Like every genre of music, dancehall has its own fashion and flare and that which is quite different from Reggae. Unlike the trends that are associated with the Reggae culture and often comparable to Rastafarian styles, dancehall outfits differ quite significantly.
Female dancehall acts have an unmistakable sexed up and raunchy style, fused with the accessories of shocking colored wigs/hair, platform heels and excessive jewels for example. Nowadays they’ve taken things up a notch with their over-the-top cosmetic enhancements. From head to toes, the ladies stand in a league of their own.
The men on the other hand may dial things down a bit and usually vary broadly in their selections. Younger deejays tend to keep it current and trendy while veterans may dabble in louder styles, like leather ensembles and those with a militant appeal, i.e. bullet proof vests and firearm harnesses. One thing is for certain; dancehall deejays are the only ones in the Jamaican music genre that will fascinate with the trappings of tattoos and skin bleaching.
While this list may include the culprits of some fashion faux pas, as it’s simply just a part of the culture, it will feature the dancehall artistes that have exhibited an advanced taste in their style choices and demonstrated an unyielding flare for fashion over the years
In no particular order, let’s begin …
Appointed ‘Fashion-Forward Queen of Dancehall’ by Vogue Magazine ‘07
All in the name of fashion, this dancehall superstar should perhaps top the list simply for her daring colorism call-to-action she pulled back in 2018 but that’s not why Spice is here.
Spice is one the boldest female deejays you will find. She has found a way to merge two generations of styles into one. Reminiscent of the early 90’s and that of the first matriarch of dancehall fashion; ‘Carlene The Dancehall Queen’, Spice has managed to bring all the bells and whistles of that era and mixed it in with new and trending looks.
Topped off with a flare of eccentricities, the tight and skimpy getups, plus her signature blue Smurfette inspired lacefronts, Spice is also known to don some of the most luxurious big-ticket brands.
“Thirst is nothing image is every ting”- Elephant Man a.k.a The Energy God
Elephant Man is known for many things fashion, one predominant feature that has remained consistent through the years is his flamboyant hairstyles. There is not one pigment on the color spectrum that hasn’t met the fibers of his hair — he has dyed it in every color there is.
Ele’s outfits have been modified with the change in times; nowadays he can be seen rocking designer-brand joggers and close fitting tailored suits all in elaborate colors and patterns.
The overly chunky old-school chapperita chains are still secured in place and boldly stacked around his neck and wrists. To turn up the bling even more, he also now sneers diamond encrusted grillz on his teeth.
“Mek Mi Teach Di Gyal How Fi Be Fashionable!” – D’Angel
Model turned dancehall artiste, and also former CEO of her own clothing boutique ‘Angel’s’ in Kingston, D’Angel is usually the best dressed in the room. She has always had an affliction for fashion and even prides herself as a fashionista. Check out her closet.
While many artistes only turn up their swag for on stage appearances, Michelle Downer is never down on her style. Whether on stage or out and about, she is always on fleek. Fans can catch her making a fashion statement in the supermarket isle.
D’Angel now has a custom apparel line of mainly graphic-tees that she has labeled, Frighten Friday Square Collection, inspired from her 2019 single Frighten Friday. The theme boasts uplifting lyrics from the track such as Nuh Bwoy Cyah Use Mi An Style Mi’ and Yuh Cyah Tek Back Nutten Weh Yuh Buy Mi.
While this is just another side gig in all that blooms fashion, she insists that she is a couture kind of girl.
“Gimme a few million pounds and me show dem some more style” – Stylo G
There’s a reason he’s called Stylo with a G, yep his style’O is G’reat … now you know. The Touch Down artiste can be seen switching from loud fashion to effortless chic, it just all depends on his mood perhaps.
He definitely likes to make a statement in his fashion choices, but don’t get it twisted, even though his outfits may often look costumey, whether it be daring color blends of big print patterns, his name brand tags are never absent. A frequent sport of designer-label tracksuits as well, he certainly makes a casual look pop with his mod-like swag.
Ever since he adapted his edgy looking dreadlocks and the usual escorting headbands, Stylo G has managed to make his look stand out that much more. He loves his bling, he doesn’t go over the top but they’re definitely a staple piece, along with the occasional sparkly outfits and… ohh, his diamond coated grillz, he has that too.