17th October 2015 6.30pm at Hackney Picturehouse
18th October 2015 3.00pm at Picturehouse Central
For hip-hop-heads and fashion fanatics, Fresh Dressed serves as an in-depth insight into the synergistic evolution of two cultural landscapes. The film features several notable hip-hop artists as talking heads, attempting to explain the industry’s obsession with fashion and how they brought about a new style to the catwalks and shopping malls of North America.
Though Fresh Dressed works from a strictly educational standpoint, it fails in every regard as an entertaining piece of cinema. Instead of attempting to appeal to a wider audience and seeking to explain to the uninitiated what this widely misunderstood sub-culture means to its followers, the film painstakingly grinds through every facet of the lifestyle that would only be of any interest to those who are already passionate about it.
Lacking in any sort of elegance or humility, Fresh Dressed even fails to defy documentary conventions, which would have at least allowed it to be technically unique. At times, the interviewees seem less inclined to clarify the affiliation of hip-hop and fashion and instead seem to want to boast about their wealth or glorify their materialistic lifestyle.
Director Sacha Jenkins neglects to imbue the documentary with any sense of subtlety either, repeatedly slapping the viewer round the face with the point, directly asking the subjects their opinions of hip-hop fashion, which comes across as extremely boorish and unsophisticated.
Fresh Dressed is appropriately set to classic hip-hop, which is pretty much the only thing it has going for it. As the film progresses, Jenkins implements a soundtrack that fittingly plays the respective tunes of each era.
As a music journalist, it is clear that Sacha Jenkins is an authority on the subject at hand. However, his knowledge has not made him an authority on documentary filmmaking. The film could be used as a teaching tool, as it is extremely insightful (apart from a few lapses of information here and there), but it fails as an attention-grabbing piece of cinema and can be described in one unflattering word: boring.
Fresh Dressed is released nationwide on 30th October 2015.
Watch the trailer for Fresh Dressed here: