The style of Notorious B.I.G.

The style of Notorious B.I.G.

Andrea Tuzio · 11 months ago · Style

Il 1° marzo del 2022 la piattaforma di streaming Netflix ha rilasciato “Biggie: I Got a Story to Tell”, il docu-film che mostra il dietro le quinte della carriera e della vita di uno dei più importanti e apprezzati artisti della scena rap di tutti i tempi, forse il più grande, Christopher George Latore Wallace aka Notorious B.I.G..

Grazie a un accesso esclusivo e senza precedenti a un immenso archivio, il documentario ripercorre il viaggio di Biggie Smalls dagli esordi fino alla grandezza con clip mai viste e documenti inediti, oltre a interviste a persone molto vicine a Notorious e che mai avevano raccontato la loro storia. 

KITH ha anche presentato una capsule collection dedicata al rapper newyorkese e lanciata con un video meraviglioso. 

Oggi, a distanza di 24 anni esatti dalla scomparsa di Notorious B.I.G., abbiamo deciso di rendergli omaggio attraverso un viaggio nello stile che ha contraddistinto Big Poppa. 

Forse la foto più famosa mai scattata a Notorious B.I.G.è quella della fotografa e regista olandese Dana Lixenberg che ritrae l’artista di New York mentre conta banconote da 50 dollari con addosso l’iconico maglione COOGI, diventato sinonimo del suo stile. COOGI è un brand fondato nel 1969 a Toorak, in Australia con il nome di “Cuggi”, rinominato poi con il naming attuale nel 1987 e famoso per i maglioni intrecciati e coloratissimi. Quello che era percepito soltanto come un “souvenir australiano” è diventato un must assoluto proprio grazie a Biggie che li abbinava a jeans o panta sportivi e agli immancabili Yellow Boot di Timberland, un vero simbolo di New York.

“I put hoes in NY onto DKNY
Miami, D.C. prefer Versace
All Philly hoes, dough and Moschino
Every cutie wit a booty bought a COOGI”

Un’altra foto entrata nell’immaginario collettivo è quella scattata dal fotografo e fotoreporter Shawn Mortensen nel 1994, con Biggie che indossa una giacca camo di BAPE, brand giapponese fondato da NIGO nel 1993 a Ura-Harajuku, Shibuya, Tokyo, che a breve diventerà uno dei brand più conosciuti della scena streetwear globale. C’è una piccola leggenda però su questa foto, pare che la giacca in questione non appartenesse a Biggie ma a Mortensen, questo non toglie che grazie anche a questo scatto BAPE è diventato il brand che conosciamo oggi.

Per descrivere lo stile di Notorious non possiamo non parlare dell’amore vero e proprio che il rapper aveva nei confronti di Karl Kani, fondato nel 1989 da Carl Williams a Brooklyn, considerato giustamente brand pioniere del mondo streetwear e che meglio ha rappresentato la cultura hip hop degli anni ’90 e dell’inizio dei ’00. 

“I got the funk flow to make your drawers drop slow 
So recognize the dick size in these Karl Kani jeans”

Notorious B.I.G.

Durante la registrazione del suo secondo album, che inizialmente avrebbe dovuto chiamarsi “Life After Death… ‘Til Death Do Us Part”, poi abbreviato in “Life After Death”, Biggie venne coinvolto in un incidente stradale in cui si ruppe in maniera molto seria la gamba sinistra e che lo costrinse ad un lungo periodo su una sedia a rotelle. Dopo l’episodio, sarà costretto ad appoggiarsi a un bastone da passeggio per il resto della vita. 
Questo episodio cambiò definitivamente lo stile di Notorious B.I.G.: vestiti su misura, tanto velour e il suo bastone con il manico d’oro. 

Notorious B.I.G.

Ha anche reso popolari item come gli occhiali Versace Shades e le camicie di seta della maison italiana, i maglioni a collo alto e il cappello Kangol Wool 504 Driver

Notorious B.I.G.

Non basterebbe un libro per raccontare quanto Notorious B.I.G. abbia influenzato la cultura, la musica e lo stile della nostra contemporaneità, un iconoclasta degli anni ’90 che ha segnato per sempre la storia della musica di tutti i tempi. 

