This summer’sÂ highly anticipated movie, DopeÂ featuring a young Hollywood cast from Chanel Iman to A$AP RockyÂ is finally in theaters.
Executive produced by Pharrell Williams and co-executive produced by Sean “Diddy” Combs, there is no surprise that the synopsis of the story revolves around hot fashionable trends from the nineties through now.
The movie shows howÂ Malcolm (Shameik Moore) survived in a tough neighborhood in Los Angeles and how one invitation to a party leads into a journey that transforms him from being a geek into becoming dope. This movie is about authenticity, style and ultimately what it means to be dope.
What does it really mean to be dope in a fashion sense?
“You are DOPE when you are true to yourself in the purest form.Â Malcolm, Diggy and Jib were outsiders and although heavily influenced by the 90s, they are not wearingÂ outlandish “halloween” costumes. Each character hasÂ his or her own unique style,Â which combines many 90s and modern elements.”
You dressed talent for Yves Saint Laurent and Geren Ford fashion films; print ads for Vanity Fair, Elle and V Man Magazine, what different approach did you have to take in dressing the actors in “Dope”?
“I spent many nights onÂ ebayÂ trying to win bids on rare Cross Colours. However, DOPE was not a film set in theÂ 90s –so I wanted to includeÂ contemporaryÂ brands that are native to Los Angeles such as UNDEFEATED, the Hundreds, and Crooks & Castle.Â Also, while researching I relied heavily on Instagram by simply searching, #InglewoodHigh , #Inglewoodstudents, etc and an entire world opened up to me. These kids (and, you know who you are!!!) Â were so DOPE! Â There was a true innocence and insight inÂ 90sÂ hip hop culture.Â As kids appropriated classic American brands, they signaled the transition of Rap and Hip HopÂ from subculture status to being the dominant mainstream American culture in music and fashion.”
Did Pharrell have any fashion input for the movie?
“Not per se, but his producer Mimi Valdez was extremely helpful and arranged forÂ Karmaloop.comÂ (hands down the best streetwear site),Â to donateÂ many ofÂ great clothes you see in the film.”
How do you set trends instead of following them? How do you know what is going to be the next hot trend?
“I don’t care for the word trend.Â Anything that is trend has already been watered down and transmuted to the lowestÂ common denominator.”
How was it styling Chanel Iman?
“Firstly I am a costume designerÂ (not a stylist), so I designed for the character Lilly, not for theÂ modelÂ Chanel Iman.Â Given that Lilly is trapped between the world of arrested development and womanhood,Â I chose to represent thisÂ dichotomyÂ by usingÂ two fabrics — terry cloth and silk — in her costuming.Â I remember ChanelÂ fromÂ backstage at Stefano Pilati’s YSL show a decade ago.Â So itÂ was a great pleasure to work with her again. She is aÂ fantastic actress!”
What are 5 summer must haves that every dope girl should have in her closet?
“I don’t believe that there are any “must haves”…. I believe people should develop their own personal style.Â If one must select something, I would recommend DOPE girls spend five minutes every day immersing themselves in pursuit of creativity and good design.”