We love a good female MC, and are lucky enough to live in a city that is home to plenty of them. Even without deviating from the mainstream, anyone can appreciate Harlem’s Young Rapunxel Azealia Banks of “212” fame and Banks’ fellow LaGuardia alum Awkwafina, a Forest Hills native; not to mention Nicki Minaj, who would have been a J train rider back in her non-superstar days. However, it’s always a pleasure to hear some good femme flow from elsewhere: Oakland’s scene is blowing up in the wake of Kreayshawn’s success, and Yolandi Vi$$er of South Africa’s Die Antwoord just starred in this decidedly NSFW masterpiece. And most recently we have been digging Iggy Azalea, who hails from Australia by way of Miami.
Iggy is preparing to drop an album titled The New Classic (a reference to social theory, perhaps?) and she’s fresh off tours with NAS and Rita Ora. In addition to her aggressive and raunchy flow, she has some solid fashion cred. She recently signed as a model to international agency of pop stardom Wilhelmina, whose roster of talent includes single-name OGs Beyonce, Brandy and Fergie. Agency aside, Iggy’s personal aesthetic evokes the kind of ’90s haute couture that would make Harmony Korine turn purple. Her “Work” video, with over 5 million views on YouTube, got us talking about her look, which resulted in a (not-too) critical review of all her videos to date. We can subsequently certify that in sartorial terms, there’s something happening therein that makes her definitively current and simultaneously iconic.
While we like what she wears, we are in no position to rush out and purchase her signature Galliano, Versace and Louboutin duds for ourselves, so we decided to poke around the neighborhood for some local Bushwick fashion that would help us approximate her look – and, lo and behold, success! Curious about we found? Interested in our process? Here’s how it happened.
We picked our favorite outfits first. Check our spectacularly low-res screengrabs:
This shot from “Work” features a pair of high-waisted Adidas-branded sweats by Jeremy Scott, the designer whose fall 2012 line, featuring tons of surreal neon fur and petulant tee-shirt slogans, was a sensation of this spring’s NY Fashion Week. To us, the pants simultaneously evoke both cacophonous sponsored Nascar uniforms and the kinds of neotribal prints we first discovered via cartoon moms and Will Smith as the Fresh Prince in the early ’90s. We’re gonna pass on the visor, but not pictured here are her studded pumps in a matching shade of yellow – Louboutin, natch. They’re 5 1/2 inches high and go for about $1,300 retail. If you happen to come across a pair, we won’t say no.
Here, we see a concept central to the Azealean wardrobe: The Power Clash (and for the record, wayward gay boyfriend Elijah of HBO’s Girls can dream on about having coined that phrase). The clashing here functions as a tongue-in-cheek nod to the high-brow/low-brow duality of the fashion world: the top is a demurely tailored shirt made with a variation on the family of classic Hermes prints while the pants are skin-tight leopard print.
And while we don’t want to perpetuate a culture of objectification, we are thrilled that a lot of what Iggy revolves around is the celebration of some curve. She’s got a great bod for hot pants and knows how to make them happen, even when they involve the wide vertical stripes that have been everywhere recently. Also, note that the power-clashing continues.
Iggy may take a cue or two from the Spice Girls, but she’s also not against forsaking little girl glam and borrowing looks that conventionally signal maturity à la Fran Drescher: pictured here with her hair up, wearing dramatic dark eye shadow and the kind of earrings that a drag queen impersonating a congresswoman would be interested in, she riffs on Old Guard decadence without looking old.
Ah, these shorts. We couldn’t find anything like them around the neighborhood – but that didn’t make us like them any less. The high-waisted shorties and tailored crop top look shown here is featured in the “Work” music video, which dropped in March when it was still cold out, making us long for the kind of weather in which one can show off a 2-piece.
And here is an image that exemplifies her signature makeup: Precise, bright red lips, intense cat-eyes, and a dominatrix-esque, superslick, straight, bleach-blonde ponytail.
Then, we did our homework. We are definitely indebted to the Tumblr Azalean Fashion; the webizen on there breaks down her outfits and identifies them by designer and brand.
Then, we hit the streets.
This outfit was inspired by “Pu$$y,” one of Iggy’s earlier music videos and a bona fide attention-grabber. We picked up the pieces that you see here – a pair of aquamarine spandex leggings ($16), a candy-colored crop top ($13) and nude platform heels ($20) – at one of our friendly neighborhood 10-Spot locations at 1273 Broadway at Greene Avenue, and got the earrings ($6) at a Rainbow.
This ensemble is a nod to “Murda Bizness,” a music video in which Iggy acts as a stage mother figure to some candy-fueled toddlers in tiaras. The leopard print pants were $15, the Hermes-ish crop top was $7 and the earrings were $5 at Rainbow and the jacket set us back $20 at 10-Spot. If you recognize the graffiti in the background, that’s because this was shot at DeKalb between Broadway and Bushwick Ave. As Iggy would say, “Click, Clack, Bang, Bang, we’re in [tha murda] bizness.”
Here, we opted for the vertically striped hot pants ($17) and a perforated crop top (on sale for $7) at Rainbow and stopped by the bodega on the corner of Broadway & DeKalb for a drink and a pic. The hoop earrings are, once again, from Rainbow.
And while we couldn’t find the Adidas pants we were admiring in the vid in a shop near our apartment, we did find these glorious leggings. We got them for $13, and we were surprised to check the tags and find that they were made in the US – win! The top was $8 and the earrings were $3 on sale: a steal!
And last but not least, this stoop shot features a $13 shirt and $13 pants (both from 10-spot, the earrings are from Rainbow), plus the ubiquitous hoops and heels.
Hope you kids enjoy – we certainly did. Keep an eye out for these pieces on the street, in Bushwick and beyond!!
Model: Mary Ireland
Photographer: Anatole Höcek
Producer and Stylist: Scarlett North-Cavanaugh