Fashion Crush Friday: Batshit for Batsheva

Batsheva Hay is the New York designer single-handedly making modesty cool again.

It all started when her husband, celebrated fashion photographer Alexei Hay, converted to Orthodox Judaism shortly after they married. Although Hay decided not to follow suit to his religious leanings, it still presented her with a challenge – how would she maintain modesty and avoid offending the Rabbi while remaining stylish for Shabbat services?

Hay found her solution in the high collars and 80s pastoral silhouettes of Laura Ashley dresses, sourcing them from secondhand and vintage stores. She began working with patternmakers to alter the dresses, making the sleeves puffier, the waistline higher, and using assorted vintage textiles to create brand new pieces that maintained the prairie sensibility. These homesteader dresses, juxtaposed with modern styling and fabrications including metallics and denims, play with the lines between Pre-Raphaelite fantasy and Americana workwear. As soon as Hay began posting photos of her pieces on Instagram, the fashion world took notice. Since then, everyone’s been batshit for Batsheva.

Batsheva catapulted to the spotlight as a finalist in the CFDA Vogue Fashion Fund competition, judged by the likes of Anna Wintour and Diane von Furstenberg. Her line has developed a cult following, frequently worn by Natalie Portman, Amandla Stenberg, and Erykah Badu. At first glance, these women may appear to be characters out of Little House on the Prairie roaming the New York City subway. Now many have come to know of Batsheva through her off-kilter fashion presentations.

For Hay’s Spring 2019 presentation, she staged a show in a New York City diner, complete with milkshakes, french fries, and models styled with 1950’s beehive hairstyles and cat-eye glasses. Batsheva’s Fall 2019 presentation embraced the kinderwhore aesthetic with children’s doll prints and a live violinist playing Hole songs. Courtney Love herself paraded down the stairs as the finale of the show, performing as an unhinged bride belting out “Miss World”. Batsheva has also collaborated with Brother Vellies, bringing CD-ROM, clear latex, dollar bill, and python prairie dresses to the masses.

Fashion theorists suggest that fashion moves in cycles, from maximalism to minimalism, revealing to modest. As our hemlines change their length, they serve as an indicator of our cultural and economic zeitgeist. In our current fast-paced and ever-changing digital and political landscape, no designer exemplifies this world of extremes better than Batsheva Hay, New York’s designer du jour.

Ink Magazine features Batsheva in the fashion editorial “Kitsch Stitch”, which can be found in Ink’s Spring 2019 Print issue.

Words by Hannah Van Buskirk and Katherine Manson

 

A Conversation With India Nashia

We sat down and talked with up and coming Virginia artist India Nashia about her new single “Lights Off” and her future as an artist.

Interview by Kaelan Brown and Kyle Mayo-Blake
Photography by Alyssa Johnson

 

Kaelan Brown (KB): We are here with India Nashia, chillin like a villain, who just released her new single Lights Off! Shit is tight, awesome production from my boy Mic over there. I just had a couple questions for ya!

Kyle Mayo-Blake (KMB): Who are you? Where you from? What’s going on with you?

India Nashia (IN): My name is India Nashia. I’m from Richmond Virginia, but I’m currently living in North Carolina. I do all my business stuff here.

 

KB: Have you worked with any DMV/RVA artists at all here?

IN: Before I was signed, yeah.

 

KB: How do you think music came about in your life?

IN: I’ve been singing ever since I was very young, but during my senior year of high school I had to go through that phase where I needed to know if I wanted to go to college or if I wanted to pursue music. My decision was to pursue music, and that decision and that question is what made me want to actually go for it. Everyone’s going to college and stuff, and it makes you question, “is music a real job”? You know what I’m saying? But it came and it happened.

 

KB: What are some of your earliest musical influences and memories?

IN: Definitely Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Christina Aguilera, Michael Jackson. I grew up in a two bedroom apartment with six people and each person had their own musical influences. My mom liked Babyface. I’ve always loved Jhene Aiko even before she was poppin’. I always thought she was really cool and I found her really spiritual.

