TOP TWENTY COVERS OF TWENTY-FOURTEEN

magazine covers are at the forefront of culture and act as the face of what we’ve done, are doing and where we are going. in gloss, we see our human history through entertainment playing out in front of our very eyes. with last years count in mind; there has been a concentrated focus on diversification. with regard to mainstream media and television, actress kerry washington’s role in the ABC television political drama, scandal, sparked a wildfire for what television actors of color were able to book. directly visible in covers of the last two years, kerry herself graced the covers of vanity fair and elle, as a result. last years surprise release by beyonce also sparked trends in music which filtered into this year. the center focus of content here is driven by music, fashion and film; all of which are highlighted and seen in this year’s selection. each cover has been selected for it’s cultural impact and reflection of style. whether it was #1 singles, top billing motion pictures or fashion domination; transformation and diversity ruled the year in glossies.

2020. PHARRELL FOR BRITISH GQ, OCTOBER through the lens of hunter & gatti, solo artist of the year, per gentlemen’s quarterly UK; pharrell kick starts this years top 20 countdown. one of two covers in a series shared with kim kardashian, the cover was styled by carlyne cerf de dudzeele, with hair and make-up by serge normant and jeanine lobell; production of the shoot was handled by bo zhang. released during the fourth quarter of 2013, “happy” was produced, written and performed by williams for the despicable me 2 soundtrack. by the first quarter of 2014, “happy” reached the top of the US billboard hot 100. no stranger to hot hits on the charts, this was a particularly special recording for pharrell as this was his first solo #1 pop single. topping the hot 100 airplay chart, the song and it’s infectiousness became a global mainstay for the rest of 2014. a 24hr music video campaign was conceptualized, shot and debuted which seen the popularity of the song spike further, spawning thousands of tribute videos across the globe. landing 40 #1 chartings around the world and recieving a nomination for the academy awards, “happy” has sold over 12 million copies worldwide and is certified six-times platinum here in the united states. a well deserved cover for pharrell, who has spent more than a decade in the recording industry.

1919. KATE MOSS FOR BRITISH VOGUE, DECEMBER the anti-supermodel who became a supermodel icon. kate moss is a rarity in the fashion industry and has paved the way for models to really be themselves. with the entrance of kate in the fashion industry, it was as if aging became acceptable. suddenly, women became celebrated for who they are not who the media wants them to be. controversy of the past now behind her, kate remains one of the most iconic faces from the 90’s era. groomed alongside naomi campbell, christy turlington and linda evangelista; kate’s dominance is to credit for her outstanding style, business ventures with brands like topshop and her unstoppable booking record. she has remained consistently visible this year, and not just for the brits but for the world, everyone knows that she takes sellability to a whole new level. the cover is also one of my favorites for it’s composition. the blurred image goes against commercial appeal, and the single eye and tousled hair represents a true definitiveness of kate’s allure- which is based on effortlessness. shot by mario testino, kate has become an icon of london style, with her signature bohemian aesthetic.

1818. PHOEBE PHILO FOR T, FEBRUARY true to this years theme of transformation, no one has transformed the ways that we see womenswear more drastically as that of phoebe philo. the genius behind the reinvention of french fashion powerhouse, céline; philo stole the show through subtlety this year when she graced the cover of T, the new york times style magazine. shot by karim sadly, the headline reads: “the woman who knows what women want”, and that could not be any more true. whether she was expanding silhouettes, or lengthening hemlines; philo has completely re-interpreted the ways that women dress and their desires. from winged handbags to turtle necks and camel coats- this year, philo even made birkenstock style sandals en vogue while adding to them fur and metallic straps. her magical method of design and/or re-design are not to go unnoticed and this cover celebrated her beautifully, in an understated way that aligned perfectly with her own design aesthetic. as céline enters china, and the luxury market there becomes more accustomed to minimalism, the brand invites consumers into a world of strict glamour, free from frills or logo mania of the past. one of my personal favorites, for it’s striking simplicity.

1717. THE SUPERMODELS FOR VOGUE ITALIA, SEPTEMBER the lens of steven meisel has made many a star in the fashion industry, and this anniversary cover was a graphic reminder of that. shot in sepia, supermodels of the past and present were involved in this group cast fold out cover which celebrated italian vogue’s 50th anniversary. celebrating it’s 50 years, through photo direction by godon von steiner; adriana lima, amanda murphy, amber valletta, anna ewers, aymeline valade, cameron russell, candice huffine, candice swanepoel, caroline trentini, carolyn murphy, christy turlington, cindy bruna, coco rocha, edie campbell, elise crombez, fei fei sun, guinevere van seenus, hilary rhoda, isabeli fontana, jessica stam, joan smalls, jourdan dunn, julie stegner, karen elson, karlie kloss, linda evangelista, liu wen, miranda kerr, naomi campbell, natalia vodianova, natasha poly, ophelie guillermand, raquel zimmermann, rianne van rompaey, sasha luss, sasha pivovarova, saskia de brauw, stella tennant and vanessa axente were all shot for one cover. unprecedented, undoubtedly; the cast speaks for itself as italian vogue continues to pave the way for conceptual covers and editorial, as a leader in the world of high fashion publication. amazing, all these women together for one cover.

16. ANNA EWERS FOR FRENCH VOGUE, AUGUST there are few covers that stop me in my tracks, but this cover, this year- did just that. it’s that reaction that makes you sit up and say, “who is that girl?” anna ewers sealed her fate as a top model when she graced the august cover of french vogue through the lens of mert + marcus. styled by edward enninful, emmanuelle alt, with hair and make-up by shay ashuai and yadim, the cover is everything that glamour is poraited to be in the world of high fashion. as an august cover, there was no cover that was hotter. the neon masthead, the PVC raincoat- the red lip, the bleached brow. it was perfect. i needed to select one truly high fashion cover for my countdown, as many of my selections are impending on their cultural relevance. high fashion has this way of sitting back, and but this cover erected our posture. it’s pure glamour, high times and felt very fashion. in a way that continues to drive the industry. from model booking, to photographic composition- this is without a doubt the best cover that has come from french vogue, since the appointment of emmanuelle alt, as editor-in-chief. gone are the days when carine roitfeld was burning the newsstands with her covers, but this shit right here shows progress. it’s french vogue, was distinctively american with it’s use of body language, sports cars and yes, neon. in fashion, this is the dopest cover of the year. however, due to it’s confined fashion influence, it’s rank may not appear to reflect such greatness.

