The durag’s rocky introduction to mainstream tradition apart, at present the durag’s legacy is alive and effectively within the black neighborhood. Vann R. Newkirk II’s Durag Historical past Week on Twitter is a tribute to public figures and cultural moments that commemorate the material. In June, Joseph Headen created the primary Durag Fest on the black-owned gallery BLKMRKT in Charlotte, North Carolina, making a ballroom for durags of all lengths and cuts. Movies of younger black males (and a few girls, too) doing “wave checks” have gone viral on social media, and are hypnotic to observe. Every participant, generally in a big group, generally alone, dramatically unties their durag on digicam to disclose — with a lot fanfare and loads of hype — the waves hiding beneath. At some schools, wave checks are bona fide social occasions.
Durag luxurious manufacturers have erupted throughout Instagram, with the headband used as a storytelling gadget for redefining black id by fantasy and design. Dü by Ren Jett makes use of effervescent patterns and lengthened materials to seize the spirit of those that put on their designs. L’Echanteur, a clothes model began by twins in Brooklyn, renders durags in exuberant prints whereas sustaining a rugged vibe. Minimize from denim, velvet, and silk, these durags are meant to final “for a whole bunch of years,” like heirlooms given from one era to the following.
Within the aughts, it was laborious to think about seeing durags in “well mannered” firm, however they’re now seen in locations the place we, and durags, have been as soon as unwelcome.
Over the previous few years, celebrities have additionally been doing their half to reclaim the durag and let it stand in its inherent chicness. Within the aughts, it was laborious to think about seeing durags in “well mannered” firm, however they’re now seen in locations the place we, and durags, have been as soon as unwelcome. In 2014, Rihanna wore a Swarovski crystal-encrusted durag to match her equally blingy Adam Selman gown to gather her CFDA Trend Icon award. That evening, she confirmed the world that the pinnacle tie cannot solely be elegant, however function the right piece to finish a now-iconic look. Two years later, Rihanna wore a durag throughout her VMAs efficiency of “Impolite Boy,” and adorned her fashions in durags for her Fenty X Puma style present in spring 2017.
On the 2018 Met Gala, Solange — draped in a shiny onyx Iris van Herpen fall 2012 couture piece with a sculptural backside — interpreted the durag as a heavenly headpiece. Beneath a braided halo, she wore a black durag with a brilliant lengthy again flap. On the hem of the flap have been the phrases, “My God wears a durag.” This public assertion lastly inaugurated durags right into a realm of sanctity.
Solange’s sister, Beyoncé, with hubby Jay-Z, juxtaposed girls in flowing white durags under Jacques-Louis David’s “Portrait of Madame Récamier” of their music video for “Apeshit.” The video forces the viewer to acknowledge the dearth of black our bodies in esteemed artwork areas, and reconfigure how we decide what’s stunning sufficient to enter these culturally sacred areas.
Within the artwork world, John Edmonds’s pictures depicting males in durags illustrates a fragile romance between the translucent scarf and the boys who put on them. The figures turn into majestic and achingly tender, a facet of black masculinity the media doesn’t instinctually painting. We’re so accustomed to seeing a durag-wearing black man offered as somebody to distrust and worry, as if masking one’s head is proof of villainy fairly than virtuosity.
Blood Orange’s “Jewellery” music and music video discover and problem the unfavourable photographs related to black males carrying durags. Along with Janet Mock, they exalt blackness as jewellery in itself. The opposite facet of “Jewellery” is a metaphor for black resistance. Blood Orange (whose locs are virtually at all times wrapped in a durag) dances in peaceable solitude in a park, illustrating gentle black masculinity and gender fluidity in nature. In the meantime, an angel with an ivory durag hangs out of the window on the passenger facet of a automotive, conjuring photographs of numerous black males who’re murdered by police in their very own automobiles. Right here, the durag takes on a holy position, standing in stark distinction towards the doubtful stereotypes which were constructed round it.
Sharing and controlling the narrative round items of black tradition in public, prestigious, and as soon as privatized areas permits us to shatter the misconceptions behind them, and humanize the individuals who observe them. Finally, we normalize these items into important facets of our tradition — not a situation or exception that may lead folks to additional subcategorize, criminalize, and alienate us.