 

KMB: Mariah and Christina are both known really well for their range as singers. Is there something that drew you to that style?

IN: Well I grew up on them, like my mom listened to Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera and I remember trying to sound like them and trying to have a range like them.

 

KB: You’ve got two singles out now, Nightfall and Lights Off. The Nightfall vibe was dark and subtle in its feeling. Lights Off is almost like a Kill Bill vibe. I wanted to go into that a bit. What is the inspiration? Why is it that you’re trying to go for this “slit your throat type deal”?

IN: I feel like the song is empowering to girls and young women, and men to, because I feel like people sometimes stay in relationships even when they’re being done wrong because they don’t have the self worth to leave a person after they know that they’re getting done wrong. The song is essentially saying, “you’re doing me dirty, well it’s time for me to leave”. I know when I was in a relationship and I listened to songs like that, that I felt powerful and that I could leave the person.

 

KB: There are a lot of problems and inequalities with men controlling the music industry. As a black female artist trying to break into it, how do you feel going into that? Especially in a time that is so female positive and aggressive?

IN: The transition is essentially changing from being India, the girl who lives in North Carolina, to India Nashia. It’s a hard process and there are a lot of artists coming up now and I just feel like I’m one of them. I just feel like Im coming.

 

KMB: Are you finding it harder to acclimate to the music business, seeing as you kind of have to brand yourself?

KB: What kind of image are you thinking you wanna go for? What kind of role do you wanna play?

IN: I wanna be that “cool girl” that’s chill, and she can do so much. I want people to know that no matter where they start , they can make it. I wanted to make music and I didnt know where to start. I didn’t know any studios or people, but I just started recording on my iphone and posting to instagram and eventually got signed to a label. I want people to know that they need to start somewhere. Someone’s gonna hear it. I wanna be the self made kind of musician. I want to give people confidence to do what they love and follow their dreams. Do anything to put your content out there, even if it’s just singing in your basement.

 

KB: Is there a project on the horizons?

IN: We are working on an album, but I can’t give too much information on that right now. Both of the singles will be on the album.

 

KB: Is there anything we can know?

IN: Its gonna have fire beats, fire production, interesting themes. You’re gonna get me being happy, me being sad, and all of the in between.

 

KB: Are there any stories that are specifically being told in the singles you’ve released?

IN: Yeah definitely, especially in Lights Off. I’ve been in relationships when I’ve been done wrong and have left with no hesitation because I feel like I don’t deserve to have to deal with that. Nightfall is about the guy not knowing what he wants and being wishy washy, and getting cut off as well. I wasn’t going through those things when I recorded the songs, but Ive been through those things.

 

KB: Recently there’s been a lot of hot pop and R&B out. What have you been listening to recently?

IN: Ariana Grande, because she released two albums in the same year. I’ve been listening to 21 Savage, and Solange. I think that’s about it. I really love the Solange one, she’s got so many cool beats and melodies.

 

KB: Do you see yourself ever expanding past a R&B/Trap sound and moving into something more abstract?

IN: Well I could definitely see that in the future, cause I do like that sound, and I do listen to it a lot.

 

KMB: I’m sure there have been situations where you have to approach something, but you need to approach it from your artist persona. How has that been for you?

IN: It’s hard, and I’m going through it right now cause I’m so new to everything. I have to realize that I’m not India Taylor anymore, but Im India Nashia and that Im a public figure that people will listen to. Its heartwarming, but at the same time it’s kind of overwhelming.

 

KMB: Did you just now get signed?

IN: Last year I got signed. It’s interesting, and I definitely have to get used to all the new stuff. I love my label and my support. They always stand behind me and help me in the studio.

Mic: CIM is comprised of over fifty people, mostly freelance agents who contract with CIM to do things like photo and video shoots. Business is business, but I do like having foundation on friendship.

 

KMB: What made you get the label attention? What was the start off?