1515. MILEY CYRUS FOR W, MARCH as each year passes, i always look for the great transformation cover of the year. miley cyrus, though the lens of mert alas and marcus piggott, styled by edward enninful was the absolute best transformation cover of the year. with hair and make-up by orlando pita and lucia prone, cyrus was seen as a platinum blonde clad only in diamonds and bed sheets. while i won’t cite myself as a fan of miley, particularly; i do recognize her performance as a pop fixture, complete with gimmicks, press headlines and covers like this. beautifully done, cyrus is almost unrecognizable; which is likely my reason for adoring it so much to include it in this years top 20. W has become one of my favorite publications, and through the efforts of edward enninful, the publication has seen drastic creative output, at a level that raises the bar for publications around the globe. miley has managed to create a spot for herself on the music scene, using her dad’s last name to penetrate middle america, while simultaneously commodifying aspects of black culture or hip-hop, such as twerking, to further stake claim as an act who, know doubt, understands the power of acting. with little people, kittens and blow up penises being a part of her tour, this cover stripped it all away and drew everything to pure glamour. as popular as she is, miley booked other covers, but the transformative quality of this make-over was her best.

1414. KATE MOSS FOR PLAYBOY, JANUARY leave it to mert + marcus to elevate the visage of playboy magazine, one of the oldest male publications in the business. supermodel icon, kate moss jump started this year, becoming a playboy bunny on the january cover for the men’s entertainment mag. classically dressed in black and white, against a grey studio backdrop; the cover is a beautiful photograph outside of being a striking cover. it adds sophistication to the most sexual publication of all time. there is a coy, subtle and matured sensibility about this cover. of course, kate moss’ star power is among the brightest in the industry, and this cover could not have been more perfect. it was done tasteful, all while celebrating the 60th anniversary with this special edition. the put, the satin ears, and those heels- it was all crafted and came together magically. a true sense of editorial beauty here. the white masthead perfectly accentuates the white bunny tail and even the white cuffs. kate is an icon of icons, and here, she raised the bar, even for her own level of performance. the beauty of editorial and magazine covers in particular, is that you cannot plan the chemistry of captured moments. you can plan the talent, which were all present here, but the placement of a leg, or a heel, the outifitting of certain looks- this cover is proof of effortlessness beauty that kate moss so greatly, and ambitiously is able to communicate in front of a lens.

1313. NAOMI CAMPBELL FOR VOGUE AUSTRALIA, MAY as the face of fashion, there is no female model more iconic than naomi campbell. this year alone, she booked a staggering 17 magazine covers that were sold internationally. as an industry veteran, she continues to dominate. entering territory of television executive production in the last year, her empire and cultural relevance seems to grow. this feat is almost unimaginable as campbell has remained at the top tier of fashion for over 25 years. the headline, “facing a new era”, couldn’t have been used any better. for this special collectors edition cover, campbell appears fit as ever, defending her title as one of the greatest female models of all time. she has risen through trials and year after year continues to become the most visible of her contemporaries and friends in the industry. walking regularly in runway shows, continuously booking campaigns while remaining no stranger to the world of publication, there is absolutely no other woman like naomi campbell, nor can there ever be before or after her. a living legend, and i love this cover for simple reasons. the red, white and blue colorization of the cover is well balanced against the stoned backdrop. perfectly shot through the lens of emma summerton, i cannot wait to see what lies ahead for naomi in 2015.

1212. RIHANNA FOR VOGUE, MARCH american vogue is such a dichotomy. while there exists an excitement for who books the cover. the stiffly political decision to put individuals on that cover seems to cloud the creative potential of such bookings. rihanna is a rarity. a modern pop star who has strong footings in areas of urban popular music as well as hip-hop; her fashion portfolio continues to grow as her styling choices appear more iconic year by year. styled by mel ottenberg, rihanna is a style icon. she can transform high end looks and re-claim them with streetwear in this american way. american in the way of combined influences, all while she maintains her signature island girl realness. her takeaway from the islands is really about showcasing a carefree attitude that can be defined as nothing but pure confidence. that confidence reads through every cover she books, and is likely the reasoning for this years march american vogue cover to be her third for the publication.  shot by david sims, the cover appears to be a throwback to editor-in-chief, anna wintour’s debut cover for the mag, november 1988. the high end top matched with casual denim- the look of this cover, mirrored in wintour’s debut; a likely calculated move, through styling by american editor, tonne goodman. it’s fresh, and clean- direct and effective. discussing her influence in the editorial article accompanying the cover, rihanna is a star among stars. this years countdown is evidence of her importance to women, not just in music, but in entertainment and style all together.

1111. BEYONCE FOR CR FASHION BOOK, ISSUE 5 the industry will forever hold their breath waiting on the next move of megastar beyoncé knowles-carter. while other individuals on the list hold influence, and forecast light onto the culture; no one does so as powerfully as beyoncé. a personification of beyond, as a female she breaks all barriers and is still, criminally underrated. as a performer she is unstoppable. she magnifies simplicity in a way that makes you rethink what it means to be a woman in america, she seemingly blurs color lines while transcending to a higher playing field of what it means to be beautiful. her industry reputation of grace, poise and kindness go unquestioned, while her musical catalog and creative potential seem boundless. covering carine roitfeld’s CR fashion book, the megastar mother and wife of rap tycoon jay-z appeared in this really quiet form of glamour. under the art direction of stephen gan, and through the lens of pierre debusschere; beyoncé has found an individualized place in the spotlight of fame, transforming glamour into this attainable thing, that makes us all dream. within those dreams, we find possibility not difficulty. there is an inner shine that beyonce resonates totally, and thats what this cover represented to me, this year. the decesion to put her on the cover was a surprise to all, as her year was a trail blazed by her album, which she released by surprise last year.

1010. NAOMI CAMPBELL FOR INTERVIEW, SEPTEMBER an international symbol of beauty, naomi campbell is a woman of great importance not just to people of color, but all those who seek to define beauty. her face? completely timeless, one that is regarded for it’s existence in number of years in an unforgiving industry that, for her, found room to forgive. her persona in business? almost as unrelenting are her voice that speaks out about discrimination against models of color. the concept of facing challenges is one that has been discussed in campbell’s previous cover. she has seemingly resurfaced, while never really leaving the forefront, but in a way that her value seems to be more greatly recognized in our digital age. shot perfectly by mert + marcus, naomi appears as beautiful as ever, representing what black beauty is in the world of high fashion. campbell is the one and only icon in fashion that will live forever. while other names are forgotten, there are none as powerful as that of naomi campbell. as the new year approaches, her bookings are already lined up, as she prepares yet another year where the power of her presence shall be proven. rounding out the top 10 of this years top 20 magazine covers of the year; every single person of color on this list has naomi campbell to thank for receiving such high end visibility. it has been her work that has paved the way for each and every one of them. for as long as she is alive and booking covers, naomi campbell will always have a place of top rank among any and every countdown in this space.

