‘Fresh Dressed’ – A Film By Sacha Jenkins

Apologies for the delay between posts, travelling at the moment and only just catching up. Got some time on a plane to check out Fresh Dressed at long last though, and despite previously being swayed away from it from a few write-ups, I can’t recommend checking it out enough.

There’s not a lot I know about fashion. Three pairs of shoes jeans, a bunch of free t-shirts and a suit pretty much sums me up, with any fashion sense stopping at the fact I only wear Stan Smith’s and shell toes (though this is for comfort) and the same cloth belt I’ve been rocking since I could still skate.

So why has Fresh Dressed grabbed me? Well, despite being a document on fashion the end result is on how this element of street culture has helped craft the music and scenes that I love. There’s now record sleeves that take on more meaning to me, and lines that no doubt will finally click.

Directed by the great Sacha Jenkins, Fresh Dressed throws the styles associated with hip-hop in to a new light. It may not be important to all, but the ever-evolving style was everything to a lot of people, and many of those people went on to change a subculture for good.

The 80 minute documentary spends the first ten minutes or so going back to jazz, rhythm n blues, early rock and then in gang history, which represents the roots of hip-hop fashion. Interestingly enough, Fresh Dressed references and uses a lot of the same archive and interviews as Flyin’ Cut Sleeves which we visited recently.

But hip-hop style’s what it’s all about, with the best parts being in the first part, charting the journey from the suits of Cold Crush, Cazals, Kengals and the rest, up past Run DMC’s signature three stripe style, and the custom clothes that you could only admire and not emulate.

And then of course it all depended at the time on what area of New York you might be from.

There are some crazy good stories in here, with a definite highlight being a chap named Dapper Dan (legendary clothes-smith of sorts) as well as the start of fat laces which seemed too mad to be true. Also, as a rule Kid n Play need to be in more stuff; they’re great interviewees, whereas Kanye west continues his trend of offering nothing but ego.

As we progress chronologically the world gets wider and more exposed until it reaches the ridiculousness (yet more accessible) state of what fashion is today. Damon Dash says something interesting early on – “it’s just a status thing based on insecurity” – which, without giving away too much, makes the final part of this documentary all the more tragic.

But Dash’s line is an interesting one that serves as a reminder that it’s not all meant to be taken too seriously (Nas discussing Peacocks) but only as one part of a cultural movement.

Fresh Dressed is a documentary that had to be made, to capture the importance of the style and the unsung heroes who helped shape it. And hey, if you’re really not in to it just kick back and watch some great archive from hip-hop’s golden years.

via Fresh Dressed

Fresh Dressed is a fascinating chronicle of hip-hop, urban fashion, and the hustle that brought oversized pants and graffiti-drenched jackets from Orchard Street to high fashion’s catwalks and Middle America shopping malls. Director Sacha Jenkins’ music-drenched history draws from a rich mix of archival materials and in-depth interviews with rappers, designers, and other industry insiders.

Featuring Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Sean “Puffy” Combs, Nas, Pusha T, Swizz Beatz, Damon Dash, André Leon Talley, A$AP Rocky, Marc Ecko, Big Daddy Kane, Kid ‘N Play & many others.