FASHION STATEMENTS OR FASHION MOVEMENTS
WHEN IT COMES TO THE BLACK COMMUNITY FASHION CAN BE MORE THAN JUST BEING HAUTE, TRENDY, AND FASHION FORWARD, BUT IT CAN ALSO BRING AWARENESS, HOMAGE, AND ACTIVISM WITH STYLE!
It’s easy for people to look at those who love a good slay from head to toe as superficial and materialistic. We are often judged as being surfaced and not having much dimension when fashion is so much more here in the world of Dream Bella; and I’m sure that goes for my Dream Bella Boos too. Of course, if you’re a regular here you know that I try to have pieces that not only contribute to the beauty exterior but content that can also help empower your inner beauty.
However, those who view people with depth and substance seem to believe that you can’t possibly, be “woke”, “conscious” and “aware” while figuring out what shoes go with which bag. However, contrary to popular belief style and fashion has been a very intricate part of being a voice for the black community. In the Times article “How African Americans Influenced Fashion and Culture” they credit the 1920’s flapper style to come from young blacks who came up with a hip new dance called the “Charleston”.
“The 20’s flapper style is said to have risen in part from the need to allow for vigorous movement after the black youth introduced an energetic new dance called the Charleston, which was popularized on Broadway. With dresses shortened to scandalously bare ankles and calves, corsets were flung aside and dresses became loose and free; all the better to shimmy and shake.”
This at the time was very provoking for the 1920’s, seeing as though dresses became shorter and looser for women in a time where that was considered rebellious and scandalous. Hence, bringing fort women to embrace and feel confident in their sexuality and setting a trend that becomes evident in the fashion industry.
Even more so when you look at the parallelism between the 70’s and 90’s when dashiki’s, medallions, and African prints spoke volumes of our Black pride and movements at the time. Think about what was going on for our community at the time and how our style and fashion held a precedence that represented where we as black people stood without uttering a word. It was blatant in the attire that our black was proud and the power was to the people.
What I most love about fashion and style as a black woman is the fact that I can display a pride, a defiance, and individuality all while looking “slayed to the gawds”. I call it "slayin’ with a cause"or better yet "Fashion Movements"; and it just makes getting dress all the more worthy, purposeful, and meaningful. So if you believe fashion and style is just another vain, meaningless attempt to make yourself feel important, then maybe you should reshape your thoughts on why you wear what you wear. We can use our individuality to express messages in every way and doesn’t just have to be with the words from your mouth.