99. RIHANNA FOR W, SEPTEMBER transformation is not a challenge for rihanna. she has successfully shape shifted into multiple dimensions with each album era she has dedicated her artistry to. the industry as a whole have finally taken a greater understanding of such skill. this year’s september issues took on a different spin. there seemed to lack a focus, almost meaning or representing this transition of a year. as a mid-level stage of a full stage change coming in the future. september is when publications pull out all the stops, and this cover was among the most brave. it was theatrical, and tribal in a way that showcased rihanna as a true transformer. beautiful make-up and stunningly tribal aesthetics took publication to a new height of cosmetics and thematic development. one of rhianna’s strongest covers to date, this cover showed how in love the world of style is with rihanna. as a performer, she is utilized by creatives and used as a canvas for an array of visions, ideas and power. with hair and make-up by yusef and kabuki, set design was handled by gerard santos, while mert + marcus shot the images expertly styled by edward enninful. I’m all for a strong concept, and there were very few covers, this year that pushed limitations that much further. the creative team considered, there could not have been as successful a cover without rihanna, a testament to her star power as someone who influences how we see beauty.

88. KANYE WEST FOR GQ, AUGUST among men, kanye west is a god. among women, kanye west is a god. with his yeezus album, marriage to american entrepeneur, kim kardashian and birth of his first child all happening in the last two years, all eyes focused on the creative superstar in a way that was unlike years past. as a lover of style in any form digestible or creative; kanye was in it. his life was the center of the article that accompanied his cover, and the accompanying editorial was pixel perfect. shot by patrick demarchelier, the editorial was printed proof of ye’s style consciousness. his style of dress, in particular, has spawned legions of fans and imitators. concerning the digital landscape, sites like tumblr and instagram are littered with images of kanye’s street style. of my countdown, this cover is among the more simple. handsome and without theatrics or special effects; it showcased kanye as the man that his is today. the man that he has evolved into. an accomplished performer, and among hip-hop’s most awarded; kanye graduated into a greater sensibility as a man. building a family and settling down in a way that felt necessary, following a few rough years following the passing of his mother, dr. donda west. a truly enjoyable experience it has been, and that of great inspiration to see what he has built for himself.

77. JOAN SMALLS & LIL BUCK FOR WSJ, NOVEMBER as a model who’s career into the supermodel stratosphere has been closely chronicled here, joan smalls and dancer lil buck for wall street journal magazine’s innovator issue was perhaps the most poetic cover of the year. added poetry to joan’s statuesque beauty, was lil buck’s mid air leg lift. as the fashion industry embraced technology more than ever before in the past year, publications really looked to video production as an aspect of greater development. born charles riley, lil buck began to appear for vogue’s youtube channel when i first began seeing him early this year on the scene. lil buck is a los angeles/las vegas based dancer, who is originally from memphis. catching heat after director spike jonze posted a youtube video of his dance work alongside yo-yo ma, buck began to reach superstardom and greater recognition on the fashion scene and creative industry. the cover, shot by daniel jackson, with styling by george cortina; is truly a magical blend of fashion and dance. joan has become one of the new supers, and is really an icon for international beauty, representing women of color around the world in just about every campaign imaginable. love this cover for it’s fusing of culture further. beautiful photographic composition, perfect positioning and outstanding representation of motion. buck is to credit for allowing a mainstream spotlight on the style of dance referred to as, jooking. in celebration of the issue, lil buck accompanied joan smalls to the wall street journal’s innovators awards, being awarded in the category of performing arts.

66. LAVERNE COX FOR TIME, JUNE trangendered and on the cover of time magazine. laverne cox broke barriers for those transitioning and those transitioned, essentially allowing for all of america to participate in a transition of it’s very own. representing transformation unlike any other cover that i’ve ever included in my countdown. this years count is directly reflective of culture, and delves into those pockets of truth exposing so much more beauty than that of what is seen in fashion. as one of the leading stars on the netflix series, “orange is the new black”; cox plays a transgendered female who is housed at an all-female prison. gripping and emotionally riveting, this role has earned her a spot in mainstream media, where transgendered individuals stand to be more comfortably received by those unexposed to the LGBT community, here in america. now a part of the female panel, on ‘the view’, laverne continues to defy the odds, representing the transgendered community in a way that is transformative of the ways that the american public views them. there is a bout of normalcy and reliability to her, thus creating a new wave of understanding for those who are faced with the transformative needs often called upon by those who find themselves born in the crosshairs of female and masculine anatomic form and psychology. a first of many;the efforts and public poise of laverne cox considered, ms. cox- we salute you.

55. LUPITA NYONG’O FOR PEOPLE, APRIL when lupita nyong’o stood in acceptance of the 2014 academy award for her role as patsy in the steve mcqueen film, “12 years a slave”. she tearfully championed, “your dreams are valid”. sending a message of transcendence that shattered color lines and revealed a new depth of beauty that changed the ways that audiences of film viewed women of color. in the film, her role as patsy was violently physical, as well as emotional; in interviews, nyong’o gave tearful accounts of her method acting process. often bringing a sense of humanity to her role, understanding that african-american’s of that time did not have the choice to be ‘out of character’ as she did. she cited that she will always carry with her, the role of patsy. her tearful victory at the 86th academy awards sparked glimmers in the eyes of many across just about every industry built on creativity. she was revealed as the most beautiful person by people magazine, a media milestone that launches the careers of many even further. she soon became revealed as the contract face for lancome cosmetics, and was also featured for a miu mii campaign, comfortably being seated front row at shows across the globe, most notably at the house of prada. what lupita did for women of color in the past year is honorable, she challenged the expectations of beauty; showcasing beauty that was distinctively african, while gently encouraging through grace, that the american public recognize it and feature it, as it has many other forms of commercial glamour in years past. this cover was a major move of PR that was well deserved and well played. lupita re-centered public acknowledgment of beauty from the inner, accentuated by an exterior of grace.

