Fashion Fridays: Jamaica’s Love Affair with the Mesh Marina

June 20, 2014

Diplo on the set of “Bumaye.” Photo: Damien “LookYah” Baddy

In Major Lazer’s “Bumaye” video, the style conjured up the late ’80s/early ’90s dancehall era, with inspiration coming from Chaka Demus and Pliers’ “Murder She Wrote” video. “Probably Wes [Diplo] was watching the “Murder She Wrote” video,” Walshy Fire says of the idea for the video’s look. “I think everybody else after that was like, ‘lets do that.’”

With style cues in place, Jay Will expounded upon the theme with extensive research of ’80s and ’90s dancehall style and dance moves to create a cohesive look for Major Lazer’s “Bumaye” video, with styling assistance from Earl “Biggy” Turner, the Jamaican designer behind the fashions in many of those same videos. “I was thinking, what were the dance moves? What was the fashion? For female fashion you had the Ouch Crew, they were the hottest things, you had Patra styling up herself, you had Shabba Ranks, Buju Banton, Capleton, all these guys were dressed by Biggy.”

For her spring/summer 2013 collection, dubbed “Murder She Wrote,” James Black designed her pieces based with the same iconic music video in mind. “90s dancehall fashion on a whole inspired my line and of course from that era there was a lot of mesh.” Ultimately, ’90s dancehall has had a profound effect on the current generation of Jamaican musicians as well. “There are certain eras where stuff was really good,” Jay Will reminisces, “The nineties were one of those glorified eras both in music and fashion.”

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