Baltimore rapper Rye Rye has been overshadowing her musical mentor M.I.A. as of late, collaborating with rising high-fashion designer Prabal Gurung for a fashion video featuring his 2012 Resort collection. While this is not her first fashion video, it seems the lively, awesomely coiffed rapper is moving up the fashion muse ranks.
Featuring her song "New Thing"--which presumably will be on her yet-to-be-released studio Go! Pop! Bang!--Rye Rye dances it out in Gurung's sequined, polka-dotted and button-down pieces backed up by similarly dressed and tress'd dancers. Upon first watch, it feels a bit contrived ("Everything new / 'cause I'm just cool"), but once you block out the fact she's hocking Gurung's designs, it feels like real and straightforward music video. And the designer giving Rye Rye top billing was a nice touch.
Gurung, who just last week won a CFDA award for his womenswear (kind of like a Grammy for fashion), is known for his edgy twists on chic classics and counts First Lady Michelle Obama as a client. By casting Rye Rye, Gurung must be trying to expand his reach to a younger, hipper market. If anything, Rye Rye is the one doing him a favor by letting him recruit her B-more cool. Not bad for a fashion-funded music video.
But take note: Resort collections are clothes specifically made to be worn on vacation in the winter when rich people generally travel to exotic locales to avoid the chilly weather. I can't imagine many young, hip people like Rye Rye can A. Afford a Prabal Gurung piece (which averages around $1,000) and B. Afford to buy a trip to somewhere like St. Barths and wear said piece on a yacht as it's meant to.
This isn't the first time Rye Rye has collaborated with a designer for a music video. Just this past spring, she worked with Los Angeles streetwear brand Dimepiece for her "Hardcore Girls" video. Prabal Gurung's sophisticated clothes look a bit forced on Rye Rye compared to the seamless match she made with Dimepiece. But with a fashion world darling like Gurung on her side, Rye Rye could be a front row fixture at the next fashion week and join the ranks of Beth Ditto and Lady Gaga as a certified fashion muse. M.I.A. has been seen palling around with Donatella Versace recently, so fashion stardom can't be far off.
Watch Rye Rye's "New Thing" video for Prabal Gurung:
In other collaboration news, Rye Rye has recently covered Swedish pop singer Robyn's hit, "Be Mine!" that was initially released in 2005 in Scandinavia, then with a music video in 2007. Ditching the angsty dance elements for a slowed down R&B beat, Rye Rye's re-interpretation brings the sentiment of love and hope to the forefront while adding her own rhymes. Featuring a desolate Los Angeles landscape, Robyn guest stars in the renamed "Never Will Be Mine" music video directed by Tim Nakashi:
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