A Homage to the Greats, Afropunk's Steady Revival

10:46 PM missusmonroe 0 Comments

It's been a while. And there are many of things I want and need to discuss but I just settled from Afropunk 2019 and honestly I'd like to talk about that! At this point we've removed the makeup, the body paint, took off the "costumes" cause that's what they are really, y'all have finally hung up those poorly constructed wigs and now we can attempt to recuperate and adjust to a normal scheduled program of life. It was a wild ride though! If you don't remember, last year I did an AP recap asking the rightful, in my opinion, question Did Afropunk Sellout? and I've been asking that question ever since. I think a couple of people might have slightly agreed with that notion of curiosity judging by the mass dip in attendance this year coupled with the conversation sparked from said post. And I'd like to know what others think is why.

Well, I never really got an answer, not that I thought I would, but I can say that this year... was different. The vibe was different, many of the attendees' energy was different.. I just enjoyed myself far more than last year and even the year prior. There's no equation to it really other than I feel as though AP went back to the drawing board a bit and attempted to hone into their principles, their beginnings..yknow.. blackness/creation and not profit. What it looks, feels, and sounds like to be a black outcast if you will, and creating a space for others alike. There's always time for profit. That's the thing, money doesn't go away, it's here forever but your integrity sure does. I know for a fact it also really helped that far less people attended. Don't get me wrong, there were a lot of attention-chasing, pre-planned couple fits, and a little too put together arrangements but compared to previous years it was certainly manageable.

My personal experience was also drastically "un-normal" because I felt as though this was my real first year attending as a Brooklyn resident. A thorough resident, not a visitor and not someone who just moved in across the street a month ago. I had previously established relationships, I came on the first day with a friend..you all know I don't do that shit! I show up on all of my dolo to solo shit and make do but this time around was genuinely different. And I liked it. I felt as though I created my own standard, my own normal this year and I'm not mad at it. Change is bound to happen, it's inevitable and can be great but the importance is not to lose the foundation... that word every time I say it has a different implication now and resignation but it's the truth.

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As for me, this summer I've really been stuck in the early 2000s and last legs of the 90s. And I've known what I was going to do for my hair for months now, a lot of the time for big events such as this whatever you see was probably a year+ old thought. I definitely briefly thought of this headpiece last year but could not figure out the name to express ship it. Til this day I still don't know what it's called but I do know it worked perfectly in the time period it was supposed to. I didn't have too much of a fight with USPS this year which brought down my blood pressure, and made for a less anxiety driven prep. Everything actually arrived on time. Imagine that!

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My Saturday outfit came straight from the internet, there wasn't much deep thought or  customization into it besides from wanting some low-riders for a long time now and being in this nostalgic ass mood. I searched for what I wanted and literally stumbled upon this. The set was available in either red, black, pink, or lime. We all know what was first automatically withdrawn from that list and then I just knew I didn't want to have a lime moment, spoiler alert I had one. I hesitated with red initially because I did not want to accentuate my undertones so explicitly but seeing as though I wasn't in love with the other palettes, it would have to do. I knew I wanted to wear platforms to AP since years ago but I didn't actually want to wear heels of any sort. A funky take of the flatform it is! Then, my initial plan was to get a gold headpiece and I'd wanted throughout it to be similar to the coin charms but I could not for the life of me find such. So I opted for the white to make my shoes (forcefully) relate to everything else that was going on. It worked lol.
Captured by @thelensofnovakane

Captured by @thelensofnovakane

My Sunday get together was the prized possession all along. Months and months ago I saved Solange's Evening Standard cover photo with the braided hair art to my phone because it was literally a sight to be seen. I knew I wanted to recreate it for something and when the time rolled around it was only right Afropunk would be the recipient. And can I tell y'all how long I've wanted to recreate a Lil Kim ensemble? Because it's been a thing. What better than to, the day prior to the VMAs, remind everyone of when our living legend shook us for the nth time? For the construction of this I really just hand picked a bodysuit that was on sale, it didn't need to be all pretty I was going to cut it up anyway. I did want it to be of two things though, wide legged because of a vibe and see-through because... well, me. 

Captured by @thelensofnovakane

I cut, sewed, reconstructed it all, in fact I didn't even add the feather trim like I'd envisioned but I'm glad I didn't because that would've probable given a naught Mrs. Claus look that I was not under any means going for. I hand braided my crown, okay see let's discuss my hair. ~gasps in laughter~ I searched high and low for the damn hair coloring wax that would get to me in time.. I initially was to do a braided platinum cornrow wig but decided against it; so I wanted to temporarily color my hair a bright blond, braid it, install the headpiece. Well. After much ado the wax did come in time, I applied it the day prior, mixing the white and gold to hopefully get a brighter gold.. baby when I separated my hair it looked like I had already been to and back from the festival circa 2016. I looked dusty.

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I really had to think quickly at that point because I'd spent all morning braiding, after forcefully dragging myself up, and at that point was already terribly late. Then the wire was actually playing with me, mocking me really so I changed the entire design of the braids bro I was tiyad. At that point I said to myself I just need to throw something onto these braids because the front is all that matter at the present and presently the front looks fucked.
I problem-solved in a matter of seconds and thus created what you see here..what hundreds saw. Literally amazing. This year was homage to my legends, to icons in this black woman world game, the creative mind and industry game. True outcasts, punks if you will, creating spaces and lanes for other misunderstood black humans to just be themselves and live off of that.

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In my eyes that is what Afropunk is all about. But let me not talk on and on about it, I'd rather show it in this interview I did on the lawn with Essence! Check it out y'all. This year was surely one to remember.

xxoo missusmonroe

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Captured by @thelensofnovakane
Captured by @thelensofnovakane

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