Fresh Dressed is one of those films that hip-hop lovers and documentary buffs will revisit year after year as the history of hip-hop continues to embed itself into the deep webs of pop culture. I’d definitely say it’s a film that any curator, tastemaker, or trendsetter should watch at least once and it’s full of stories that are bold with vibrant verbal illustrations. Thanks to Mass Appeal and their bravery to put together their first feature film, we’ve been blessed with a film that is capable of showcasing the various sides of the fashions that were birth through hip-hop culture. Under the direction of the talented Sacha Jenkins, this film comes to life, scene by scene as he walks you through the voices of emcees and brand creators like Nas, Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, Carl Jones, Karl Kani, Kanye West, April Walker, Daymond John and more.
One of the most amazing things about this documentary is the level detail put into telling the story of where it all started. It seems as though it was vital for Jenkins to share the origins of dressing fresh by highlighting the history of the importance of fashion in the African American community starting with wearing your Sunday’s Best and encapsulating spark it had on the future brands that would develop to breed the fashions we now see today. Fresh Dressed managed to build creditability with telling their story by reaching out to fashion creators, hip-hop lovers and the hip-hop artists that sport the fashions including Pharrell Williams, Pusha T, Swizz Beatz, Damon Dash, Marc Ecko, Kid ‘N Play etc. You’ll definitely be intrigued as their stories develop and they share the ups and downs of the fashion game as well.
As the move grows deeper into the story it’s extremely hard to ignore the amazing work done by the amazing illustrator Hectah Arias. He noticeably made sure that every story he illustrated and animated for this film was on point and lit with beautiful colors and lines. Specifically, one of the scenes that is awesome to me that he illustrated was the description of the several different styles that existed in the different boroughs of New York at the time hip-hop was cracking into the fashion game as told by Guy Wood (Co-Founder of 5001 Flavors). Read his descriptions below.
Clark’s, Shark Skins, Cazal Glasses, and a Kangol
Velour brand sweatsuit with matching brand sneakers
Mixture of Harlem and Brooklyn-styled together
“Queens had their own flow too.” —Guy Wood
This was awesome to see how he was able to break down the different styles of the different boroughs but I def wish he would’ve shared more on what he believed Queens fashion was like at that time. Outside of this, the story continues to give you more insights to the power of fashion and how it influences the world. Another segment of the film that makes this worth watching is hearing about the way Dapper Dan changed fashion forever, the influence of gang culture in NYC, and the turning point where streetwear became an open marketplace and urban gold rush.
If you’re a music lover you’ll definitely vibe out to this film as well while gaining your ‘education’ on street fashion from Fresh Dressed. Off the bat tracks like Planet Rock by Afrika Bambaataa & The Souls, Let Me Love You by Force M.D.’s, Scenario by A Tribe Called Quest, The World Is Yours by Nas, My Adidas by RUN-DMC, Trouble on my mind by Pusha T. featuring Tyler, The Creator, will keep your rocking the entire time. So there is something for everybody in this film whether your a fashion buff, sneakerhead, music lover, history lover, etc.
Overall, this film is loaded with valuable content and perspectives that were forever untold until the creation of this film. I can honestly say the first time I checked it out I asked myself several times why haven’t this film been made before as it covers all the bases. Then again when I think about the amount of time and effort Sacha Jenkins put into wrangling all of the people together to produce this film I’m sure the answer really is nobody really cared as much to make it happen. Well, Sacha if you’re reading this I want to be the first person to let you know that your efforts are highly appreciated for making this documentary happen as this helped me better understand why many of these historic moments in time has influenced me for the better.
If you’re looking for a film to drop some knowledge on you, give you inspiration, or kill some time while on a long road trip, I can assure you that Fresh Dressed is definitely a film that you’ll want to press play on.
Go check it out son!9
Composition score 9
Story score 9
Music & SFX score 10