I know I know, I’m late to this party. In my defense, there’s a lot of good tv to watch right now. But anyway, I finally got to catch up on the first three episodes of Grown-ish and I’m in love. First with the diverse, intersectional characters. Second, with the fashions. Third with the writing. Actually, the writing and the fashions are tied for me.
For those who are unaware, Grown-ish is a spin-off of the show Black-ish, which tracks the college career of the oldest Johnson child, Zoey, played by savior of the youth, Yara Shahidi. (She genuinely gives me hope for the future.) You’ll come to the show for the (somehow still relatable to a thirty year old) well written dialogue, but you’ll stick around for what Costume Designer, Michelle Cole calls, “Costume porn.”
Each scene looks a little bit like a current day Delia’s ad, laced with high end designer labels. I mean real high end. Not like the little Louis Vuitton key pouch people buy just to own some LV. We’re talking Balmain, Vetements, Gucci, and Burberry to name a few. Admittedly, I had to do a quick google of the Heron Preston t-shirt Aron (Trevor Jackson) mentions by name while complimenting Zoey.
Does this designer closet seem unrealistic for college freshmen except first generation, Indian-American drug dealer/college student Vivek (Jordan Buhat)? Sure, but this is television geared toward the younger generation, who are much more well versed on Fashion with a capital ‘F.’ Also, most of the cast member’s have fashion as component of their real life brands.
Jazz and Sky Forster (Chloe and Halle Bailey AKA Chloe x Halle) have graced a few runways, and been fixtures in the front row during fashion week. Not to mention, their irl style is amazing. I love their story line on the show, of being track stars who straddle the fence between their Compton upbringing, and being “picture perfect” college athletes. This is a perfect portrayal of the pressure some people feel to code switch.
Luca (Luka Sabbat) basically plays himself as a fashion student, except he doesn’t partake in any drugs irl. He’s modeled for Dolce & Gabbana, Yeezy, and Hugo Boss, and is a mainstay influencer/creative on the high end fashion scene.
Yara Shahidi is a red carpet fave, and has been on the cover of Teen Vogue and Essense.
Said all that to say, it makes sense to incorporate this level of fashion into the show, albeit a bit aspirational for the most part. Michelle Cole maintains that she still mixes the high with the low in choosing looks, because “We want the audience to be able to afford these pieces, too.”
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how dope Zoey’s various hairstyles are on the show. She goes from braids, to a natural curly do, to long and straight. It reminds me a lot of Zaria from the 90’s sitcom Parenthood. I love to see the versatility of Black hair in media. It gives me hope that one day we may live in a world wherein white women do not touch or ask to touch our hair.
I also loooovvveee Chris Parnell as Dean Parker. He was one of my faves on 30 Rock (RIP). And I can’t get enough of Deon Cole as Charlie. He’s such a weird character.
In conclusion, I’m loving this show, but also feeling a little introspective. What does it say about me that I too would need a round table discussion with my friends over a late night “U up?” text? Makes note to discuss this with therapist.