this isn’t about pitting good against evil or right versus wrong. rather, this is a change in perception, a shift of focus on the stories of villains. to understand the root of evil is to have processed thoughts of vulnerability. developed through anguish or hurt, comes evil. in the world of image, the casting of light versus dark is a routine occurrence. i have long found darkness entrancing, and beautiful. never ever allowing the stories of fairy tales to affect the ways that i processed beauty, as an independent idea formed after being informed, of how stories were intended to be told. i was always much more attracted to the idea that the heroes or princesses had a strange fascination, as well as fear, with what is dark. villains are often the unsung heroes, they are the supporting roles that provide contrast to starring roles. without proper support, would these heroes have gone on to maintain these positions, in play? equally as important as heroes, villains provided contrast and complex thoughts. villains are smart, which makes them much more of a threat than the pretty princesses through the kingdom of our perception. in this regard, i’ve always been the villain.

i think about how i grew up, always leading someone. always knowing better, never having to be coached, very rarely taught something. i remember the summer following second grade, i literally came out of the bathroom with the thought that i wanted to read. i sat for the whole day, at my grandma’s and taught myself to read a book called, “happy birthday moon” by frank asche. villains take initiative. those fucking princesses sit and wait to be urged to do something. us villains, we’re the movers, the do-ers that create those urges in the heroes. we provoke thoughts and illustrate execution. for, without the work of villains, would ordinary people be moved to become heroes? who is more important in the story, the aggressor whom is the villain or the hero, who in many cases at first becomes portrayed as a victim before they’re poised in heroic manner.

sitting front row at the show, donning sunglasses without expression to conceal any indication of enthusiasm- modern day villains rule the glossy world of high fashion. moving a million units during an opening week of record sales, engaged to the modern day marilyn monroe, speaking truth in unsuspecting spaces of artificiality- villains dominate in the rap world. it’s all in perception. but what would heroes be without the villains that drove their efforts? who is the real hero, if the villain is the one who provoked such a response? as the catalyst, villains too hold value. in our world, individuals of color have often been portrayed as villains. the dark side is often promoted as a bad place to be. powerful women are labeled bitches because they simply command respect rather than asking for it. in our world, the perception of good versus evil is somewhat skewed. as dynamics shift, the close of the year has brought about these thoughts in my mind. i would rather be painted as a villain for fighting what i believe in, for representing what i know as truth, rather than follow the rules and take the road more often traveled. off kilter, enraged, provoked- all words of evil connotation. what i’ve done in this space is shift perception with words. venturing off kilter to represent truth in un-obvious ways of interpretation. enraged by oppression to make a way for the betterment, by making the necessary sacrifice to demand that change. provoked by lack of recognition, pissed by the absence of acknowledgement- in search of such reward.

these are common threads and plots, but your view of what a villain lends to a story might be a misinterpretation. villains are inverted heroes with better outfits and greater dimension in story telling. there is beauty in darkness, as we’ve seen in our own lives as individuals of color. the darkness in which we derive diversifies our view of the world. the darkness in which we derive is a large factor into the ways that we reveal our passion, the ways we communicate, and the ways that we create. in providing us with range, our own darkness provides contrast to light. without darkness there can be no light. stories of both villains and heroes are just as important to one another. there is no competition in process. especially when comparing yourself to others. a win is a win, however you want to look at it. it can take someone less time to get a hit on billboard, but can take several years for an artist to develop a strong album, filled with multiple tracks, to comprise a powerful body of work. it’s all mindful presence of who you are, what you want and how you get there, through learning and development.

