Thursday, April 28, 2016

New York Fashion Cool-Aid ®

When Life Gives You Lemons...

Purple Rain

For basically anyone with a pulse in the '80s, this past week was a shocker and a tough one to get through. Prince (when he actually went by his own moniker) was a large part of my MTV and concert obsessed youth. It's weird how several weeks ago I was flipping through the channels and stopped to re-watch an old favorite movie that I hadn't seen in ages: Purple Rain. I suddenly remembered how I felt the first time my younger self saw it, while my older self acknowledged how cheesy yet utterly evocative of the era the film really is; not the least of it having to do with the iconic fashions which Prince favored.



Last Friday, another stylish singer launched what is being hailed as this summer's "It-shoe." Needless to say, anything that Rihanna steps out in, let alone creates, is always wildly sought after -- the Puma Fenty Faux Fur Slides were gone off of numerous websites in minutes. The $80 glorified, gussied up version of a shower shoe-meets- bathmat in three colors blew out of major and minor retailers and even crashed the Puma website. They are now available sparsely in stores and on eBay for hundreds if not thousands of dollars. No definitive word yet on whether they'll be restocked.



Interesting to note that just a week before in mid-April, Beyonce launched her IVY PARK for Topshop line of activewear which included a pair of $35 black rubber shower shoe slides emblazoned with a large white lettered logo. All reports suggest that, although a feeding frenzy was expected, none ensued. The footwear and all other items were readily available online and in-store. Absent was the usual craziness that we've come to expect with a celeb collaboration.


Beyonce in Roberto Cavalli for Lemonade
Still from Tidal

Did Queen Bey find this situation disappointing or refreshing? And, speaking of refreshing, we know that she was busy making, Lemonade her newly released visual album featuring Jay Z bashing (Bey's "every woman who's ever been cheated on" anthem). This work is being hailed as a "brilliant marketing stunt," ironically available for streaming on her seemingly maligned, straying hubby's Tidal music service. There's plenty of speculation over whether this is a couple headed for divorce court or merrily holding onto their royal court with its vast riches.


Not Becky?
Photos: Getty Images/Wenn

Now let's go to the infamous line in the all-important 4th track. First of all, the number four is an important one for the Carter's; the roman numerals IV spell out their daughter Blue Ivy's name. Prince was also seemingly a numerology fan, naming another (death) related song "I Would Die 4 U." Is it also a coincidence that he's the Purple One and she's Blue? Not to mention that they're all royal. At any rate, this attention-getting Beyonce song entitled "Sorry" is seemingly about the "other woman" or in Bey lyric-speak, "He better call Becky with the good hair" and it's certainly been a topic of much speculation. The BeyHive is buzzing: Who is "Becky"? Is it Rachel Roy? Rita Ora? Hell, it could even be RiRi, or perhaps it is an amalgam of many "side chicks"? And where did we first get a hint that things had gone a bit south and perhaps Jay had a wandering eye? Yes, it was at the fast approaching Met Gala. If you remember back when (who could forget) the Bey, Jay and Solange elevator incident where it was rumored that Solange was mad at Jay for "seeing" Rachel Roy or was it for wanting to attend Rihanna's after-party?



And now we've come full circle: upon hearing that Prince died in an elevator I had two immediate thoughts. One was the Met Gala incident; the other was Prince's own lyric -- he uses an elevator as a metaphor in the song "Let's Go Crazy." Not only does he begin the song with the words "Dearly Beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life" among other death and afterlife references but there's this: "And if the elevator tries to bring you down, Go crazy, punch a higher floor."

Here's hoping Prince has reached that higher floor.



-Laurel Marcus

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