44. KANYE WEST FOR INTERVIEW, FEBRUARY conceptually representing the  performance persona of kanye west, his cover shot by steven klein for the february issue of interview represented in opposition, his GQ cover that would come later in the year. with his album, yeezus, came many comparisons, talks and representations to jesus christ. this cover represented crucifixion, or persecution in this appropriate way. kanye west, the artist is among the geniuses of our time and generation. his awareness of such character and creative abilities leaves many intimidated. the fire face, grill fronted cover shot further altered the ways that covers could be shot. in being mindful of transformation, as well as conceptual worth, this cover was a full force fulfillment of both categories. interview magazine, much like the work of kanye west, go on to challenge the pre-existing. both further alter the expectations of audiences in areas of style, aesthetic and theme. as we reach closer to the top spot, the covers that will follow challenge reaction from the public, are reflective of media and their biggest stars, and none have shined brighter than kanye west, since he beginnings in music. a start to a powerful year for him, this cover came as a pre-face for kanye’s wedding as he was more strongly positioned as, yes, one of our musical, style and creative generations great geniuses. his contributions to raising the bar for creativity have only just begun; in design, touring concepts and planning kanye west is just beginning.

33. KIM KARDASHIAN-WEST FOR PAPER, FW14 the magazine cover that broke the internet; kim kardashian has been the butt of many jokes since she burst onto the scene with her sex tape. since then, she has successfully managed to turn that negative press into an entrepreneurial compound that is fiercly guarded by her family, and mother, who manages all of the business. since the birth of her first child, and marriage to kanye west, the lead kardashian has elevated her visibility on the scene, becoming a serious fashion star, inspiring many by style of dress and showing more of herself in the process. the key to the success of the kardashian’s is that they own whatever flaws they are a part of in the public eye. this means, poking fun at aspects of exploitation, hollywood media speculation and not taking themselves to seriously. shot for paper magazine, jean paul goude has a way of taking turning extremes  into art forms. and so was the case when he called for kim to be oiled down and give the world exactly what they want- some ass. the armenian-american entrepenurial mega-star relished in the attention, especially after maintaining her physical goals post-baby. kim is a superstar of media, providing to have the midas touch, nothing can stop her- not in the world of fashion or business, or even on this year’s  countdown. her influence is undisputed.

22. THE WESTS FOR VOGUE, APRIL the only couple to receive a double feature, of a stand alone piece and a feature on this year’s countdown was the cover of kim kardashian and kanye west. shot by annie lebovitz, the world’s most talked about couple landed the most influential cover of all covers this year, appearing on the cover of the coveted american vogue. the epitome of influence in the global fashion community, this represented the first couple to grace the cover of the magazine, the first interracial couple to do so, and kanye west became the first rapper to land the cover, while kim became the first reality tv star to book such a feat. the cover represents a true glimpse at american diversification, directly altering the ways that we are represented as people. with her dominating television series, “keeping up with the kardashian’s”, and it’s many spin-offs; kim has spun off into the world of retail, designing collections for sears, expanding the family’s ‘dash’ boutiques across america, while landing cover after cover, more and more each year. kanye, the most valuable player in music today, represents even more success; most of which needs no introduction to readers here. both have a marvelously matched level of success in their own respective corners of the industry, and both run together in this marriage of sorts. this all happened before they wed in italy this year. they’re at every single runway show, they appear at every award show and are almost inescapable figures of the public. this cover was a mere reflection of their influence and frankly, was long overdue. well deserved, most relevant.

11. RIHANNA FOR LUI, the cover that got her banned from instagram. the ultimate music rebel, rihanna appeared on the cover of lui, as an exclusive through the lens of mario sorrenti. booking 11 covers for the calendar year, rihanna is the only individual on this years countdown to be featured three times- a testament to her success and relevance as well as her popularity in music and fashion. she was the face of balmain, in addition to being shot for additional ad campaigns for viva MAC cosmetics campaigns, there is no bigger star than rihanna in the music business. her transformative tendencies from album to album and campaign to campaign have earned her a top spot on this years countdown. her contribution to fearlessness for women in entertainment have been hailed and matched, by single sales as rihanna is the most downloaded musical artist in history. she has become even more successful with design collaborations, which have sold out in a matter of minutes and in 2015, she will be creative director of her own collections with sportswear label, puma. with word of a new album coming in the next few months, as well as her philanthropic efforts in hosting the diamond ball, which supports, improvement of quality of life in areas of health, education, arts and yes, culture. in working with rihanna’s founded, clara lionel foundation, named after her grandmother, rihanna grows each year, by album chart statistics, sales and cultural sensitivity to the world around her. awarded with the fashion icon achievement award from the council of fashion designers of america, this year no one proved to be more fearless than rihanna. while this cover is just one rank while she sits atop the charts and countdowns of many. a beautiful image, that again re-adjusts the way that women of color are seen in media. while daring, the image is not to be scoffed at for it’s nudity, rather praised for it’s bravery. a stunning cover and one of the most eye catching of the year. rihanna rounds out this year’s countdown as number one, for more than just this cover but for what she has done and will continue to do for women. through fearlessness, business know-how and by daring to be different through strength.

click here to view the top 20 covers of 2013
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STYLE VS. SOUND: NICKI MINAJ

minaj

she is the animated female rap bitch who got a million off a mixtape. today, onika maraj is rap’s undisputed queen, following the reign of rap icon, kimberly jones. the sexual revolution of the 90’s female rap scene had female rappers spitting hardcore lyrics that often times were too gutsy for the mainstream radio airwaves. as the need to compete with such sexually explicit lyrics grew to a head, female rap seemingly fizzled into thin air. one by one, female rappers disappeared. the male rap scene thrived without interruption, while lyrical content in hip-hop as a whole began to deprecate. the mixtape circuit, more infamously known to industry heads and those on the come up, found a new home with the explosion of the internet. no music was safe, following the phenomena of napster in the late 90’s which only further dominated into the 2000’s. these incidences became further obstacles in the world of, not only hip-hop, but music all around. markets plummeted, while sales stats sunk and today, these sales numbers are still at an all-time low with very few being awarded platinum plaques like days of old. it seems music was like a murder zone. it was every man for himself, over time, in a short span of five years, the music industry seemed to be in a creative drought.

few spaces for new talent became available, as the only spaces left were those occupied by icons. even they had to compete for sales numbers, having to create new ways, develop new formulas and struggle through trial and error at the face of marketing, promotion and even music video production. the rise of digital music wiped out an on-slaught of opportunities. artists coming into the game were expected to be pre-packaged, with little to no involvement of artistic development being tended to. the artists with developed audiences, who managed through independent distribution of music began to garner the bigger deals. and then came the birth of the 360 record deal. this deal changed the game further, guaranteeing greater pay offs and secured promises from big budget labels to front costs of promotion, touring, merchandise and all around marketing monsters. it’s a new day in music. formats of marketing of the past no longer apply. buzz singles, flop albums, dethroned, months go by without artists seeing a platinum certification; whereas days of old seen these certifications happening at time of release.

