructed in far superior quality and way more expensive, therefore more coveted. Bravo for piecing it all together.