IN: Well (Mic) and I went to middle school together and were both in choir. We never really spoke or had a friendship or anything, but later on in life my best friend ended up going to school with him. She hit me up and was like “theres this dude named Mike and I don’t know if you remember, but we went to middle school with him. We should go by his house and record something.” We went over to his house and recorded some stuff, but Mike definitely fucked with it.

 

KMB: What was the spark?

Mic: India’s tone is a little rare. I don’t run into a lot of singers that have a natural air to their voice. She definitely had Mariah vibes and her head voice was really intriguing. She started doing all these dynamics and stuff and, honestly I love singing and sing myself, but I’m a sucker for a good run. She started doing all this stuff and I realized “oh she’s talented”! There’s always room for improvement and stuff, but I just realized that she’s got the natural raw talent, and that’s enough to outweigh the potential that her voice has.

 

Review: hankychief – funnel

Get lost in the hazy synths and guitar laden rhythms of Richmond singer + producer.

Richmond based label, Foil, has been putting out mixes by a wide variety of artists since August of 2018, but last November they had their debut release: funnel. The 50-track album is the latest release by hankychief, pseudonym of the quietly prolific singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist, Hannah Balesi.

Tracks on
funnel rarely exceed two minutes in length, but each are dense with their own textural and emotive vibrancy. The title of the fifteenth track, Everything good is shortlived, could be the motto that guides Balesi’s songwriting approach. Trains of thoughts sprout up: some are chased and developed through repetition, while others get cut off by new refrains before they are fully formed.



You can sense this collection is the product of intense hours of creative outpour in the home studio, and the music reflects that. Even with all of the energy, excitement, and musical friction on this record, there is a coziness, and even melancholy at times, that makes you want to
spend the day in your room, where you feel the most safe. You may recognize Balesi’s distinctive tunes from a few of our recent Behind The Scenes videos, and you can listen to the full album here.

Words by Sam Mullany

All the “Yeehaw” Worthy Looks in Solange’s When I Get Home

The designers and stylist behind all our favorite cowboy chic ensembles featured in Solange’s latest release.

Words by Nico Gavino

Solange’s long anticipated album, When I Get Home, dropped last month and, as expected, she delivered some serious looks in the project’s short film. The album explores Solange’s roots in Houston, Texas and arrived in a timely manner as Black southern rural fashion seems to have risen to the forefront of style and pop-culture.

In what Twitter memes have jokingly named “the ‘Yeehaw’ agenda”, we have seen a resurgence in the popularity of cowboy-inspired looks. Some of Hip-Hop and R&B’s current it girls like Rico Nasty, Megan Thee Stallion, Kelela, and Cardi B have participated in the revival of rural southern fashion, sporting looks like embellished cowboy hats, cowboy boots, and chaps.

For Solange, this style is not an mere aesthetic choice, but rather a symbol of her own heritage as a Texan and an ode to the Black cowboy. We can all thank Solange’s stylist Kyle Luu for helping to bring the artist’s vision to life in When I Get Home’s 33 minute visual. Luu, who has worked closely with the singer for years, styled her with a distinctly Texan aesthetic combined with Solange’s signature avant-garde futurism.

Check out some of the looks featured below.

 

 

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🌕🌖🌓🌒🌑🌘🌗🌔 @cary.fagan

A post shared by KYLE LUU (@kyleluu) on

Solange in Thierry Mugler SS1991 and metallic cowboy boots styled by Kyle Luu.

 

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Never knew I needed sheer cowboy boots till now @saintrecords

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Solange in a Yeha Leung jeweled body piece and Peter Do sheer cowboy boots styled by Kyle Luu.

 

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@saintrecords shot by @renellaice styled by me in archive @helmutlang from the @davidcasavant archives

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Solange in a Helmut Lang top and a black cowboy hats styled by Kyle Luu

 

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BLACKPLANET.COM/SOLANGE wearing @esmaywagemans styled by me

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Solange in a sheer Esmay Wagemans piece styled by Kyle Luu.