now the world of female rap, especially in the 90’s has grew past evolution of salt-n-pepa, roxanne shanté and MC lyte. female rap in the 90’s became high brow, designer labels were expected, make-up artists, hairstylists, wardrobe- the whole nine. every rap bitch on the scene needed to be three times as fresh as their male counterparts, and needed to spit bars five times more explicit in order to be taken seriously. you were almost required to come into the game with a male rap icon co-sign in order to stay afloat. kim co-signed by B.I.G. while being a member of junior mafia, foxy co-signed by acts like jay-z while also being a member of ‘the firm’ with nas and AZ. there were other acts of the time, like mia X, who was brought up under the no limit crew with master P or even rah digga who was a part of busta rhymes’ flipmode squad. the most notable act of the times, though too multi-dimensional to only be considered a rapper, was missy elliott. but to her credit, she was already developed as a massively successful songwriter/producer. rap showed it’s female face in little glimmers. but there was no real face of the art form that was in your face and proclaimed the title as the top rapptress, as to be expected by the true femcee of hip-hop. contribution from all of these females acts seemed to polish the runway, and prep the course. there was a format that proved successful for rappers, and errors that were seen in the female format.

insert onika maraj, a pretty faced trini from the borough of southside jamaica queens. she burst onto the scene first on the mixtape circuit. quickly earning a following and reputation for her first grimy new york flow, her rap persona quickly evolved over a series of three mixtapes. the first, “playtime is over” was released in 2007. rapidly followed up by, “sucka free” the following year. nicki developed a slick flow that was relentless, first, on classic hip-hop beats. her third and final mixtape sealed her fate as a rap star rising; “beam me up scotty” seen minaj take on conceptual dress and was her first public showing of more costume wardrobing. clad in metallic, minaj appeared on the mixtape cover dressed as wonder woman. minaj rapidly developed an image very early on, sporting pink extensions and expressive facial expressions.

following her mixtape domination, her fans, the barbz began to gather. i remember when i first started coming to new york, i would go straight to the DJ booth in manhattan and request nicki minaj; the DJ’s would look puzzled. wrong borough at the time for such requests, i guess. “beam me up” was dropped in 2009, and was ultimately the mixtape that introduced nicki to the music audience which still supports her to this day. on that mixtape, nicki got personal and also began combining singing along with her rap lyrical prowess. when i first heard “beam me up scott” i immediately began to ask who this new girl was. the flow was infectious, the lyrics were ridiculous and minaj spit shit talking about, “if you see a itty bitty piggy in the market, give that bitch a quarter and a car- tell her park it. i don’t fuck with pigs like as-salamu alaykum, i put ‘em in a field; i let oscar myer bake ‘em”. her rap flow quickly got attention, and that same lyrical approach as well as the costume gimmicks followed her, and fashion opened up to her.

there was a proper balance of lyrical seriousness and rap humor that culminated over the course of the last three years of minaj’s career. I’m gonna give you a musical recap so that we can cut away to the cultural shit, because as important as the music is- it’s reactant interfacing with such is where the true importance lies. to her credit, minaj has a cumulative discography of three studio albums, involvement with three compilation albums, sixty-six singles, seventy-one music videos, as mentioned the three mixtapes and twelve promo singles. following her exit from the mixtape scene, came the year of 2010. after her triple platinum feature on young money’s, ‘bedrock’. came one of the most high profile single features, by the graces of mariah carey. following that feature came twelve others that same year.

those twelve singles penetrated mainstream radio, surfacing minaj to the forefront of not only rap music, but pop music. the music industry is seemingly built on the staging of powerful singles. it’s all about positioning, and minaj’s career has seen some of the greatest positioning in the history of music. in 2011, followed eight more features. 2012, followed six more features. 2013, seen ten features- as minaj has fast become the go-to for mainstream pop relevance. a long way since her days on the mixtape circuit. with her three studio albums under her belt, minaj made a platinum debut while those sales have slowed since then. providing, that even the most popular female rapper has to stay on her game to compete and stay on top. minaj’s entry into music has widened the gateways for hip-hop in a way that raises the bar for what is expected of such artists. minaj made history at the top of december, trailing the release of her third studio album, “the pinkprint” earning her 58th career hot 100 hit. nicki is the only female rapper to do so, in the 56 year chart history.  on youtube alone, minaj’s views are currently set to 2,550,739,568- and will likely grow by the minute.

amidst charting greatness, headline favoritism and even unstoppable visibility, minaj represents the furthering of females in rap music. most important to hip-hop is that of the music. equalling importance in the music is the message. often times arrogant, in your face and unapologetic, the visage of rap music is often what distracts consumers who do not support the art form. the magic is in the lyrics, and the birthing of a voice. what nicki has done for females was re-defined their voice. in borrowing elements utilized by pop marketing, nicki has surpassed all other females in the music industry because, as a female in the rap game, she absolutely stands alone. without forgetting all the females that have come before her, nicki encapsulates the fierce flow of salt-n-pepa or roxanne shante, while also representing the mass commercial cross marketability of queen latifah. she took notes from the lil kim formula, but paid very close attention to the errors of that formula, understanding when to show restraint to penetrate the pop market. there is a gutter, ride for my dude till i die type of attitude that reminds us of foxy, while her wild style seemingly takes notes from the missy elliott formula. with her latest release, “the pinkprint” available now, there is a return to rap lyricism, in a serious, relatable way. this new album is for all who feel, have loved and love.

whether she was talking shit or being disrespectful to mariah on idol, or that she’s stolen a few moves from lil kim with her image, no one can dispute the lyrics. and therein lies the true heart of rap music, at the core of hip-hop. minaj has represented an awareness of bigger business, which has all aided her in this new era of what music is. there is a need for balance, for relativity and reliability to create emotional connections with fans, which nicki has done marvelously. with her entrance into films, her unabashed approach to personality, she represents a true comfort in the spotlight. utilizing her love of acting, minaj understands how to shift from role to role, wearing a number of hats in business, music and performance. long from now, the influence of nicki minaj will be seen in the predecessors that follow in her foot steps. she has reclaimed the pathway for women in music, in a way that has not been done before. the cultural impact she has made and continues to make will survive her forever. her contribution as stated will not be ignored.

