QUESTIONING FASHION: A CREATIVE REDIRECTION
by Jeremy Danté
i’ve always had an intense interest in social structures & have gone out of my way to understand the do’s & don’ts of certain circles. whether gay or straight, white or ethnic or in my observation of fashion crowds; for the past few years i’ve struggled with the idea & have consistently questioned fashion. whether questioning the politics of model casting or discussing what i love & hate about collections each season, there remains a rich curiosity in my mind with fashion, as i observe & perceive it as just another subculture within our culture as human beings. i’ve come to the understanding that we all want to believe we have a place. even in thinking of oneself as an ‘outsider’ or not ‘in the cool group’, there in lies yet another sub-culture. in new york, those sub-cultures are divided even further into boroughs. whether brooklyn, harlem, queens, the bronx or manhattan- it seems as though it’s a whole other language when asking, “which part of the city are you in?” geography heavily influences fashion, whether you’re in milan, paris, new york or london- each city hosts a combination of styles on the backs of the city residents. these corners also house the good & evil. & while i often get lost in the city, im for damn sure not lost in life.
fashion in new york is funny. what i’ve tried to do here, on my blog & in my own work, is represent the artist’s perspective. in fashion- highlighting & discussing different photography techniques, lighting, emphasizing styling direction & really trying to allow readers to see what i see & find a greater appreciation for the high end glamour, that some can criticize as materialistic has always been my aim. in my pursuits of my first fashion week ever, i have suffered an unexpected blow which seen me miss out on a number of shows that i had RSVP’d to & a number of networking opportunities. all good, i can take one for the team this go ’round & though i’ll let you win the battle; watch who’ll win the war. new york fashion is based on the power of PR. public relations runs the city- they control the guest lists, they receive the invite request emails, they man the doors at the events, they verify your fashion GPS at the lincoln center- without their hand in this process, there is no boundary to cross. in contrasting differences between the european approach & our american process- it’s simple, you build your relationship with the PR offices in new york & you’re in. in europe, it’s all done in-house. this makes it much harder to crack the european scene. it’s basically a buy one, get five deal in america- if you can swing the price. this season, i was surprised; not by the number of rejection emails but the number of invites allowed. my connect came by way of [insert luxe brand here]. i don’t find it necessary to name names, however, i do find it necessary to mention this character in association with the horror of my first experience.
over the course of the last three years, i’ve spent most of my time researching, reading & making myself much more aware of fashion to the point of insanity. off screen- very little is disconnected from fashion in my everyday conversations. im not gonna sit here & preach about how fashion is ‘my life’ because those who’ve read understand my devotion without the need for a reminder. sitting in little italy, sleeping in the same bed as this character – i had initially flew in with the greatest nervous feeling i had ever felt. was it the rain in the forecast? did i forget to pack the right shoes? would my outfits be appropriate for the shows? did my business cards arrive at the printers on time? i struggled with the idea that something, out of my control, was waiting for me upon reaching my destination. i was right. regardless if we’re talking about fashion or life off the runway- you always trust your gut. amidst verbal digs, shady conversations & insincere apologies- my connect served as my roomie for my scheduled visit for fashion week & with that came tremendous annoyances & what seemed to be a calculated agenda. at one point, i sat in china town eating fried chicken & fried rice with tears in my eyes at how frustrated i was with what this chick referred to as ‘real fashion’. the first event i had attended was the surface to air store opening, which was an easily accessed event when someone mixed up the first name with the last name, choo. there we stood, in the surface to air location, suffocating just because this bitch wanted free champagne. i know you’re thinking the same ass thing, so let’s all say it together- THIRSTY! after requesting to leave the party due to the extreme heat, i was able to view a feature film presented by surface to air which surprisingly starred kid cudi. i snapped a couple of images & generally liked the concept of a film coinciding with a store opening- i felt it added a sense of greater creativity, which i often seek in a number of ways. in new york- it’s about the parties; or so it is for a certain batch of individuals. i was told, “we work hard, we play hard” & though i don’t disagree- i can honestly say that not all individuals in this city have a love for fashion the way i do. fast forward to end of my stay with this girl- if i recall correctly, mind you i can name drop supermodels at the snap of a finger so my memory is entirely undoubted- the phrases,”no one knows you”, “you don’t know anything about fashion”, “you don’t even know about the models” & “i got you those invites” spewed from the mouth of this thirsty villain who has indeed become lost in the city hype & has fallen victim to what she thinks is expected of her in this dangerous industry. this girl’s blasé admittance of how she lied to a therapist to get xanax disturbed me to the core. it was almost as if she thought this upgraded her cool factor, when it only seemed to make her existence that much more sad. the night i made my exit, she had gone in search of cocaine.
while im constantly looking for ways to bridge the gap, between fashion kids & non-fashion individuals- im always looking for ways to connect the psychological to the sociological in my own observations of sub-cultures. the fact that many in fashion believe that there is only one way to go about things is the same reason why fashion can remain, on some levels, one dimensional. it’s not even the fact that fashion can be cut throat- because im equipped to cut on command just as much as the next bitch. it’s the fact that individuals allow their insecurities to substitute certain aspects of authenticity. the bitch i mentioned, i’ve known since i was in 6th grade & her progression as an adult, though impressive on paper, is obviously a missed mark in personal development through lack of confidence in ones ability to be, well, themselves. i thought long & hard about whether to include this aspect of my fashion week experience here because it does take a vivid dip into my personal life & is tied strongly to my adolescence as well as my emotional connection with this person. i thought, ‘fuck it! i have nothing to hide’ & after my now deleted tweet, which eluded to certain positions of trust- you have to understand that nothing i do occurs without reason. i believe in symbolic representation as much as i do a real & honest approach. the entire time i was here, i questioned whether i really wanted to continue with my site or if my love for fashion was enough. im always mindful of what is shared here, because there is a larger portion of myself embedded in these posts whether you know it or not. the words i use, i use with great awareness- as should all individuals writing & attracting an audience. for me, it’s never been about a front- it’s always been about projecting the most honest depiction of yourself for those who are interested & in the same lane. the whole time, i could not believe that someone was talking to me in the way this bitch was spewing verbal venom at me. cinematically, in the story of my life, my leaving her apartment at 2am that night, “titanium” produced by david guetta with vocals by sia would’ve played. “you shoot me down, but i won’t fall- i am titanium”. that same indestructible force that empowers you enough from the inside is what separates the real from the fake- the fact that my own home-made letter head & amateur credentials were enough to gain access to 17 shows & events this season is without a doubt, evidence that hard work never goes unnoticed. when i heard this bitch say, “i got you all those invites” – the countless hours of research & sleepless work that i had been doing surged into my brain. i dare any-fuckn-body to stand in front of me & say that they did what i have done in creating & building a presence as jeremy danté. i am jeremy danté. if i never get another invite to another show in my life, i can honestly say that i did something that im proud of. that something isn’t the fact that people know who i am or are aware of my work- it’s that i was fearless enough to share a piece of my heart with people i don’t know & i was appreciated for it. & with that said, i wish a bitch would fuel the fire- i hold the match. but let’s not go too far- remember, ‘i don’t know anything about fashion’ & ‘no one knows me’.