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Monday, June 17, 2024

I am fashion: Style moments from the “I Made Rock and Roll Festival”

"Tasha Jones is a rare and wonderful artist that strikes a balance in a world so often lopsided. She has the soul of a Nikki Giovanni draped in the Haute Couture fashions of a runway model. Jones is a student of life and a teacher of lessons. On stage, she tells the story of her life and, in doing so, tells the story of all women, a story of love, loss, and life. She offers a perspective, poignancy, and insight in her writing that allows men to see themselves through her work and women to see themselves in her work. She proves herself to be simultaneously what women are and what they aspire to be. Once you've experienced her for yourself, you will feel better, wiser, and are enriched for it." — Jon Goode

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Tiffanie King
Tiffanie King rocks out at the inaugural “I Made Rock’n’Roll Festival.” (Photos/LaTasha Boyd Jones)

Indianapolis proudly hosted the inaugural I Made Rock ‘N’ Roll Festival, a truly unique event that lived up to its name. The festival, aptly titled I Made Rock ‘N’ Roll (IMRR), was not just a music celebration, but a masterclass in narrative control, authorship amplification, and cultural reclamation. The visionary behind this event, Alan Bacon Jr., a musician and co-founder of GangGang, brought his resonant understanding of American-made genres and his passion for celebrating the historical legacy of Black culture to create this one-of-a-kind festival.

The event’s fanfare took center stage on May 18, 2024, at the American Legion Mall and was a melting pot of great music and fantastic food. IMRR attracted a diverse audience, from die-hard music lovers to fashion enthusiasts, united by the love of culture and community. The musical-themed selfie stations engaged attendees, and the red carpet garnered looks wooed people watchers. Whether festival goers were learning about rock roots or knew of Rock ‘N’ Roll’s origins, the fashion was to be honored along with the music.

The style statements were eclectic, a testament to the individuality and creativity of the attendees. There was no distinct visual code or an overwhelming amount of festival fashion. IMRR was not bombarded with fringe, fringe, and more fringe. There were no hippie headbands, boho-chic skirts, or overpopulated looks stemming from chronic online fashion trends or fast fashion. Instead, we saw a mix of self-assured, culturally in tune, and comfortable styles that reflected the individualism and inventiveness of the attendees.

Fashion classics like the little black dress were reintroduced with eye-popping color schemes and patterns. Handmade, carefully woven, color-rich fabrics from South Africa, Thailand, and Morocco warranted a step and repeat. Some vintage vestiges took us to and through the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s eras. Fashion-forward attendees hinted at where fashion is going. The hairstyles were equally alluring; the blowouts, afros, locs, braids, fades, and color-blocked stylings were a work of art. The conversation paralleled the adorned works of art; patrons wanted to lend insight into their looks, where they came from, and why IMRR was the place for it! I took a gallery walk through IMMR and enjoyed every minute of it.

The matriarch and north star of GangGang, Mali Bacon, guided art’s potentialities and accommodated the full range of beauty aesthetics at the convergence of culture, art, and music; Bacon donned the event in a metallic orange A-line mini that was sleek and sophisticated. Tiffanie King, a yoga coach, wore digs from Thailand and Morocco, and her color-blocked hairstyle was one for the ages. Doug Morris sported a tailored suit from South Africa; the rich mustard color and utility cut was top-tier.

GangGang has created a visibility of diversity through the arts that continues to make Indiana attractive. Indianapolis is quickly becoming a go-to place for culture, art, and beauty, which is both a reward and a risk for mainstream visibility, but Indiana is here for it. Enjoy the festival ‘fit cam’ highlights, and be sure to share your festival fits online with me. I’d love to see it!!

Fashion ‘fit cam’ highlights

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