Fashion Week Diary: Day 3 (Patrik Ervell, Band of Outsiders, Arise)

Frankly, by day three everyone gets pretty tired of fashion week. Editors are running on black coffee and cigarettes—just in case you didn’t know, Sarah Vaughn was singing about models’ and editors’ diets when she sang that song—and schedules are more packed than a Prada sample sale.

I suppose I shouldn’t complain, seeing as my first show was scheduled for 3PM. Patrik Ervell showed this season at Milk Studios, which is the foil to Bryant Park’s frenetic insanity. Compared to the tents, Milk Studios might as well be the hanging gardens of Babylon—the security guards don’t treat you like you’re about to jump a celebrity, there are less crashers, and the shows are generally better. But that’s enough about the venue.

Patrik Ervell is known for his minimalist aesthetic though this season felt even more austere than in collections past. The room was set up like a scene from Franz Kafka’s brain with strange dream-like music filling the room while models walked like lab rats around and around translucent panels. The clothes had a prep school student meets Oliver Twist feel with stark, boxy silhouettes and a muted color palette.

There was more time to kill until my next presentation than tattoos on Lil Wayne so I headed over to Robert Verdi’s “luxe lab” for a few hours. The celebrity stylist and newly-minted reality show star has a loft set up for beleaguered editors to come and alternatively be health conscious via Blue Print Cleanse’s raw dishes and louche swilling glasses of Absolut Vodka’s new Açai berry flavor. 

J. Alexander from America’s Next Top Model was also hanging out there. I spoke to him at length about André Leon Talley joining the cast and his not-always favorable treatment at fashion shows (he’s even been told by clipboard girls that he wasn’t wanted at a show). 

Mercedes-Benz, the official sponsor of New York Fashion Week, was also providing transportation from the Luxe Lab so when I had to return to Milk Studios for Band of Outsiders, I arrived in style.

Walking into the Band of Outsiders presentation felt like walking into the costume department of That 70’s Show. Somehow they managed to fit a Nixon-era XJ Jaguar in the space along with other vintage paraphernalia like typewriters, old desks and models hanging from chandeliers. 

Fittingly, the clothes matched the décor with thick cord suits, shrunken blazers and shearling coats for men while the women wore pleated tweed trousers, patterned shirts and the occasional fur. The effect was a sort of a nerdy yet irreverent look—there was even a dash of playful absurdity with girls wearing cleated oxfords. My favorite piece from the collection was a band skirt made from silk ties and cotton belts.

For the last show of the day, it was back to Bryant Park to see the Arise show, put on by Arise Magazine to promote African culture. Last season, Grace Jones walked in the show. This time around, it was a tour de force with black supermodels Chanel Iman and Sessilee Lopez headlining. Three different labels showed this season, each with a distinct yet ethnic style. The first collection was Black Coffee by Jacques Van der Watt and Danica Lepen, which featured cocoon-like jackets that engulfed the body in swaths of fabric. Loin Cloth & Ashes by Anisa Mpungwe was the second to show. The Tanzanian born designer’s collection alternated between high fashion looks with harem pants and strong shoulders to frou frou outfits that looked like church going attire above 140th street. It was sophistication with a twist that at times worked better than others. Last to present was Deola Sagoe, a Nigerian born designer whose collection was markedly darker than her catwalk predecessors. The collection felt edgier with black lace and models stomping quickly down the runway like a Big Mac was waiting backstage. Sadly, that'll have to wait until Fashion Week is over.

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D'Angelo And Maxwell Were Originally Scheduled For A 'Verzuz' Battle

It's no secret. Swizz Beatz and Timbaland have been working hard to pair up some of hip-hop and R&B's biggest stars for their Verzuz celebratory battles. To date, the duo has successfully hosted 24 of these events on Instagram Live and their streaming partner, Apple Music. Now, what you rarely hear about are the matches that could have been. In a live conversation following D'Angelo's damn-near-solo set—that many R&B lovers didn't know they needed—Swizz Beatz and Timbaland revealed how the soulful crooner was originally scheduled to take part in Verzuz alongside fellow "neo-soul" singer Maxwell.

"I'm not gonna lie. That sh*t took very long. Let's give people the story," starts Swizz. "What was supposed to happen was D'Angelo versus Maxwell on Valentine's Day. That didn't work out, but the fact that D'Angelo was still ready to go and still motivated, we had to celebrate him— matter who was on stage with him. We had to celebrate that king because, as you can see, those songs that he played tonight, man, that's real music."

He continues: "This is a celebrational stage and we couldn't play around with him. We had to let him get his garden because he showed up and showed out. That man pulled up to Verzuz three hours early. D'Angelo was the earliest person in Verzuz history tonight so don't get him showing up [at] the time he did mixed up with the pre-show which was by DJ Scratch."