Notorious B.I.G.
The style of Notorious B.I.G.
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Wasted Youth by Federico Hurth

Wasted Youth by Federico Hurth

Giorgia Massari · 2 months ago · Photography

In an era characterized by the uncontrollable proliferation of digital images, selfies, and the widespread use of filters that distort the perception of the contemporary world, photographer Federico Hurth captures an authentic portrait of youth, but one that is burnt out. His project, titled Wasted Youth, is a true reportage, or as Federico himself describes it, «a personal photographic diary in which I collect snapshots of carefree moments.» His strictly analog shots depict faces, bodies, and situations, always following «a damned, fashionable, artistic, musical aesthetic.» In Federico Hurth’s shots, the melancholy and inner rebellion of a generation emerge. Some of the shots from the project, which Federico has been working on since 2021, will be exhibited at the Doppia V Gallery in Lugano from October 20th to November 17th, in an exhibition curated by Francesca Bernasconi.

Federico Hurth’s photographs are devoid of any post-production manipulation, «if a photo has a flaw, I keep it that way. Precisely to maximize the authenticity of the moment,» the photographer tells us. Wasted Youth offers a glimpse into fragments of youthful lives lived intensely but, at the same time, in a way that may seem “wasted,” in line with the title of his project. The aesthetic, which oscillates between the glitter of glamour and the darkness of decay, reflects the complexity and uncertainty that the contemporary context offers to young people, who are at the mercy of looming precariousness.

In conclusion, quoting the words of curator Francesca Bernasconi, «Federico Hurth’s photographs are characterized by an intriguing immediacy and an instinctive and decisive formal exploration, strongly linked to the revolutionary aesthetics that emerged in the 1990s through the work of a generation of photographers, often, like Hurth, straddling the worlds of fashion and alternative artistic scenes.»

Courtesy Federico Hurth

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Daniel Obasi’s Vision of Africa in Lavazza’s New Calendar

Daniel Obasi’s Vision of Africa in Lavazza’s New Calendar

Anna Frattini · 2 months ago · Photography

We attended the unveiling of Lavazza’s new calendar, a project that takes us into an uncharted Africa, brimming with energy, experimentation, and a forward-looking spirit influenced by its culture and the diverse communities that inhabit it. Three photographers collaborated on this year’s calendar: Thandiwe Muriu from Kenya, Aart Verrips from South Africa, and the latest addition, Daniel Obasi, whom we had the privilege to interview. The theme of Africa as the birthplace of coffee remains strong, linked to the Giuseppe and Pericle Lavazza Onlus Foundation, founded in 2004 and now involved in thirty-three projects across three continents. With Nigerian roots and a holistic approach to photography, Daniel Obasi is a creative talent who seamlessly blends fashion styling, cinema, photography, and art direction to create captivating and distinctly African narratives. Here’s our interview with him.

How did you first get into photography?
I started photography because of my background in design, and for a while, I also dabbled in fashion styling. That’s when I got into photography. Additionally, I had an eye for certain subjects, and the practice of photography attracted me in a unique way. Working with other people was often challenging for me, so I decided to learn how to take photos on my own to share my exact vision with the world. For me, it’s more about a concept and an idea, which is at the core of my holistic approach to creativity.

How do you manage to blend art direction, fashion photography, and your work as a director?
By approaching each practice in a holistic way and considering them as one, it’s easier to navigate. I don’t think of them as separate components but rather focus on the end goal.

How do you apply Afrocentrism to fashion photography? Can it be seen as the primary vehicle for promoting messages of inclusivity and cultural appreciation?
Absolutely. The concept of Afrocentrism and photography go hand in hand, and in this context, we can also recognize fashion as an art form. Moreover, you can see how it’s all connected to a certain cultural background. There’s also another aspect that brings a bit of your history into it. Of course, it’s not what’s needed in every shot, but in some cases, it gives you a good idea of the process behind the photos I take.

How did you accept the commission for Lavazza’s calendar project?
On an ordinary day, I received an email from Lavazza’s team. I waited for a week and then decided to propose the concept of working together, of unity. Everything started from the photos that depicted the young people together on the beach. I’m a big fan of simplicity, and sometimes the most astonishing images come from the simplest ideas. These images, which centralize the theme, are, in my opinion, the most powerful because beneath all those layers, the simple idea of working as one shines through.

