Style Over Substance.

19 Apr

I am not a Rihanna fan. It’s not hate; I just don’t understand the popularity surrounding her. She is a mediocre singer and a mediocre performer. She cannot dance and she has a limited vocal range. She’s all style with no substance.  I hate to bash on the Barbadian beauty but it sucks to say that in this society all you need is a fly haircut and sexy outfits coupled with equally sexy lyrics to rise to the top.

It seems that nowadays where you lack in substance you just wow the crowd with a little style and you’re in like Flynn. Think about Kimora Lee Simmons; every season at the end of a Baby Phat show she walks down the runway to standing ovations knowing full well that she did not lift pen to paper to sketch a doggone thing. But Kimora is style. She personifies the Baby Phat brand and serves as its figurehead. it doesn’t matter that she can’t stitch in an invisible zipper or bag a lining. Where she lacks in substance she makes up in style. She was even able to write a bestselling book about this substance-substituting style she calls “Fabulosity”. Would you believe it? Not only does this crisis have a word but it has a handbook. But I digress…

The style over substance fallacy is a rhetorical technique where someone embellishes their argument with compelling language and various terms of art in order to silence dissent or to distract from detraction. Rihanna’s new “Rude Boy” video is the perfect example of that. We know she can’t sing, we know she can’t dance, but put her in front of a green screen with Technicolor island images blaring in the background and you have a visual element able to catapult Rihanna back to number one single status.

I’m all about style but I need it to go hand-in-hand with the substance. I’ll admit it…I was voted “Best Dressed” in high school but I knew that was not enough to start a clothing line and build a brand. It is important to me to attain the skills the will lend some authenticity my work. Clothing construction and pattern making and concepts that I struggle with daily as I create but it is important for me to master them. From reading books, to taking classes, to your everyday trial and error; I toil tirelessly for my work to speak for itself.

But I’ll admit…I was enticed by the razzle dazzle of Rihanna’s new video. For about four minutes I  totally forgot that she was singing one note for the whole song. I completely didn’t notice that she repeated one dance move throughout the whole video. But I did notice the explosion of color and graphic patterns infused in the background. The day after I saw the video I went to the fabric store and saw a fabric that was the physical manifestation of the video and I created my own Rude Boy dress. The dress is fully lined with clean seam finishes. The perfect mix of style and substance!

Rude Boy Dress: African Wax Cloth

Exposed zipper down the back

Puff Sleeves


One Response to “Style Over Substance.”

  1. Ashley April 27, 2010 at 9:35 pm #

    hi there!
    the dress is beautiful! do you sell them?

    thanks so much for showing us love on your blogroll! 🙂

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