What I usually love about Black Scale’s videos is that they are narrative and pull from very raw, real places of the brains behind the looks. As consumers, we always get a real insider peep into the mind of Black Scale. This video in particular has popular tatted model, Brad Soileau, speak to his experience as a human in the world, not just a moody face in the fashion industry. They do well with the bare bones of concept and clean design.

That said, I was curious to see what Black Scale’s new looks and video direction would be with this line, and all anticipation came to a screeching halt upon pressing play. The video opens up with an Islamic call to prayer, and having followed the brand for years, I’m not sure the boys have Islamic affiliations. If they did, they certainly wouldn’t use it to call in the new line of a fashion collective, right?

Coupled with a tattered American flag and what seems to be an out-of-focus “Anarchist” flag, I feel like they’re jumping on the band wagon to associate Islam with violent anti-establishment leanings. It might be the sensational emotional factor, the “art” of it, or simply the beauty of it, but please don’t take MY sacred verses to use in your lookbook video if you don’t know what they mean. They’ve been twisted and used out of context for varying political ends, all over the spectrum of oppression. I already have enough pain and everyday weight feeling increasingly distanced by a religion I grew up with because of general fear and out of context suicide bombing jokes. It’s a deep, dispersed and shared trauma with a population of marginalized people, and I was one of them under emergency lock down in my DC public school during 9/11.

Aside from feeling let down by that choice, I stuck it through the video to see what they were working with. The line definitely draws from the athleto goth trends currently at the helm of neo high-fashion: Skingraft, Android Homme and KTZ. In fact, some of the prints and directions are eerily similar. I’m not knocking them for capitalizing on a trend that works, rather finding that the refined, architectural, dark athletic look is finding it’s way into the lines of urban brands more accessible than the previously mentioned big 3. Though this trend participates in blurring the lines of hi and lo fashion, I’m tired of the hijabs/burqas/nods to middle eastern adornments that exotify my people in an attempt to blur the lines between the global “north” and “south,” and not actually caring to take a political stance or stand by the cultures that are being commodified.

Regardless, I’d like to see a bit more sensitivity in the media produced by the company. I know they have very philosophical and deep ways of presenting their product, which I greatly appreciate in the face of fashion’s vanity. I wonder if Black Scale’s Fall ’13 look will take them in the direction of runways and bigger productions, and how that would impact the brand. It’s tricky territory but I’m calling my brothers out, and hoping y’all want to take this discussion a little further and collaborate on a future video.

// Mad love and conscious minds //