"I want to be remembered as a fashion icon because man, do I know how to f*cking dress." (See the video)
It's rare the the internet disappoints me. I do feel however that not enough has been said about Eminem's recent wardrobe transformation. For those of you who don't know, I love Eminem. Yeah I know it's weird for a bourgeois feminist with a gay best friend. But there you go. I think he's a brilliant storyteller. From a physical perspective, he was one of my favorite heartthrobs as a teen. Here's an example of his fine vintage self.
Since their collaboration on Stan at the Grammys, Elton and Em have become friends. You can read about Em's raunchy wedding president to Elton here.
After the jump, we'll look at his recent style transformation.
So the biggest change is obviously the the return to his natural hair color. He says he has no intention of going back anytime soon.
On his new grown-up look (he's 38 after all!) Eminem's stylist Malgosia explains:
"Hip-hop showed a lot of oversized sweats back in the day, currently the silhouettes are cut leaner as you can see in most current collections. It is obvious that Eminem's style has adapted to this change and that he continues to be a style icon. Back when he had the bleached hair and the oversized clothing, it actually really worked for him at the time and even today, that look is and always will be Slim Shady, at least that is what I believe. I think it is refreshing to see him wear more high-end pieces in leather or denim. I definitely cannot take full credit for that transformation, but I think it shows his evolution as a style icon and visually exemplifies the grownup Eminem." (full intereview here)
Here are a couple of examples of his new look.
His new favorite Kagnol military cap, a step up from the backwards visor.
Wearing a Gucci jacket while performing on SNL. Here's a link with suggestions as to how to recreate this look. This link recreates the looks in the "Forever" Video of Drake, Lil 'Wayne, Kayne, and of course Eminem.
At the 2010 VMAs with Rhianna performing "Not Afraid" and "Love the Way You Lie". He'll still staying street with a hood, but also incorporates leather and black denim, a Casio G Shock Watch ($99) and black boots (versus sneakers). In terms of Rhianna as much as we (and by we I mean my friend with an opinion on the matter) liked her hair more before, the red hair and white tulle does look good with the fire imagery on stage for this performance. I also love her headband and combat boots.
Finally, here's his collaboration with Chrysler, "Born of Fire" the longest ad in Superbowl history. This is some Mad Men-level corporate propaganda right here. I do appreciate a well crafted advertisement. The clip features Em and the beat from "Lose Yourself" for which he won both a Grammy and the Academy Award for Best Original Song (8 Mile). I know it's an ad for a car, and a car that's not personally my style, but I buy the narrative paralleling of Eminem's "Recovery" (his new album's title) and the rising of the American car (and thus Detroit) from the ashes. If you're interested in reading a bit more about the political debate and reaction to the ad, click here (news story) or here (editorial). A portion of the proceeds from the sale of "Imported from Detroit" merchandise are going to charity, including the Marshall Mathers Foundation.
In conclusion, Eminem is an important cultural force and I think it's great that he's wearing slightly more fitted pants and has invested in a leather jacket.
-If you're interested in buying some of Em's pieces, check out the links here.
-For a great appraisal and slide show of his award show sweatsuits, click here.
-To read about the book Heart Soul Detroit (cover seen above), click here.