Message received, but could you imagine how many more ladies would've gotten their lives on that night of love? Can you imagine the attempted falsetto singing done by viewers on that special and rare night? It would've been nice to see D'Angelo and Maxwell on the same bill, that's for sure.

Watch Swizz and Timbo talk about the match that could have been while clearing the air about D'Angelo's start-time at around the 4-minute and 20-second mark of the video below.

 

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Rapper Bobby Shmurda poses backstage at Power 105.1's Powerhouse 2014 at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on October 30, 2014 in New York City.
Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for Power 105.1

Bobby Shmurda Returns Home After Serving 6 Years In Prison

After serving 6 years, Bobby Shmurda is finally out. The rapper, born Ackquille Pollard, was granted a conditional release from the New York state prison, Clinton Correctional Facility, on Tuesday morning (Feb. 23) and will serve the remainder of his 7-year sentence on parole. According to reports, Shmurda “will be under community supervision in Kings County until he completes his sentence on February 23, 2026.”

In true celebrity fashion, Shmurda was brought home in a private jet this morning. Earlier this week, Migos' Quavo told Billboard that he would do the honor of picking him up upon Bobby's release. "I'm going to get my guy. I'm personally gonna go pick up Bobby Shmurda. I'm bout to go get him. I'm gonna let him show you how I'm gonna pick him up, yessir. It's gonna be big."

And that he did.

 

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In December 2014, Shmurda was arrested at New York City's Quad Studios and was charged with conspiracy to murder, criminal possession of a weapon, criminally using drug paraphernalia, and reckless endangerment follow a two-year probe by the New York Police Department. In 2016, the former Epic Records signee and his childhood friend Rowdy Rebel accepted a plea deal and were sentenced to 7 years in prison.

“They kind of did it dirty at the end of the day,” Bobby explained in a phone interview with VIBE back in 2016. “They had offered me five (years) but then they said if I take the seven, then I’ll be taking it so that they could give Rowdy seven because they were going to offer him 12. I didn’t want my bro to do 12 years because at the end of the day, we didn’t really do nothing, but they playing dirty. So I’m going to take one for the bro.”

Now that Bobby is out, he'll be spending time with family and friends and getting his head back into creating new music. Watch his FaceTime call with his mother, Leslie, down below.

Welcome back, Bobby.

Bobby Shmurda on facetime with his mom after being released from prison pic.twitter.com/YvdaBzo1Y4

— Bobby Shmurda Updates (@bodboybobby) February 23, 2021

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Fred The Godson attends the Rhymes Over Beats Hip Hop Launch at The Griffin on March 31, 2014 in New York City.
Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage

Fat Joe, Jim Jones and Bronx Community Celebrate Fred The Godson's Street Naming On His Birthday

Today (Feb. 22), the great MC, Fred The Godson, was honored posthumously with a street naming by his Bronx community and hip-hop industry comrades. Among the dozens of those that showed love to the rapper that passed away in April 2020 due to COVID-19 were BX native Fat Joe and Harlem repper Jim Jones. The street's South Bronx location of Leggett avenue and Kelly street will now also be called Fredrick "Fred The Godson" Thomas Way.

While snow fell heavily, the crowd of supporters and the organizers stood strong and watched as the sign was unveiled to cheers of joy. The Fred The Godson Foundation worked hard to make this day happen on what would have been Fred's 36th birthday. "Shortly after Fred’s passing, the Fred The Godson Foundation was created to carry on his legacy for his children and family, and the commitment to his dreams for the Bronx," says the foundation's mission statement. "The mission is to inspire, empower and nourish individuals, children and families in underserved communities, starting with Fred’s birthplace. The foundation will foster community unity through the common pursuit of wellness, prosperity, and opportunity."

 

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Known for having one of the most celebrated flows that included a barrage of double entendres and metaphors that were rarely matched, Fred was a respected MC with enormous skills that were able to get him featured on the famed 2011 XXL 'Freshman' class magazine cover along with Meek Mill, Mac Miller (RIP) and Kendrick Lamar. Jim Jones had some heartfelt words for the one named 'Gordo' at the ceremony, "Fred inspired me to do this music, a lot all over again. There was a time I really didn't want to do no music...and Fred would say, 'Nah, you gotta get in that booth Capo.'"

 

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The Thomas family announced thank you's and love to Councilmember Rafael Salamanca Jr. of District 17 in the South Bronx, Bronx Borough President Ruban Diaz, NYPD's 41st Precinct, and the Bronx community for helping make the Frederick “Fred the Godson” Thomas Way street co-naming possible.

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Much respect to the legacy of the husband and father, Fred The Godson.

 

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