In a look which arguably embodies the so-called “Yeehaw Agenda”, Solange is covered solely by cowboy hats designed and styled by I-D fashion editor, Ib Kamara. Solange gave us a taste of her new project in the latest I-D magazine issue which came out just weeks before the album’s release.

Via: I-D Magazine, by Tim Walker

While Solange isn’t the only nor the last artist to prove you can make cowboy chic, she sure does it well! Like much of her work, When I Get Home reminds us of a narrative which is often left out of the spotlight. As a Texas native, the singer truly comes home to honor Black cowboy culture in the rural south.

Tight Line

A fashion editorial inspired by the power suit-cladded icons of the eighties and nineties. Photographed by Megan Gallagher.

Photography: Meagan Gallagher
Creative Direction: Kristina Dickey
Makeup: Elina Oehlert
Models: Katie Bashista and Laminat Kanu
Video: Fiona Penn and Jess Som
Production Assistant: Grace Hoffman

Taking A Renewed Look at Gillette’s “The Best Men Can Be” Campaign

Toxic masculinity is a problem, but who let Gillette say that in order to sell razors?

Words by Ross Atkinson

In January, Gillette released its newest ad campaign: “The Best Men Can Be.” Associated with the campaign was a viral advertisement which invited viewers to reevaluate Gillette’s tagline The Best a Man Can Get. The ad shows older men stepping in to stop child bullies and prevent cat-calling. It calls attention to the inane “boys will be boys” mentality. The ad sends a real message; the only issue is its intent.

Gillette’s unexpected support of #MeToo, as with all other advertisements capitalizing on the contemporary social discussion, is in a single effort to receive a pat on the back and your brand support as a consumer. This is an advertising strategy known as “Cause-Related Marketing,” and it’s everywhere: Dawn sells dish soap to save ducklings from oil spills, Nike gives Colin Kaepernick an ad campaign, Gillette tells its primarily male audience that it’s time to be more accountable. While I think it’s essential to clean up oil spills and I condemn the NFL, it is also crucial that we as consumers ensure that companies are held answerable for using our social discourse to make money. Can this kind of advertising exist within our ethical guidelines?

Cause-related marketing (CRM) is the strategy companies use to connect their brands with current social issues. The most prominent CRM practice is “strategic philanthropy.” Through strategic philanthropy, businesses can donate money to a good cause, link it to their brand, and advertise this new combination. While seen as a possible win/win scenario for the business and the movement, the strategic support from businesses to our communities should not be credited as unequivocal goodwill. Strategic philanthropy has been shown to reduce the amount of traditional philanthropy in which a company chooses to involve itself. Businesses involved in cause-related marketing are only giving back to the community based on how much money we, as consumers, spend on their products.

One scene from  the Gillette ad depicts a row of fathers saying “boys will be boys.”

Capitalizing on the popularity of social movements — movements that are often energized by members of grassroots organizations and struggling communities — guarantees that a company to exploit the pain of others. It’s impossible to cleanly pledge your support for a cause while profiting from doing so. Reducing complex social conversation to business tactics belittles the interests and actions of those seeking change. These conversations are vast, complicated webs of interests and differing thought. This is especially true when the company’s conduct doesn’t line up with what their ads portray: Gillette’s razors are often more expensive when advertised to women.

The support from companies like Gillette is still forward-thinking in a general sense, of course. The message could be appreciated more if there weren’t others who aren’t looking to turn a profit calling attention to the same issue. This kind of thing would only be helpful if Gillette were alone in this campaign. We need to stay smart as consumers in an economy that’s more and more politically incentivized. It’s essential that you support an ideal practically through voice and wallet.  Since there are other ways to give money to the same causes (in Gillette’s case, the money goes to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America), I’ll be supporting my social movements more directly.

 

I-D, please?

A photoshoot inspired by perceptions and reality. How do we identify when others feel comfortable doing it for us?

