cassette playa.

My friend Jen and I like to exclaim “It’s so New Rave!” Hilarity ensues. (To be fair, we are also moved to hysterics by “Que pasa?”) Maybe this is the sort of joke that only individuals working in the fashion industry can truly appreciate.

Regardless, New Rave is everywhere. This is probably a poor label for the actual look, which is really a blend of rave, late 80s hip hop (think Color Me Badd meets Funky Cold Medina meets the video for “Bust a Move”), the Fly Girls, and the mid 80s neon color palette. In other words, throw everything showy and colorful from the last 20-ish years (leave out the neutral color palettes and general grunginess of the mid-90s), and voila…NEW RAVE!

Stylist/designer/friend of MIA Carrie Mundane, aka Cassette Playa, is the pace-setter for this concept.

“Cassette playa is about hacking reality, a hallucinogenic infection / krayola injection”

Ben Reardon, editor of i-D :
“Cassette Playa is Nando’s, it’s grime, it’s dang, it’s nang, it’s day realness, it’s major brappage. Fo’ sheezy, Cassette Playa delivers both mental and physical vitality while supporting the immune system. It just, you know, feels MODERN.”

MIA, dressed by Cassette Playa. This prompted many of my fruitless searches on Ebay for hot 80s leggings (allegedly plentiful in Iceland).

Being that the above outfits might be a little excessive for the office, grocery store, and even walking down the street (last night I found myself ordering a digital sandwich at Wawa while wearing electric orange/red spandex leggings and a purple hoodie dress, and I felt a little too “much”), here are some more practical options:


…from Urban Outfitters, great with a technicolor hoodie from American Apparel. That’s not too painful, right?


…not the best photo ever, but this was all I could find. This summer, Reebok will be unleashing the Freestyle in neon pink, blue, and yellow. If you are impatient (like myself), try a plain black or white pair with bright slouch socks and contrast leggings/tights.

What else? Gold doorknocker earrings, lots of gold chains…maybe a headband if you are that kind of girl.

If you are a little bit more Lily Allen-ish (I am not ashamed to admit that I am), wearing a neon t-shirt with your smocked sundress and high tops will suffice. Come to think of it, I have an awesome pair of hot pink earrings from H + M that would work well with that outfit tomorrow…

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