Looking back on Jamaica’s street fashion within Dancehall music

What I found very interesting in my retro trend research was that many of the trends that we link heavily to the 1970’s like the marina mesh, high wasted trousers, oversized/ long-line shirts and jackets, colour blocking and vibrate prints in simple shapes were bleeding into the next two decades with the key pieces evolving. I saw this trend evolution as a thread of identity that got thicker every year that passed. I found this to be very interesting, I knew from this research that I could lead on from these looks and make the thread that much more fuller with evolving these trends by looking at fashion forecast, not to popularise the culture but to make them appealing to the people that shop for fashion based on ‘what is on trend’ or ‘this season’.

The music videos were fashion forward in there day and featured the key looks of the day. Celebrating ‘street culture’ and Dancehall music will now form a vital part of my Jamaican identity  research for my collection as the post colonial struggle is vital in our development as people. Key Scholars like Stuart Hall spoke heavily on the influence of downtown street culture creeping into the more agricultural areas of the island being key to the development of identity as we then start to develop and define what now makes us Jamaica, we where granted independence in 1962. After years of British rule, we are still defining what it is to be Jamaican  and these music video’s do just that from the music indigenous to our island (SKA, Reggae and Dancehall) to the style of dress popularised all over the Caribbean, south america, central and north america and great Britain where many Jamaicans immigrated to the 1950-60’s.


Super Cat- Ghetto Red Hot (1992)

Chaka Demus & Pliers – Murder she wrote (1993)

Patra-Queen of the pack (1993)

Further reading; Style & Vibes: A Look Back At Dancehall Fashion, Pt.3:The 90’s by Miklah Rose http://www.largeup.com/2011/09/09/style-vibes-a-look-back-at-dancehall-fashion-pt-3-the-90s/


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