Wilbert talks to artist and designer Taz Arnold about how to dress when you're a Freaky Bitch

June 12, 2012 3:43 PM

It's so lame when you go to a fashion site and they have features like "What to Wear to Work" or "How to Dress When You Meet Your BF/GF's Parents." Who even has jobs or long term relationships anymore? Don't let those losers dumb your life down into cookie cutter scenarios. You're much more of an individual. You have crazy unique experiences, like the time you went to a gay strip club with your first grade teacher and he bought you a lap dance or that other time you tongue-kissed your cousin in church just to find out if the intense level of sin would make you both disintegrate into dogma dust. And during both of those incredibly weird and strange happenings, didn't you wish you had worn a better outfit? Well, this column is here to solve your super obscure and strange fashion needs with the help of really famous or, at the very least, really cool people's advice.

For the inaugural "What to Wear When," I tapped Taz Arnold. Taz is a regular renaissance man, constantly creating in so many mediums it's kind of impossible to keep up. He's known by most as a member of Sa-Ra Creative Partners, the hip-hop group and production powerhouse that has crafted beats for legends like Jay-Z  and Dr. Dre, and released their own stellar albums. He's also a street fashion maven, running his own label Tisa, which helped spawn the current  snap-back craze and has turned out an incredible collaborative collection with luxury leather brand MCM. Right now he's focusing on growing his vintage Ralph Lauren-inspired El Americans fashion label—in the 90s Taz was a well known Ralph Lauren enthusiast and booster. 

Taz just dropped his first solo LP, Rad America, which features the sexy single "Freaky Bitch." Excited about the prospect of being a freaky bitch myself, I wondered what does one wear when they get into freaky bitch mode? And so started my hypothetical discussion on what to wear when, with Taz Arnold. 

Wilbert L. Cooper: So, there's a huge party being thrown by Twelv Magazine for Obama's second inauguration ceremony and I get invited. I'm bringing ethiopian model Liya Kebede as my date, and I want to look like your music sounds—completely "Freaky Bitch." What should I have on?
Taz Arnold: I would suggest a tuxedo, a really a fitted tuxedo. One that is on some James Bond or Peter Gabriel type shit—very sophisticated and chic.

How would you accessorize it?
Everything would have to be understated with gold accents. But maybe blow them away with some gold shoes.

OK, and what about my girl Liya Kebede? Given her profession, I imagine she's well versed in the ways of the "Freaky Bitch."
The lady might wear some lingerie and a garter belt  with a longer trench coat on top and some heels. That's the kind of outfit that you can get crazy with really quick. It definitely promotes some freaky scenarios without being too risqué.

What kind of lingerie?
Anything that has some French lace. It could have a little black or red satin. No brand in particular, though. Whatever is her favorite. The more time she puts into it, the more freaky it will be—and the more effective. And she can still wear a very nice trench coat and very nice shoes to offset the sexy.

Was there ever a tuxedo that you wore that really made you feel like you were a freaky bitch?
I produced a song with my group Sa-Ra that has everybody on it; Kanye West, Bentley Farnsworth, Andre 3000. We are all in the video wearing these Hugo Boss tuxedos. I'm not too into Hugo, but there was something about these particular tuxedos that was special. It might have been the way we had them altered.

What'd you do to them?
We went to the tailor and had them fitted like we were in the 60s with the flooded pant legs that let people see our socks. I felt like I was David Ruffin from the Temptations. It was the first time I'd ever worn a tuxedo and it really helped change my perspective on formal dressing.

How so?
I could see how a well cultured man back in the day with his mind focused on being successful in business or trying to look sharp for the ladies would wear clothes like that regularly. It represents a certain classiness that people don't have as much today. It's great too because with the pants up about a half inch higher than they would regularly be, you get that sleek effect. None of that baggy stuff. People didn't wear that back in the 50s and 60s.

A Twelv party is where I want to look like a freaky bitch. How about you? What's your ideal place to really express yourself through your clothes?
Paris. It's kind of corny because a lot of rappers are talking about Paris right now, but its true. I really love that city, it's so romantic. 

Any event in particular?
Paris during Fashion Week, where everyone is just enjoying each other's fashion and style.

Yeah, people still talk about the leopard print pants you wore to Fashion Week years ago when you were hanging with Kanye. They even spoofed that outfit in South Park! You definitely had your freak bitch swag on there. Moving on to scents, what kind of fragrances might you use to complete the whole package?
I really like Bond Street Cologne. But when I want to step it up, I like to use some oils from India or maybe Malaysia. Oils like that can run you up to $400 for one bottle. But it's worth it, because the right scent can send a girl who's not really thinking about you way into her favor.

Really? Any experiences with that?
Definitely. I was hanging out with a chick, she lived in Clinton Heights. I was just stopping by to see her house. We were both attracted to each other, but it wasn't a pending situation of us having sex.

And you had on the oils?
Yeah, and every time I would sit next to her she would move away. I thought I had done something wrong. She wouldn't even let me get close enough to her to talk. And I didn't want to be yelling in her apartment. I asked what was up and she was like, "Uhhh, you smell really good." So, I kind of cornered her and was like, "I think you're moving around too much."

And the rest is history… Thanks for the tips Taz! Those oils are on my shopping list. I'm trying to get my freaky bitch on ASAP. 

Listen to Taz's new album Rad American below:


Wilbert L. Cooper is an assistant editor at VICE Magazine. He loves his job and Morris Day and the Time. Follow him on Twitter: @WilbertLCooper 

edited by Jessica Appelstein

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