by Jeremy Danté

style is the common thread that will become much more visible on this site going forward. in my mind, the ways in which i see things- fashion is a shell; a coating of armor if you will. our culture & society is fixated on powerful & provocative imagery. that imagery has created the basis of what i have done here- which is discuss beauty, fashion & trend. over time, i’ve taken both distant & magnified looks at what style is, how it works- how it can be used as a weapon & how it can be used as a tool. as a vehicle for creativity, as a cover up for shame- as a facade, as a reality, as a dream realized. style is an accent. it’s an outward representation of the spirit you have within. but that’s the where the game is twisted. a game being defined as an amusement or pastime, material or equipment; a competitive activity involving skill, chance or endurance on the part of two or more persons who play according to a set of rules, usually for their own amusement or for that of spectators. in the existence of style, more specifically in the game of fashion- who sets the rules? are there rules? does style exist only in clothes? the answer is no.

for months, i’ve been speaking about a new direction & feeling my way through things. speaking with a great friend of mine, leya, a blossoming film student filled with unending creative potential & an unbreakable spirit; we’ve discussed everything from music to film, language, style, society & spirituality. amidst this seamless conversation were thoughts of timing, destiny & fulfilled expectations set for oneself. i’ve sat watching & waiting for the right time- whatever that means, only to find that there is no real good time for anything except to just do it. while this site was built on fashion; i’ve come to understand the political undertones, the sexual overtones & darkness of what fashion is and what fashion has become through the life of my work here. you’ve been witness to this evolution & while no invites were sent out nor did you RSVP, you have had a front row seat this entire time. as far as rules go- creativity knows no bounds. while there are no actual rules of fashion or style, despite the many attempts made by others to create them- there are, however, social rules. fashion has become a status symbol, an emblem for the rich & famous- both damaged spirits & thriving alike. while fashion is the face, style is the heart. society has created rules, which dictates what & how things are done in the industry. socially, fashion is dark. it’s filled with thirst. i want to be in the front row, i want to know every trend- every bit of inspiration first. i want to be able to articulate one level above you in a greater effort to elevate, not only myself but you. but what price am i willing to pay? to what end will we satisfy this hunger for knowledge? and how many ways will be re-directed, misinformed and confused along the way?

this morning i woke up at 1AM, thinking of my direction & where i want to go. i’ve had an intense desire to break my format. to go beyond the fashion calendar; to exist outside of the parameters of show season or runway reviews in order to establish an elevated sense of connection with not just you as the reader, but with myself & this direction i have so inherently felt. because it’s starts with you, you know. every great thing that anyone has done for anyone else, has had to begin within them, first. as show season moves onward to a climactic paris fashion week, i sit not having seen or viewed nearly as many collections as i have in seasons past. for the past several months, i’ve been looking for ways to refine myself, through style. while this stylization begins with my spirit, i seek to represent my inward sense of style; style of spirituality, style of communication, style of presence- my style of being, in a refined manner. whenever im doing something, anything- i pull references, examine inspiration & jot notes over a lengthy period of time. this, of course, was the normal path for this greater examination of style that starts with my inward presence of not just style- but self-awarness & spirituality. now 4:30AM, i spent four hours seeking style inspiration from tommy ton. a photographer who has really revitalized the presence of style on a street level, ton has this imaginative & realistic approach to what style can be and in fact, is. after collecting images for my own internal reference, i started to think of other resources i’ve used over the past year to collect & recenter my focus and love for image. the fashionesque came to mind. there i’ve been able to collect images, without language through this digital moodboard that i created in order to re-establish the essence of my own image-driven obsession.

masculine to feminine, light to dark, high end to low end- i’ve readily examined beauty through my own definition. always seeking a balance, i wanted to configure a way that would allow me to balance every aspect from low to high, contrasting forms of beauty from men to women, of color & not- to take street images or rough images and pair them with the finest pieces from french runway or italian fashion- it’s a collective of beauty that most vividly represents my standard or level of understanding for beauty. as debussy’s ‘clarie de lune’ loops to set the tone as i write, i continue to regard style as something only you can define for yourself. when i first awoke at 1AM, i began listening to mark ronson & the business international’s ‘record collection’ album, which lead me to listen to a bit of SBTKRT, which was followed by more electronic sounds by salem. see, no one can tell you or explain to you what that is. style is an essence that feels right to you, on you- within you. when you figure that out, everything else becomes clear.

bishop TD jakes appeared on oprah winfrey’s lifeclass earlier this year. he spoke on the interconnection of purpose & passion saying, “you may not feel it all the time, you may not sense it all the time but you do have passion. we have passion through which we are thrust into the throws of life; to accomlish the things that we were created to do- so that we can function at a higher dimension with authority & with conviction.” it is in this next phase that a re-evaluation of truth, as it relates to style, will happen. this unmasking is where my passion lies; my ability to uncover layers to peel back at the illusion that falsifies what is pure. style is directly correlated to what makes each of us unique as human beings & more specifically as individuals. while some have mastered the art of representing style, a select few understand what that means in the context of spirit. without purpose, or refined sense of self- yes, fashion is just clothes. for some style is, allow me to reiterate, an outward representation of the spirit you have within. think; in what ways do you outwardly represent your inner self? while many play the game of fashion, only the foolish find in the end that they’ve been played. fashion is the surface, style is at the core.