“Hey there, playa. Wa’chew doin’ out here on the street with all that bling and fancy strings hangin’ out all over the place? You best be gettin’ yourself on back to the crib before you get hurt out here.”

Everyone wants to be hip. Everyone wants to be cool. For teens and young adults, emulating looks of pop stars and rappers is something they’ve been doing long before now. However, not everyone can pull off those looks, and not everyone should try. So, when I say that what we have here is an attempt at establishing street cred for the 90210 set, perhaps you can understand why I just sat in my seat shaking my head.

The overall looks themselves are valid: low slung, loose fitting, late 90’s styling with copious amounts of trailing ribbon and string. Granted I never have understood the whole trailing ribbon thing. I see too many loose pieces available to get snagged or caught. I’m old, though, and look for common sense where I know it’s never going to exist. Hair is blown out. Eye color is under the eye, and sometimes different for each eye. Hems are unfinished and frayed. Cuffs on jeans are incredibly large, sometimes over six inches in height.

Where the collection loses any real street credibility, though, is in the fabric choices. These are far too rich, much too shiny, and for the love of pete all too sheer to actually work out in the hood. Shiny sateen. Polished denim. Oh, and those touches of Swarovsky crystal probably attract a type of attention that’s less than safe. All these might work among the trust fund set, but out where the streets are real  one is going to get called out for faking it. Quickly.

While I have to admit that we’ve seen a lot of sheer all season, the amount applied in this collection is over the top. Should a Midwestern girl actually be able to afford these looks (and I’m sure there are a few who can), she’s going to have to make significant adjustments just to make them legal. Sure, all those bright colors look good in sheer, but that won’t one keep one from being arrested. One would have to spend several hours in the most popular of strip clubs to see as many nipples as we did in this ten minute presentation. Something’s got to give.

Dissing this collection takes away from the fact that designers Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida have nailed the street look extremely well. They got all the style, all the detailing, all the right looks one would want in an urban-toned collection. Yet, their choice of fabrics makes it too expensive and too impractical for anyone who is legitimately part of that society. Kids are going to want to pretend, for sure, but no one on the  street is going to buy it.

Photo credit:   Regis Colin Berthelier

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