 

support female rap by purchasing “the pinkprint” now available on itunes
this is an installment of the sound vs. style music feature series
click here to view past artists featured

TWENTY DAYS IN NEW YORK CITY

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one must understand that it is equally as important to look back as it is to look ahead. there is a developmental path that is lit when comparing and contrasting mistakes of the past with awareness of the present. there is a continuity that is hidden through trials and struggles that bring about an inner strength. in this space, i have hidden behind beauty, in an effort to manifest that beauty into my real life. the life that seen me working in boring offices, checking fashion forums like a mad man to stay up on runway coverage. this life, that has so dramatically happened away from the sights of recognition has been one of dedication. dedication to an industry that impacts culture most thoroughly. this transition into new york city has lingered for the life of this blog. my first post was a write up about wanting an internship at IMG. i have not taken opportunities to speak on my romantic life, and likely never will in the eyes of the public. my moments of intimacy with individuals has bore struggles and lessons just the same, but the intimacy i share with you in this space is of certain grade. that internship at IMG? turned down because i couldn’t leave my then boyfriend.

there is this recurring theme of sacrifice in my life. it has showed it’s face in the cultivating of elements that have been demonstrated on this blog. so many moments of social life were sacrificed for the content that has been shared here, with you, my dear reader. many occasions where i hit people with the, “oh, i can’t- it’s show season”. through such sacrifice, has come defense of my commitment. this space has lived and thrived for a range of six years; seeing press from corners of milan with dolce and gabbana, to here in the states with icons like kanye west, while being recognized by industry underdogs like ryan leslie. the models featured have become friends of the site, and while the culture seeks change, the horizon is still a long road home. beginning with model identification, spiraling into runway and editorial coverage, soon cutting into more heavy pieces which challenge the cultural mindset; shown has been a truly organic set of range.

when looking at my transition into the city, it seemingly becomes mirrored by the steady structuring of my writing and content here. art imitating life? perhaps. much like the beginnings of the models; you first focus on the way it looks. but, like every great model knows, exterior is influenced by the inner. there has to be a feeling that escapes from that beauty that makes it’s ways to the eye. that is where and when fashion, beauty and art can live forever without expiration. when development, and awareness transcend. while these past twenty days in a new space have brought feelings of the familiar, there is a sense of new that i feel as well. in areas of love, i am still working. in fact, in many areas of my life i am seeking further development.

love brought me to this new transition; it was through encouragement of possibility that i was able to make this move. and it’s my tenacity, and memories of home that will prove triumphant for the next phase of my life here, in this city. i have remained slightly closed off, to maintain preservation. without baring too much, and being exploitive; my worst fear is to be forgotten. and i hope that, in whatever ways i’ve have crossed paths with you, that it has been an experience of beauty, information and emotion. twenty days in, and a few moments of promise. but mere moments are just the surface for what i have come to expect from life, as a whole. i understand that faith requires you to keep fighting, relentlessly. and i thank each and every one of you for standing by my side throughout that fight, to cheer me on and come to my aide on the sidelines.

career, love, finding a place that makes me feel safe- it’s all a process we participate in. i remain very hopeful in love, despite the challenges i’ve faced, through an understanding of what i am worth. i struggle just like you, but we keep going. my fighting spirit has lead me to my dream, and my work is being recognized for exactly what it is- valuable. so many changes, but i feel calm in my spirit. my senses seem to be at their most keen. do i expect that i might get thrown off track a bit in this process? absolutely. but i remain focused; with my sensibility of self being unbreakable. see, many people come to new york lost, looking for something. but i recognize that my roots at home, and the base of supporters that i have, remind me of the ways that i am found. i am not here in new york looking to find myself, i was never lost; i am here to accentuate who i am. to partake in opportunities with like-minded individuals who are worthy competitors and mentors of my big vision. a vision so great that even i cannot see where it ends, nor where it begins. there has been a vivid demonstration of manifestation stemming from the work that i have done here. and that work has lead me, and others around me, to realize that my imagination and capabilities as an artist are not to be fucked with. for all intended purposes, all of this reflection is voiced for you, my audience, who has at times silently supported; even in ways that you were not aware. he gave me the voice, you gave me the platform, and thus my vision and execution of such works have become amplified. beyond doubt exists a greater belief in self.

jeremy is currently a resident of new york city, ny
image shot by curtis bryant

SOUND VS. STYLE: AZEALIA BANKS

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a static black backdrop with the hashag #BWET appears on her website as the landing page, leaving you nowhere else to turn. the road to this release for banks has been a long and winding road. after much turmoil though social media, thanks to her reckless mouth; i was beginning to doubt the release would even see the light of day. this day in age, there are many struggles in the music industry; and an artist being signed one day, only to be dropped from the roster the next is not a new concept. azealia banks has been an artist more richly developed in comparison to other respective females in the rap market. and while her musical presence seems all inclusive of house, rap, as well as R&B; what’s more engaging of her style is her presence over complicated production. we’ve already gotten acquainted with the dangerously animated rapper with her internationally acclaimed track, “212”. and with the release of this record came many expectations far and wide. performances at the house of fendi, and a gang of gaga-esque costumes; this journey for azealia, the artist, has been just that, a journey. complete with moments of fleeting as well as retreating emotions.

like many journeys for artists, banks’ own did not come without it’s share of disappointments, re-routing or simple doubt at times. it’s hard to pin marketability on artists nowadays, as the market seems to shift with increasing demands of new music, as artists are faced with the grappling struggle to produce for these accelerated demands, while not tarnishing the art of balancing major label interest with an indie style creative approach. azealia is a leader in more forms than one, and while her image has seen accusations of copycatting, one cannot argue that she is clearly representing many musical formalities that are at the root in new york city culture. from ballroom elements of voguing, to stuttering production that reminds us of our own evolution past the early 2000’s, there is a relentless energy that azealia contains as a young woman and artist. an vivid combination of trill, fashion and intelligent choices by voice, and sound compilation.

with women like nicki minaj on the scene, the rap market for females seems to be widening, but everything is not what is seems. with minaj’s dominance in a varied range of markets from fragrance to apparel; artists like banks seem to cater to the cooler demographic. unlike minaj, banks makes no attempts to appeal to a mass audience like nicki. in fact, her approach is a clear reminder of her independent roots. there is an unapologetic enigma that bleeds from the lyrics, that runs rampant on the production and slaughters the stage every time she is booked. explosive with energy, banks really represents a new and different grade of artistic approach. an artist who is able to make mistakes in the public eye, but to still contain a powerful and persistent approach to evolution in writing. layered vocals, and interesting choices liter her major label debut. and while i have had my doubts with the possibilities of this release, banks is no stranger demands and putting out content. mixtape after mixtape, she has been killing it; and raising the bar every step of the way.

her extensive projects on the mixtape circuit in just about every corner of the internet had so many of us fans wondering how much longer we’d have to wait until we’d hear the final, glossy and sparkly finished product. new york is the best way to describe the album. a varied set of influences that is so uniquely american. there is a international appeal that resonates with the endless cool of that london musical scene, but still- it’s accentuated by a true american spirit. it’s american like the internet. and this is the ground where azalea breaks most powerfully. whether a release on soundcloud, or a viral record that has surged the internet for several years, the album is a true trophy of achievement, not just for banks, but for us fans who have remained both dedicated and hopeful that her artistic expression would be seen on a larger platform. the expression? perfect. and most powerfully to true fans of banks’ music, for sure. you know i don’t take opportunities to make any marks of disapproval in my style vs. sound series; instead, i leave it for you to interpret. whether you love her or hate her, one must- absolutely must respect the hustle. to respect that hustle means to acknowledge the level of growth that azealia has displayed while remaining so beautifully true to her own sonic aesthetic. and this cover? flawless in such emblematic form. it’s genius, even the title, “broke with expensive taste” blends a mantra of my generation in a soft, yet violent way.

this is an installment of the sound vs. style music feature series
purchase #brokewithexpensivetaste via itunes

click here to view past artists featured

THE LIFE & LEGACY OF OSCAR DE LA RENTA

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the only thing more impactful than the life of oscar de la renta is that of his legacy. a representation of the american dream, de la renta was born in the dominican republic’s santo domingo. a classic tale of art into design, de la renta studied art in spain, which soon spun into an apprenticeship. during his development as a designer, de la renta was mentored by cristobal balenciaga, yes, of the balenciaga. this mentoring relationship soon led de la renta to an assisting gig at the house of lanvin, alongside antonio del castillo. castillo was spanish costume designer who, alongside pierre balmain, balenciaga and christian dior, was considered among the design elite. castillo helped to relaunch the house of lanvin, and with de la renta by his side, this helped drive that mission home. the classical appeal, and internationally influenced design sense of de la renta began to develop further through the cultivation of such relationships, in the glittering industry of fashion.

in the 60’s, during the vogue editor-in-chief tenure of the legendary diana vreeland; oscar went to seek her advice about career and take over. to which, vreeland suggested he segue into ready-to-wear. with de la renta’s background in assisting and being mentored by design legends in europe, the american market was his next big footing. a footing which would become his home for the next lifetime of his career. working with elizabeth arden, de la renta was able to solidify his place in fashion, and soon opened his own namesake label which was established in 1965. during his life in style, oscar was a first of many firsts. he was internationally known for dressing jacqueline kennedy, the ultimate style seal of approval in the world of high end society. he became the first dominican to ever design for a french fashion house, as the head of the haute couture atelier at the house of balmain from 1993-2002. no doubt, his development put him ahead, and his masterful skills of networking all helped to etch his name into fashion history. but while all of these developments did assist in making such marks of indelibility; the true sense of impact for the designer was his own namesake label’s rich sense of consistency. to his credit, de la renta has enjoyed 50 years in fashion.

with an arsenal of fashion and style accolades to his credit, the 82 year old designer is definitely amongst the iconic and heroic as representatives of beauty. with unstoppable forces of design in areas including bridal, ready-to-wear, accessories, fragrance and home collections- the name of de la renta, privately owned, will continue to flourish as the real meaning of what de la renta’s legacy will be. quite the shake up for fashion, one does have to wonder what will happen next for the house. no greater sense of loss can even begin to describe my own sentiments on recieving this news yesterday, but it is with a full heart backed by fact that i say to you, that oscar de la renta will always be an icon in the world of fashion. not from a mere sense of luxury, but for what he has allowed individuals of color to pursue in design.

visit oscardelarenta.com for the latest collections
by the empire label of american society

ACT OF CONTRITION: THE RETURN OF GALLIANO

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in the fashion industry, there are no guarantees. the now cliched line from the now sub-par reality tv show project runway states the truth, though rather in articulately. “one day you’re in, the next day you’re out.” in this statement alone, one would think it’s that simple. that there are no explanations, that there are no layers to peel back. all false. there are calculated moves that happen in fashion, and in many image driven industries. beyond that, there are some things that simply cannot be calculated. beyond publicity and closer to the backroom discussions of fashion politics and executive board meetings comes the real truths. those truths are almost as ruthless and unforgiving as a casting agent overlooking a model who missed her call time.

but as fashion becomes less about creativity, and more about the monetizing of style; what is there left to say of galliano. a celebrated return for an undoubtedly talented artist. an artist of design, of beauty and of vision. but with all things balanced, one has to question. does the root of such great design come a lacking formulation of structure? of beauty, is there not an equally sinister, ugly side? does that vision seem short sighted by way of lacking the ability to see ahead to the consequences of one’s actions. while fashion continues to push boundaries of color lines with model castings, does the inclusion of one figure seemingly push all these efforts three steps back instead of encouraging progression?

it was announced today that john galliano, previously ousted creative director of christian dior, is not set to take the helm at maison martin margiela. no doubt a qualified candidate through proven skill, if even only looking at his work at dior. but this move seemingly attempts to remove margiela from it’s own DNA of anonymity. for several years, many have questioned even the existence of an actual creative direction, that’s how severly the house was shrouded in mystery. galliano is the type of designer that demands all forms of drama, in press and in design. his succession into dior was orchestrated with the help of anna wintour. and while there has been a long cooling off period for the designer, is now the right time?

they say there is no better time than the present, which may be true. but they also say that some things take time- and in using such phrases to annotate circumstantial periods of career, celebrity and impactful works of art in the world, i’d say it’s a case-by-case type of thing. anti-semitism is almost an end all, be all. this is not a topic that we haven’t covered before. but with galliano’s announced return. the celebration seems tainted. it’s almost like a holding period of sorts. this opportunity is the equivalent of a house arrest, or probation- like a criminal, you kind of wait to monitor such progress but with limited access. all in all, i won’t take this as an opportunity to school you on the history of margiela, or the history of galliano. but i will cite this as an opportunity to set the marker. with his design debut for the house scheduled for january, this post will be one in a series which will catalog galliano’s steps from here, to the course in which notable events may lead.