the focus of villains is more attractive than what we often see, in portrayals of heroes. i find myself relating to the villain in the story. the underlying lesson that, villain type casting can happen when one is victimized for too long. it’s a pathway that is often times neglected, or cast aside by easier stories. not to say that villains can’t become heroes in the end- but the point i make is that there is no right or wrong. each story is unique to the person starring in the story. the star of the story, in your story- should always be you. i have found myself to be the hero and the villain. it provides a full scope of accountability, a greater set of balance from both angles. power is power,  when people don’t understand it- they shy away from it and call it evil. my being evil cannot be used as an excuse for your inability to understand my depth. evil to some means superior, direct, without boundary. to me, evil is restraint, imprisonment, control. perception, much like style, is unique to the individual who is perceiving said subject. be who you wanna be- hero or villain. just win.


the editorial content of my site has vastly evolved over the course of this year. through all facets of evolution, runway is within the DNA of this space. runway built this space, gave it a voice and provided celebrity co-signs along the way. in breaking away from my steel infrastructure of runway reviews, i’ve made the conscious decision to re-configure the landscape of my content to delve into a deeper dialogue, to elevate the levels in which we view style. for the pre-fall season, i speak even more to the style patterns that i’ve outlined in my suit vs. sport piece. in keeping a tight five collections, i allowed for opinion to be backed by fact. the view of high fashion has forever been changed by the internet, and these five collections represent my own take on style, my own taste level while also revealing a burning trend which i have outlined and discussed for the past year. in the process of style transformation, we americans, are re-interpreting how style is defined. in the cut of a melting pot, culturally, these five collections represent a deeper look at who we are as people. as working individuals, as self aware persons who are striving for success that goes far beyond the surface.

alexander wang pre-fall 2014ALEXANDER WANG seemingly at the forefront of american fashion, the alexander wang label has long represented the intersection of high fashion and street style. this lane is one that is explored by many of the designers that have been selected this pre-season. simultaneously through his work at balenciaga, wang’s own vision has become more greatly pronounced in ways that silence both critics and competition. strict with a quaint 17 looks, the collection blends office attire with almost an academic feel. pops of neon are seen throughout, and mindful design injections of accessories, important for modern day labels, are were thoughtfully produced. footwear seemed to make a statement in this collection, the knee-high, almost remixed cowboy boot on each model was both an interesting choice and fucked up the style flow in the right ways. what i’ve long loved of alexander wang collections is his use of expectation, and how to move past that. there was a bit of a wall street, business commuter feel to this collection, which i liked a lot. i love the trade off of masculine aesthetics, and the ways that designers feminize these ideas to re-introudce the ways that we see ordinary, or otherwise mundane concepts of style. there is function in the clothes, there is style, and there is also room for inspiration. inspiration for others to recreate these looks with their existing wardrobe, with visits to a tailor. the mix of high and low, masc and fem, suit and sport, function and luxury- it’s all here. alexander wang is a visionary of design that understands commercial appeal with an idie ‘fuck your corporation’ type of cool. it will be interesting to see how these concepts play or runs into what wang will produce for show season. while not too strong a collection, a voice is felt- an expression understood.

gucci 2014 pre-fallGUCCI the only non-american fashion label included in this pre-season count of collections, gucci is returning to simplicity. there is a retro-vintage, almost disco-seventies vibe to the collections that have been produced by the italian super house for the past several seasons. timeless as ever, this collections shows strength in the use of leathers, and the use of bold color shouts with exclamation at the otherwise expected low-key tones that are normally associated with fall. leather clutches in a range of color, as well as a re-introduction of gucci’s old school drawstring shoulder strap bag are seen in the collection. accessories are the strength of gucci, as well as the strength of the label’s creative director, frida giannini. the collection almost seems like a hit for every other big label on the scene. the bold use of color is very burberry prorsum. the use of clean lines and slouchy silhouettes is a throw to céline, and the use of print in the collection and maximal style approach is a toss to gucci’s past creative directing king, in his modern fashion pursuits, tom ford. all smart conceptual decisions, the gucci signature of horse bit loafers, and accessories are thrown in to allow the collection to remain identified as gucci by it’s clientele. clean, commercial, and faultless in their borrowing of other label aesthetics- i like this collection. a strong set of design that is both mindful and aware of competition. the collection feels mod, it feels london inspired and the leather paperboy caps bring about a classic appeal that is both striking and undeniable. inspired by others, but still gucci.

