Styling with Rebecka: Why and How
When you allow fashion to exist sans the influence of capital-driven brands you can allow it to be an extension of your creativity and a mode of communication. There is a reason that black people have historically connected to the bright fun patterns and textures of the 80s and 90s, it is a reflection of the West African patterns that were weaved into the cultural practices of our ancestors. When I style I’m never focused on brands or names, many of my favorite pieces were obviously hand made or from some obscure, one-off company. Each of these pieces has a story and carries the history and energy of its previous wearers. There is an element of generation storytelling that is conveyed through the layers and assemblage of each style. Styling for other people allows me to paint colors and textures that I feel radiating from their personality. Just like a dancer, you fill the clothing with your movement and mood. There is an unspoken storytelling to every outfit you put on; where you are going and why, how you feel, where you’re from. We create community around these stories and carry signaling about how we connect with one another.
The clothing I pick for myself is a part of a larger body of work that is seen through my artistic practice. There is a cultural capital that extends through the iconography and style of everything I layer on. I literally use clothing and fabric as a canvas that carries our legacy, history and shared knowledge that we have salvaged and reclaimed throughout the diaspora. The intersection of what I make and what I wear is constantly shifting line stitching the two practices together.
Check out one of our favorite exhibits at The California African American Museum that explores the confluence of art, politics, and fashion through one of the best hip-hop brands of all time: Cross Colours!