Ethnic Punky Chic – It’s All Very A$AP Rocky

Jefferson Ellison
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It’s the best-kept secret in popular culture that gay men are the driving force in current women’s fashion. It’s also worth noting that women are a blossoming trend in gay male culture as well. While the two worlds are intertwined, there has always been a slight feud over who was the “Queen Bee”. But honestly, one simply could not exist without the other, the importance of both is undeniable.

Gay men tend to be more outlandish, eccentric and will push the envelope – even if it is vicariously through their best gal pals- which is half the reason why you see a random woman in micro mini and spikey shoes, most likely, her “gurlfriends” told her it was fierce. Meanwhile, women are a crucial part of gay male culture because they are the other half of it. Without them gay men would just be… men. On top of that they’re the best friend. If Sex and the City and Gossip Girl have taught you anything, it’s that your best friend is your biggest competition.

So when it comes to fashion, if you ever want to know what will be big next season in the west village or trending in Soho, just look at what’s hot now for all the fabulous women (rich women but not famous, and not between the ages of 16 and 28). Even if a woman doesn’t have a gay best friend, one directly influences her. Either he does her hair, make up, nails, or he’s her stylist. Which is basically permission to try things on her first that he secretly can’t wait to come out in his size. And the trend on the top of everyone’s lips? Ethnic Punky Chic.

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I couldn’t officially declare this until after the Met Gala, because nothing is official until both Anna Wintour and Beyonce have condoned it, and been photographed multiple times. Between “it” girls like Rihanna, Ciara, and trust fund children of New York such as Angela Simmons, I’m not really sure who made the decision to bring this trend to the forefront of social fashion, but they are doing so with a vengeance. If you’re not sure what it is, take a look:

ethnic punky chic


angela simmons met ball
Why it works:

The edgy, cool but still “better than you in my couture” look works, because that’s exactly what it is. It’s urban and edgy and provocative, but created with delicate overpriced pieces. Whenever you can wear a Chanel couture jacket and Dr. Martens at the same time, it’s a good look. It’s a juxtaposition that takes the world on a journey, and like Diana Vreeland said, “the eye MUST travel”.

Delicate fabrics paired with jarring accessories create a swinging sartorialistic pendulum, and it’s fabulous. As I told my mother, “it’s all very A$AP Rocky”

Making the look work for you:

As with any look, you have to know your body, know your brands and govern your self accordingly. For instance, I tell my clients Chanel runs about a size smaller, so if you know you want to wear a Chanel jacket a little loose, and you’re a size 4, you’re going to need to be a size 8 (US measurements). One size for accuracy, and one more for drama. For men it’s all about cut. Especially when it comes to bottoms. Knowing the difference between a straight leg, a boot cut, and/or harem versus trouser pants can make all the difference when you’re trying to sell a monochromatic printed look.

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Secondly, you never want to do too much. While I have always been a supporter of over dressing, when it comes to looks like this you have to be careful. As seen on the red carpet of the Met, it is easy to go from forward and innovative (Donatella, Angela Simmons, Madonna) and straight to costume (Miley Cyrus), but the look works best when you’re right in the middle, cue Sienna Miller in Burberry.

kimye met gala


miley cyrus met gala

How to Get This look:

I know I mention women who pull off this look, nut that’s simply because I like to take outfits inspired by women and make them work for me. As a general rule, go in your closet and throw out everything with rainbow colours in it. You only need neutrals, prints, and dark plaids. Buy a pair of Dr. Martens, your pick. Invest in leather, studs, and gold.

Go To’s:

Oversized basic tees.
Printed/graphic tops
Graphic whimsical shirts.
Vintage dark denim.
Leather pants.
Biker jackets.
Black Skinny jeans

Brands To Watch:

Been Trill
Hood by Air
Alexander Wang
T by Alexander Wang
Asos Black

Celebrity Style Watch:

Kanye West
Angela Aimmons
Chris Brown
Miley Cyrus

About Jefferson Ellison

Jefferson Ellison is a stylist and creative consultant based in the United States.; @jdpellison.