What are your primary sources of inspiration in photography, cinema, and fashion?
My inspiration always changes depending on where I am. Currently, I’m more interested in architecture and composition, so I’m trying to improve the way I use space. I’m studying Bauhaus, Gothic architecture, and the movement. Additionally, choreography and contemporary dance – actually, all forms of dance – are a significant source of inspiration for me. Love, the idea of being loved, losing love, and being in love also fascinates me greatly at this moment.

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Baran’s emotional portraits

Baran’s emotional portraits

Collater.al Contributors · 1 month ago · Photography

Click when words fail is the name that the photographer Baran uses on social media and on her website. This phrase says a lot about her and her research. Words are often unable to return an emotion, communicate a feeling, or express it in the right terms. A photograph can do that. This happens to Mah (Baran) Mohammadasghari, a young Iranian photographer who immigrated to Canada, who begins to photograph as a therapeutic act. Her photographs, also published on Photo Vogue, are an authentic emotional and personal portrait. Her story and pain are reflected in every shot, whether it’s a self-portrait or a street photo. «I imagine my emotions and stories in a photographic way» says Baran that with her photographs she is able to convey human vulnerability and fragility.

Below each post of Baran, the photographer leaves a description always touching. A visual and narrative story of an emotion and it does so in a totally intimate and without filters. We had the pleasure of talking with her on the occasion of the exhibition Collater.al Photography held last September at the Fondazione Matalon in Milan. The story that communicates with the shot on display is emblematic of her photographic research. «This shot is part of a self-portrait project called Bereavement, which I started after my mother’s death five months ago. In this photo I am with my cat, Toranj, who has been with me for 14 years.» Baran tells us, «I adopted her when I was in Iran and she also immigrated to Canada with me. We spend a lot of time together, as in this photo, especially when I don’t feel good emotionally and she understands it perfectly and is with me as much as I want.» The loss of her mother and the pain she suffered are recurring in Baran’s shots, as in my mom is back as a bird – the shot published by Vogue – which tells the moment when “she saw her mother fly away from the window“. «I saw her flying out of the window… forever… and I died… forever… It was 3 AM or 2 AM… I do not really recall… two days ago … or three … well feels like… 2 million years ago in my scattered heart…»

Scatto in mostra a Collater.al Photography 2023
 
 
 
 
 
Visualizza questo post su Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Un post condiviso da Mah (Baran) Mohammadasghari (@clickwhenwordsfail)

Courtesy Baran

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Fashion Photography According to Cindy Sherman

Fashion Photography According to Cindy Sherman

Anna Frattini · 1 month ago · Photography, Style

In Hamburg, there is an exhibition dedicated to Cindy Sherman‘s relationship with the world of fashion, titled ANTI-FASHION. The exhibition is taking place at the Falckenberg Collection, specifically at the Deichtor Hallen Internationale Kunst und Fotografie Hamburg. This exhibition traces the career and commissions of the American photographer by major brands and magazines. Chanel and Stella McCartney are just two of the brands that, along with some industry magazines, have commissioned Cindy Sherman for some of the photographs on display.

cindy sherman
 Untitled #462, 2007/2008 Private Collection Europe

The impressions created by Sherman in her photographs are far from glamorous, sexy, or elegant. Her work features subjects that are not traditionally desirable, and it certainly goes against the grain. Sherman uses fashion photography as a starting point to closely examine themes such as sex, gender, and age, demonstrating, but not limited to, these topics. Through the multitude of characters she portrays, Cindy Sherman shows us how the concept of identity is ever-changing and constantly evolving. In the accompanying critical text for the exhibition, the concept of (self-)constructed identity is discussed, which is a fluid concept that continues to challenge us even today.

cindy sherman
Untitled #602, 2019 Gilles Renaud Collection

There are numerous national and international contributions to this exhibition, the first dedicated to fashion in Cindy Sherman’s photographs. It includes 50 photographs from five decades of her career. ANTI-FASHION, curated by Alessandra Nappo, offers a unique opportunity to discover an unexpected aspect of Cindy Sherman, unveiling the influences and inspirations that the photographer has brought to the fashion world and how this influence continues to inspire entire generations of photographers.

cindy sherman
 Untitled #133, 1984 Staatsgalerie Stuttgart

The exhibition will remain open until March 3, 2024. Here you can find more informations on ANTI-FASHION.

ph. © Cindy Sherman

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