Day N Night took place last weekend from Sept. 8-10 at Angels Stadium in Anaheim. It was quite the multicultural experience.
The Los Angeles Times describes Day N Night as a “sprawling, almost totally comprehensive hip-hop festival.” Though “comprehensive” probably refers to the hip-hop lineup, I think it’s representative of the demographic of attendees, the clothes I saw, and the mix of cultures that influenced them. L.A.’s knack for fusion really showed last weekend.
I didn’t choose to go to Day N Night because of the branding. That’s a silly reason to drop $200. However, the branding experience of the festival certainly defined it. My weekend was a cross between hip-hop/rap culture, which is historically and dominantly black culture, new wave Asian influence, and retro punk and rock culture. Outfits, songs and friend groups were all pieced together under a signature “post-cultural-ness,” unique to Los Angeles.
In retrospect, this fusion experience is my big $200 takeaway, whether that was intentional or not. First off, the event website, merch, and graphics featured a yin-yang logo icon and Asian-esque font. I’m curious to reach out to the event planners about whether the branding of the whole event was branded with an Asian aesthetic intentionally, or if today’s hip-hop just borrows heavily from Asian and fusion subcultures and therefore the potpourri of visuals and sounds I experienced was just a by-product of the times. Rich Chigga’s set featured Zhu, anime influenced Lil Uzi Vert’s visuals, and Kendrick Lamar headlined as “Kung Fu Kenny” on Sunday night. This vibe was not limited to the show: the festival attendees were part of the spectacle.
What are staples? What are trends? Converse meets embroidery, overalls meet leopard print. We might not notice it, but the patterns and colors we put on are on loan from different time periods and cultures. The bird-stitched bra evokes an Asian embroidery that is highly trendy right now. Overalls and animal print are making a comeback. Skate shoes are classic and retro at the same time. Day N Night festival-goers are young, so it’ll be fun to find these photos again in 20 years to see if that longevity still holds true. Most things aren’t trendy forever.
The more we wear what we wear, the more we wear out their old connotations. Converse used to be a pop punk staple, but today we pair Chucks with Supreme at a hip-hop festival. And in a few years, Converse might not evoke this alternative hip-hop style either. A quirky 1992 TLC shirt might have been tacky five years ago, but again, we subvert and evolve and call it trend today. And tomorrow, maybe it’ll be off-trend again. We borrow and borrow from other music genres, reaching to other countries, raiding our parents’ teenage closets. The connotations of classics change over time. Our clothes are a reality of redux — a very comprehensive one.
Kimonos, rice hats, ’60s sunglasses, band tees and classic Vans were abound during the weekend. I regret not taking more photos. Collecting outfits has turned out to be more awkward than I imagined. But really, this column is about my own understanding of fashion and how clothes are more than just a defense against natural forces. They’re a defense against certain judgments and a proponent for others. Shirts and socks speak not only worlds, but also eras and histories. Likes and dislikes. TV shows. We might be in our thoughts, enjoying the musical spectacle. But our clothes are always talking, every day and every night.
Thank you for listening.