explore the jeremydante.com archives
for past works on galliano

LIFE IN STYLE

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new york city is a terrain known for it’s dashing models. scattered amongst the crowd, that off-runway glamour. the tossled hair, or slightly undone men’s dress shirt with that fresh make-up. but there are real people there too, that are not fashionable, that don’t care about style. some maybe care too much about it. there’s a way that style is effortless. there is a certain air of casual-ity about real style. a way that is organic, thoroughly developed and strikingly individualized. these bouts of style change from person to person. a large aspect of style has a great deal to do with function. how to look good while living, and being able to function during day-to-day activities. in thinking of style every day and steadily as i grow, i’ve long channeled sentiments of awareness of self. in this, the idea of fashion seems so narrow.

i’ve worked to develop a style for myself, which began with a collection of references. this compilation of such references, some digital and some mental, started many years ago. i would sit with magazines and create collages, as well as save clippings, memorize promo art for musicians and think about stage performances. i think most great moments of capitalization in style start with a great reference. whether a film, or a song, a music video you’ve seen or an expertly angled street style image- which basically rules the internet in this age. to understand style, is to understand a personality, a person’s true sense of character. we see the beloved fable of cinderella; beautiful girl with potential becomes a vision realized but only with the help of a fairy godmother, who acts as a stylist. she ends up giving ol’ cindy her life, complete with a new attitude and glass kicks. these themes play out in many other aspects of film and/or television. shows like ‘sex and the city’, films like ‘the princess diaries’ or ‘the devil wears prada’ or even before that, ‘pretty woman’. perpetrating style in these ways gives off the idea that- it’s just an outfit. or it’s just a look, a change in hair color or a plucked brow. it’s about bringing out what’s already there, and pronouncing it. there are so many more complex ways to highlight someone’s inner qualities, but those inner workings need to exist before an exterior can be polished enough to drive that point home.

not to say that there aren’t exceptions to that type of pairing- inner and outer beauty. for the past few months, i’ve thought about inner beauty and myself. existing in a moment where there is an extended form of scrutiny, jealousy and even violent forms of rejection- exists me. in this overly stylized way, i feel as though I’m unfairly judged on the basis that i put so much into certain visual components of who i am. these components stretch far beyond the limitations of digital life and are blasted outside of the world we know as the internet. on several occasions, i’ve been told, “you’re real? i didn’t think you existed outside of the internet” or “it’s nice to meet you outside of the internet”. is there a certain intentional nature about the ways that i am closed off? absolutely. that closed off nature is often times seen as maintained exclusivity, but as an artist- it’s about preservation. there is an objective view that i am able to maintain existing outside of the worlds that i speak of. there is a lost nature that exists within those places, where darkness lurks and validation pends amidst expectations that thrive on unrealistic beauty in a real ass way. i know me. thus, all the beautiful exterior only becomes more necessary. the interior matches the exterior. it’s about an experience. i’ve been lucky enough to receive reminders from the most beautiful corners of emotion in the past few months. these have reminded me of my own value in a time where i began to lose focus. and even if these moments are a distant memory, not something that will remain, i intend to look back and be reminded of all the ways that i transcend exterior beauty and resonate more greatly from within.

there are a plethora of ways to showcase style, or individualization of taste, through aspects of social media. everything is image driven. there is a reason why this space is clean, or that the logo has certain spacing to evoke more modernity. there is a reason that my tumblr photos cascade from gray scaled selections to bold colors, and my instagram mimics the same visual association in palette. it’s all style. style is about making who you are visible through use of function and clothing- but not limited to just that. style is evoked in the way someone’s presence is memorable, unforgettable. the largest compliment, for me, is when someone loves what i’ve selected for them, from a styling perspective. they show gratitude with this epiphany of a discovery. it’s that, “why didn’t i think of that?” type of reaction. there is a way to scale it back, while raising the bar. whether those choices are seen in the option of using denim to evoke classicism, or opting for a long sleeve shirt as oppose to a short sleeve shirt to exaggerate lines and the toning of one’s arms- it’s all very calculated in a way that is minimal but poignant. in the last few months, i’ve thought about these concepts in my collaborative relationships, and really have generated an aroused sensibility of style in this new way that is refreshing, but in this familiar way. familiar enough to excite me and keep me there.

and for the reminders i’ve received, i’ve looked for ways to contribute greater senses of style. picking things that i felt would impact the situation in a way that will linger. as a life of style, you have to think- what will this legacy be? what will remain when all is said and done. people know me for my fragrance. they state that they know I’m in the building because they smell my scent. in this exists my hope for my legacy. to have a lingering beauty that is thorough enough to be unforgettable. to be remembered through phrases and faces. my own face, which has been emblazoned on just about every avenue where i am on the internet. there is an aptitude i’ve demonstrated through branding that i feel has a stronger, lingering impact on things. i always fear that i wasn’t enough. that it could’ve been stronger, louder, more vivid. but then I’m reminded, in these subtle ways, by the universe, through elements pieced together by god, that I’m doing okay. that i am memorable because I’m a good memory. i thought of him, as i picked his jean jacket, or his denim shirt, his heavy knit blue sweater or those sneakers, and that military duffle bag. how handsome he looks in his black long sleeve shirt. he expressed a love for the items as each was received. while i hoped that his love for the materials were mirrored in the ways he felt for me, much like style development, that too is a process. i hope to be remember like his now favorite jean jacket. the more you wear it, the better it looks. better when worn. transcendent, the heart i put into style is not to be trivialized or misunderstood. undervalued or discounted is not how i will be remembered because i stress quality in all the things i’ve done. from what i’ve said- all my text messages, the songs i’ve referenced, the songs i’ve played in my car, the glimmer from the blue interior lighting that cascades against my leather interior the nights we went to look at the stars.

there is a strange duality that i feel about style. where it’s like the lessons of style are also playing out as the lessons of my life. to scale it back, to retreat to simplicity. to keep clean, and to remove clutter. style reminds me to be thoughtful, and style to me is really a gift. there is a trust in style, and the ways that i’ve styled or accentuated people in the last few months can only come from a place of love. there is a marination process that i’ve had with both style development and in emotions. my emotions run just as deep as my imagination because that is what sources my hope for love. my love of self is seen in the ways i represent myself. that representation then seeps over into the ways that i interact with others, and the care that i show for those i love. that love for others in turn becomes an extension of who i am, connecting me to all who i choose to share energy with. i keep few in my mind, and even fewer in my heart. but when i keep you in my heart, forever you’ll stay. protected from all things impure. this love that i give is like denim, one of the most durable textiles to be used. it’s a classic textile that has no need to rely on trendy marketing, it’s tried and true. american roots with international influence. beautifully strong. blue, but worn with clean crop edges of white which give it both history and added beauty. dimension is seen here and even torn, it’s still chic. built to last and even be turned into something new through such destruction. some things last forever.

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my fascination with editorial