Monday, March 29, 2010

South African gospel music and the shiny suit movement

You know I have been watching and marvelling increduously at this fad. I call it a fad because since its inception I have always been of the view that some day it'll fade. There has, however, for quite a few years been no stopping it. When Mase left Bad Boy back in 1999, the consensus was that the shiny suit era, ushered in by Puff Daddy, had come to an end. Its poster child, the golden boy, had decided to turn his life around and commit himself to the Lord. At that moment Puffy didn't really have someone at his disposal to carry the torch, like when he tutored and passed it on to Mase. Even Mase's lyrics referenced his learnership under Puffy "I was murder/ P-Diddy made me pretty". Without a torch bearer and the evolution of the rap game the shiny suits were forced into extinction. Or so I thought.

How the gospel industry in my country managed to get this suit back and in regular rotation is something I just can't figure out. Maybe it might be a misinterpretation of the scripture in Isaiah 60 v 1: "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you."

And I mention the gospel industry because they seem to be the biggest and most conspicuous perpetrators. In downtown Durban this suit can be found at clothing stores owned by foreign african nationals. Maybe its ressurection can be attributed to the african nationals.

When I see such fashion faux pas I ask myself some questions: Where are the stylists..? Where are fashion gurus..? Image consultants..? People who actually know that this kind of suit is not a good look. In any colour.

I guess it helps having good quality photography equipment. I can imagine the glare the suit creates against the flash of a camera.

Something has got to be wrong somewhere for people not to find this trend disturbing. A shiny suit, a silk shirt, an equally shiny ascot and pocket square. Talk about the spotlight personified.

Trends are seriously nothing to mess with. I was aghast when I saw a clip of the brother above, Lungisani Ntuli, the winner of 'I want to sing gospel', in this shiny terra-cota shaded suit. A navy suit would've diverted so much attention from his physical disproportions. The shiny ensemble highlighted all of them.

The creator of 'I want to sing gospel', in a shiny, ill-fitting suit himself. If the South African Broadcasting Corporation commisions a show of this nature then surely a budget must be allocated for stylists and wardrobe.

The rest of the music industry is not immune from this trend, however, the gospel industry seems to be the most affected.

I rest my case.

PG: Man to man, generation to generation.

1 comment:

foolio_iglesias said...

Man,how about those shirt collars?Those aren't collars,those are scaffolding!