Story by Hunter Tanem
After many years of not releasing any content, Solange Knowles ---- dropped her new album on Sept. 30. A Seat at the Table embraces blackness and empowerment through its lyrical content and accompanying visual. Along with the album, two music videos for “Cranes in the Sky” and “Don’t Touch My Hair” were released on Oct. 2nd. Both music videos utilize minimalist fashion while managing to profess an embrace of cultural backgrounds.
Following the neo-soul vibes of the songs on the album, the outfits infuse a grungy vibe with vintage elements. The styling of Solange and the video extras are reminiscent of Kanye West’s Yeezy line, where the main focus is on destruction and color palette simplification. Pulling in lavish fur coats in “Cranes in the Sky” and 1920s slick and curled hair in “Don’t Touch My Hair” help juxtapose the modern aesthetic with a sense of classicism. Many visual themes were pulled from the 2016 fall runway, including large furry jackets, tinsel and neutral monochromatic palettes.
The styling within both videos is on trend, so finding pieces to recreate looks should relatively simple. This Kimchi Blue Shaggy Fur Coat from Urban Outfitters is similar to Solange’s oversized pink coat from “Cranes in the Sky” and the fur coat elements from “Don’t Touch My Hair.” A High Collar Camel Coat and trousers from Zara reference the neutral tones incorporated into the visuals.
The color palettes and styling are used to heighten the beauty of the all-black ensemble. Deep primary colors and nudes highlight the skintone of Solange and the models, and the use of braids, beaded hair afros-- and refined makeup further exemplify the natural beauty look. The simplicity in outfits emphasize the individual beauty of the models from the videos, all of which are black. The visuals create a sense of pride cohesion in differentiation, which ultimately are the basis for Solange’s socially aware album. “Don’t Touch My Hair” is an anthem for black women embracing themselves for who they are. Within the song, Solange sings, “don’t touch my pride; they say the glory is all mine.” Both biblical and socially driven, Solange finds strength in what makes her who she is-- her natural hair. The songs’ lyrics will prevail as the primary transportation of her message, but the minimalist visuals develop the context and a stunning narrative to attribute her messages.
After a four-year hiatus, Solange releases a visual and auditory treat that empowers its listeners. Fashion forward and simplistic in construction, the styling can be easily mimicked in an everyday wardrobe. The music transposes from its visual medium to your closet. One will feel empowered by embracing their skin and showing it off through fashion and styling.