Bloomfield.Works’ “Wake the Town” Collection Catches the Rhythm of Dancehall
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The Caribbeans is undoubtedly a major source of infatuation for fashion and pop culture nowadays. Supreme honored the reggae legend, Buju Banton, Levi’s FW18 collection channeled dancehall vibes, and Drake, well, gave us cringe Patois on two back-to-back albums.
Of course, the Caribbean islands are rich in visual beauty and culture, but it’s not any brand or figure’s playground for aesthetic purposes. For some, like Black-owned brand Bloomfield.Works, the spirit of the islands flows in its DNA.
Through its latest collection, Bloomfield.Works taps back into its Caribbean roots, reclaiming the narrative authentically through the lens of its Jamaican-descent founder Warren Cochrane.
“Through conversations with my dad, uncles, and aunts, I’ve always been able to piece together the characters and iconography of dancehall during that time,” Cochrane shared with Highsnobiety.
“[My dad] was a selector in that period, so in a lot of ways, this collection is a dedication to him as much as it is that era.”
The ackee, the national fruit of Jamaica, gets the airbrush treatment on a long sleeve shirt. Meanwhile, the phrase “Walk Like a Champion” and the collection’s title “Wake The Town” acknowledges classic reggae anthems like Buju Banton’s “Champion” and Daddy U Roy’s “Wake the Town.”
A Marcus Garvey button-up shirt touts an all-over graphic of the famous Jamaican activist. The words “LOOK FOR ME IN THE WHIRLWIND” circle the shirt’s Garvey illustration, nodding to his highly-recognized 1925 speech delivered from Atlanta Prison, which appears in the 2001 documentary Marcus Garvey: Look For Me in the Whirlwind.
“Much of what would make up those dancehalls (the Garvey illustrations on the wall, meals, clothes, and palettes) are just as pivotal to the night as the music,” Cochrane adds.
The “selector” theme has become somewhat of a perennial facet of Bloomfield.Works, with Cochrane defining the term as “the tone-setter for the vibes.”
After showing up in the brand’s Concept 006 rollout, Bloomfield.Works revisits the evergreen “selector” motif through the latest collection’s tees dressed in hues inspired by the Rastafarian movement.
In 2020, the Black community’s unity and support proved unwavering during the George Floyd protests, forcing the nation to open its eye to its long history of injustices against people of color.
During that time, we also witnessed a major boom in Black-owned businesses, and amongst the list of new Black brands on the block was Cochrane’s Bloomfield.Works.
With the Black community in mind, Bloomfield.Works manifested as “contemporary expression” of “Black reverence,” essentially retelling the stories of our rich cultural history, especially our widespread musical impact, through contemporary apparel styles.
“It was my way of making my art and ideas actionable to help my community as well as a steady stream of self-expression,” Cochrane states. “Today, we still carry that community messaging and intention while delving into different musical motifs.”
Speaking of music, you know what would go great with Bloomfield. Works’ “Wake The Town” collection? Rihanna’s long-awaited reggae album (I’m wishfully thinking, of course).
Anyways, you can catch Bloomfield.Works’ latest collection on July 21 on Bloomfield.Works’ website. Whether it be Drake’s bad Patois or authentic dancehall bops, the shopping music selections will be entirely up to you.