reed krakoff 2014 pre-fallREED KRAKOFF a label so inspiringly distinct, reed krakoff is a genius of style that represents the modern day women of america in all the right ways. with his creative directing stint at coach now behind him, krakoff has long proved that he has both the vision and design know-how to re-introduce classics to the american consumer and have them fall over as though they’ve never seen anything like it before. that instinct is skill that cannot be taught, it’s something you’re born with. one of my all-time favorite american labels of modern day fruition, reed is a G in the fashion game. this collection, and his past collections rival céline, from an american view point. modest while young all the same, the collection shows strength in outwear, and use of horse hair is seen throughout. the damage of expected silhouettes signifies a liberated approach to female style. another label in new york, the handbags designed by krakoff follow in the same lane of his clothing collections. it’s the idea that everything classic can be rediscovered. super fresh use of leather is ever present in a krakoff collection, so that expectation was fufilled. the color palette is always interesting to me, and though this collection was an expected set of fall tones, i felt it to be very handsome. the collection coats have that familiar feel of masculinity. like it’s her husband’s coat, casually draped on her shoulders. it’s all so chic, so classic & effortless, which is the only way that fashion should be portrayed.

rag & bone pre-fall 2014RAG & BONE taking queues from 90’s images of english council estate kids, the rag & bone label understands how to re-interpret inspiration in an essentially cool way. an untouchable cool that can be nothing else but respected, a marriage of the street and mass commercial appeal is what we see when looking at their collections. this season was no different. a prime example of suit and sport, there was a gymnasium, athleticism feel in this collection that i loved. again in the lane of effortlessness, there is an appeal that you can throw any of the pieces in the collection on for instant transformation. kept clean in a cool black and white palette, the collection is straight to the point. though a pre-fall set, the collection holds versatility from season to season and remains true to what cool NYC girls are wearing, or need to be wearing. key evidence and proof of what i’ve been saying about the merge of suit and sport; i loved the use of luxe and lazy in this collection. the use of mesh and combination of lace was also super inspiring to me. though athletic, the collection still captures a feminine energy that is uniquely represented in new york, as a major fashion capital. a strong collection filled with simplistic design elements, this collection harps on my own sense of minimalism. from concept, to collection images, and even model casting- this is a full encompassment of style, as it relates to our modern times. well rounded design processed through an interesting scope of inspiration.

thakoon pre-fall 2014THAKOON another representer of new america, thakoon takes sport and often mixes floral frocks to produce collections that resonate with, yet again, modern women. that is the common thread with all these collections. while each is ranked, every single collection in this pre-season count is equally as valuable to the ways that we are represented as americans, in style. this collection is the only that presents a more feminine feel that is expected. while that expectation was somewhat morphed, through cut and silhouette- it’s new found tradition is also inspiring. thakoon always represents new york, as well as function is in the vein of what the future holds. a juggled set of florals, pin-stripes and loosely fitted coats, the collection is a good cap off of my pre-fall selection because it’s independent in execution. there is a dope approach that thakoon takes. skating expectations, no two collections look alike, im my eyes. proportion was altered in ways that were otherwise unexpected; pieces went without out symmetry, which fucked up expectation even further. in a dope way though. it fucked with your perception, in a way that opens you up to possibility, and an altered view of how things should look. thakoon represents a fearlessness that can be associated with an american approach to freedom. that freedom being expressed through great design, he’s not afraid to be off the cuff, quite literally, as a translator of style. while im not huge on floral print, or print in general, there was a fresh spring feel to his pre-fall collection, which i appreciate. super ill outwear and dope chopped concepts; great re-interpretation of feminine charm.

visit for full coverage of 2014 pre-fall collections
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