Zak Goldenwasser

 


Tessa Chaplin

 


Jay Melendez

 

Naomi Tariku

 


Nico Gavino


Shanelle Johnson

 


Dylan Krinberg

 


Drew Neal

 


Colin Lutterloah

 

Creative Direction by Lordina Nyarko
Photography and Editing by Grade
Production Assistance by Austin Kloch, Jess Liebers, Jess Som, Daniela Osuna, Nico Gavino
Modeling by Zak Goldenwasser, Tessa Chaplin, Shanelle Johnson, Colin Lutterloah, Naomi Tariku, Jay Melendez, Drew Neal, Nico Gavino, Dylan Krinberg

Review: Goodnight Daniel – Self titled EP

Richmond guitar trio gets cozy on their debut EP.

Brett Jones is a careful man.

Listening through this EP by he, bassist Garen Dorsey and drummer Daniel Richardson, you can’t help notice a sense of restraint. A feeling that the group is setting aside more expressive instrumental virtuosity for diligent attention to detail. Every note is, as Jones sings on the lush track Fade, “evenly spaced and placed in time.”

Every song has a warm and inviting sonic profile. There’s enough variation to keep you occupied, but it never feels too indulgent. From Richardson’s understated and inventive drumming, to Dorsey’s contrapunctual basslines, and Jones’ unique approach to the guitar, all the instrumentation on this record is perfectly suited to the context it resides in.

Good Night Daniel is constantly subverting expectations in the most polite and conscientious way possible. The songs on GND EP don’t scream out for attention themselves, but an astute listener will recognize the subtle twists that Jones and Co. have woven into the music, like the rhythmic U-turns, the trio whips on Not Enough, or the slow motion harmonic acrobatics of Mountain.  

There is also a great deal of space on this record which a less enlightened group might have filled with a synth or 16th note hi-hats or something. The silence that hangs in the air amidst palm-muted strums of acoustic guitar, or between shifting song segments, serve to highlight what is actually there. It’s pretty damn refreshing given the density-focused tip most music is on these days.

Ultimately, the Goodnight Daniel EP is a gentle reminder that great and boundary-poking pop music can still be made by guitar trios through a meticulous approach to composition and arrangement.

I’ll be waiting patiently to see what they do next, curled up in my bed with a cup of tea and this record playing on repeat.

Goodnight Daniel’s self titled EP is out now on Sad Cactus Records. You can pre-order the cassette here. You can also check out their music on Spotify.

The band is playing a release show Wednesday (3/6) with Ing and Juliana Daugherty at The Darkroom in Scott’s Addition.

Words by Will Mullany

All-Star Style

NBA players step out in style for the big game.

Words by Daniel Brickhouse

NBA All-Star Weekend is always an anticipated event, with important celebrities and influencers attending each year. As the weekend kicked off, people not only tuned in to watch the game, but also to see what people wore. Here are a few the best dressed from the weekend:

Jayson Tatum, upcoming NBA star for the Celtics, was seen wearing a A-Cold-Wall sweats and Nike Air Jordan 1 x OFF-WHITE sneakers. 

via @jaytatum0 on Instagram

D’Angelo Russell was dressed to the nines with a wool coat by Robert Geller which was featured in this year’s New York Men’s Fashion Week. He paired it with A-Cold-Wall sweatpants and completed the look with sleek black boots.

via @leaguefits on Instagram

Next, we have the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook, popping out with an Honor The Gift pullover, black pants, and JW Anderson wrapped Converses. He didn’t disappoint.  

via Getty Images

Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves was seen wearing a Fear Of God t-shirt with the denim on denim jacket/pants. Finishing off the look with the off-white Nike’s.

via @karltowns on Instagram

To finish off the weekend of great outfits, we have Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Hornets with one of the cleanest suits all weekend.

via Getty Images

A plaid suit and and black turtleneck is truly the ultimate combination.

The All-Star players came out in style this weekend, proving that looking good is sometimes just as important as playing well.