2015 Sundance Docs in Focus: FRESH DRESSED

fresh dressedNext up, Documentary Premieres looks back to the early days of hip hop culture’s intersection with fashion: Sacha Jenkins’ FRESH DRESSED.


Sundance Program Description:

With funky, fat-laced Adidas, Kangol hats, and Cazal shades, a totally original look was born – Fresh – and it came from the black and brown side of town where another cultural force was revving up in the streets to take the world by storm. Hip-hop, and its aspirational relationship to fashion, would become such a force on the market that Tommy Hilfiger, in an effort to associate their brand with the cultural swell, would drive through the streets and hand out free clothing to kids on the corner.

FRESH DRESSED is a fascinating, fun-to-watch chronicle of hip-hop, urban fashion, and the hustle that brought oversized pants and graffiti-drenched jackets from Orchard Street to high fashion’s catwalks and Middle America shopping malls. Reaching deep to Southern plantation culture, the black church, and Little Richard, Director Sacha Jenkins’ music-drenched history draws from a rich mix of archival materials and in-depth interviews with rappers, designers, and other industry insiders, such as Pharrell Williams, Damon Dash, Karl Kani, Kanye West, Nas Jones, and Andre Leon Talley. The result is a passionate telling of how the reach for freedom of expression and a better life by a culture that refused to be squashed, would, through sheer originality and swagger, take over the mainstream.

Some Background:
Director Sacha Jenkins is a partner at NYC creative studio Decon with a background in television production for MTV, VH1, and the Cartoon Network, as well as in journalism with Rolling Stone, Vibe, Spin, and his own ego trip magazine. His producers include Decon founder/CEO Peter Bittenbender; Nasir Jones (aka hip hop artist Nas), who is interviewed in the film and also appeared in Sundance alum SOMETHING FROM NOTHING: THE ART OF RAP (2012) and was a co-producer of TYSON (2009); and Marcus A Clarke. CNN Films’ Vinnie Malhotra and Amy Entelis serve as executive producers, also serving in the same roles for fellow 2015 Documentary Premieres title THE HUNTING GROUND, and Sundance alums with last year’s WHITEY: UNITED STATES OF AMERICA V JAMES J BULGER, IVORY TOWER, and LIFE ITSELF. The film’s editor, Andrea B Scott, previously cut and associate produced Park City alums A PLACE AT THE TABLE (2012) and BORN SWEET (2010).

Why You Should Watch:
Jenkins’ upbeat profile is a breezy, celebratory, and most importantly fun excavation of recent cultural history that shows the widespread cross-pollination between style and entertainment. Buoyed by energetic archival footage and animation, and given immediacy through the entertaining anecdotes of both pioneers in hip hop and fresh-dressed fans, the film is a nostalgic look back at the fashion and music trends of yesteryear that will also appeal to audiences who might not be able to tell the difference between FUBU and Ecko Unlimited.

More Info:
For more information, visit the film’s Facebook page and Jenkins’ Indiewire filmmaker interview. For screening dates and times at Sundance, click the link in the first paragraph.

To experience the festival through the eyes of this year’s filmmakers, follow my Sundance filmmaker class of 2015 Twitter list.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Recommendations, Sundance

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