AVENUE D's autumn collection

 

IMAGE - ANT WALLACE

WORDS: AMP
PHOTOGRAPHY: ANT WALLACE

Round-toed shoes. Demure, sculpted tailoring. A blouse buttoned up to the neck, worn with a cashmere tank-top. A wool/tweed knee-length skirt. A prim, small-framed bag in coloured mock croc. A--

SHUT UP! AND STICK IT IN! SHUT UP AND STICK IT IN!

Last season's brazen flesh parade looks so 'oh no no' now. Think muted greys and eau de nil: sophist-sexy, not blatant-sexy. Think pinstripe, think herringbone; think classic wool. Think grown-up. Think minimal. Think discreet. Think --

SHUT UP! AND STICK IT IN! SHUT UP AND STICK IT IN!

 

At the Barfly, an indie club in Camden, North London.

Avenue D are poised by the dressing-room door. Avenue D are walking to the bar. Suddenly there is space on the dancefloor as people inch away from them.

A hand is raised to cup another's ear: lips curl, philtrums press, forcing hosility out of mouth-slots. Did you see those girls? Did you see them? Oh my!

Derisive giggles float to the ceiling like burnt Amaretto papers. A girl tugs the hem of her black and white striped vest top down to meet her studded belt; it clings to her flat stomach like a mummy's shroud.

'Well', striped top mutters to her friend, casting her eyes up, down, up Avenue D's retreating backs, raking her stare across their exposed flesh as though her gaze might leave furrows like claws, 'At least I don't look like THAT!'

 


'I really can't understand why everyone keeps calling us sluts...'
 


Avenue D are Daphne D and Debbie D, and they make bumptious ghetto music that marries cheap beats, cheaper samples and bins-out-the-back-of-the-bargain-basement lyrics that are as scary and shocking as they are truthful and funny.

Debbie and Daphne are BFFs - best friends forever - who met at school in Miami and struck up the friendship that lies at the core of Avenue D. In 2000 they followed the electro goldrush to New York City, where they served waffles and chilli in waitress jobs and studied at college whilst hanging around together and having lots of BFF-type hipster fun (taking photos for Vice magazine's Dos and Don'ts pages, that kinda thing.)

In 2001 they spotted an ad in the paper for girl rappers and decided to audition on a whim, scribbling down a few basic lyrics and practising the booty shake in the mirror in preparation.

Though nothing ever came of the audition, friends who saw the rehearsals were impressed, and they started performing at clubs just for the fuck of it. From there it was but a few lascivious hipswings and a chance meeting with electro bigshot Larry Tee 'till Avenue D's trademark single, ' Do I Look Like A Slut?' burst - overripe, fully formed, and gagging for it - onto dancefloors, where it's been jerkin' like a horny pony ever since.

Back at the Barfly

So, THAT. What does the THAT that stripy top so disdains actually look like? Well, THAT couldn't be much further from this season's ladylike, buttoned up fashion doldrum-dictums if it tried.

Tonight, THAT walks across the smoky, beer-stinky room a mass of ripples and jiggles. THAT's exposed breasts bounce against the ribcage, the areaolae and their surrounds covered with hairy lions' heads torn from unsuspecting cuddly toys. THAT'S hips sway with cellulite abandon, wearing tie-sided pants under frou-frou black tulle petticoats with a ruche round the bottom like a gothic runaway Austrian blind.

THAT sports sheer coffee-coloured pantyhose and belts made of gold-sprayed macaroni; THAT wears white Reebok hi-tops like giant full stops at the end of clumpy legs; THAT has painted on some eyeliner half an inch thick, which ends in a painted beauty spot near the right eyebrow. THAT'S Avenue D. THAT'S perfection.


 

Course, half an hour later, at the end of Avenue D's set, the crowd's once-sneery mouths are slack with awe, boners are popping buttons on the baggiest of jeans, and striped top is attempting to shake her emaciated booty in a pale imitation of Daphne and Debbie's quivering junky trunks.

Through a combination of raunchy / surreal dance moves, ridiculous outfits and funny-stoopid-rapacious 'me so horny' lyrics, Avenue D, white-girl-rapper-booty-ghetto-queens extraordinaire, have the reserved, bemused, hostile English indie crowd in the palms of their hands.

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