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Music Makes Fashion

Video killed the radio star. If so, then fashion can make both the radio and video stars. The Village People and Marilyn Manson would hardly be the same without their respective headdress or latex suit.

Nowadays music stars define 'the look' of the moment. Gwen Stefani, the lead singer of No Doubt, is set to debut her collection L.A.M.B. this upcoming spring. Meantime P. Diddy's Sean John Collection grosses millions. And from our own home front, a bevy of musical artists or collectives are spinning their own styles.

Justin Marine, founder of Mixer Friendly, produces and spins for his monthly parties, "Boogie Boutique" that is held at Soluna near the Civic Center. He not only mixes his friendly tunes but also designs for flyers, tape covers, and now his own tees.

"The city of San Francisco is a huge inspiration for me," Justin says of his music and designs.

For this spring he plans to silk screen tees with designs of analog equipment which references the early techno music scene. Other designs include prints of legendary house deejays such as Frankie Knuckles with an image of "knuckles" underneath.

Mixer Friendly isn't the only music maestro making fashion statements. Dre Sibayan's drawing of a monkey eating a record threw Exact-Science Productions into the fashion forefront.

Exact-Science Productions was born in the summer of 1999 and initially came together to promote electro and hip hop parties around the city. Brad Steinberg and Andrew Kringstein, two of the four-member collective, were the ones who launched Dre's monkey design into the fashion foray. The tees were first sold from their backpacks at musical venues around town. The fourth member, Bret Lee is the catch-all man who handles the business affairs.

The tee's designs are "high concept, simply stated, unique imagery that centers on graphical interpretations of San Francisco underground culture." For their Spring 2004 line, there will be more collaborations with photographers and artists to help design the tees around a particular theme. The project aims to bring together various artists to interpret the music experiences they share.

Recently Dre used the imagery of Ernie Paniccioli, a reputable hip hop photographer, as part of his designs that are available as both prints and on tees.

Other well established and venerable collectives include Future Primitive Sound and Upper Playground who have their own store fronts which showcase the music they appreciate. In addition to art or photography or musical happenings, these collectives also express their appreciation for hip hop via designs on tee shirts, hoodies, and sweatshirts.

Whatever the music genre, its sounds inspire many realms which include art, dance and fashion. It's beyond the grunge rocker's torn jeans, the raver's Adidas track suits or the rapper's shiny hubcap medallion necklaces. It's about the sound that reverberates and inspires the collective of musicians' and artists' to express something that not only can be heard, but also worn.