Just last week a very close friend of mine brought to my attention the huge pop/fashion/music phenomenon that’s been happening for a while now, and of which (to my shame) I had no clue about. Yes girls & boys… it’s the oh-so-very famous Kazaky ‘boy band’ or better yet ‘stiletto stomping boy band’. In their fashion uniform – fringe, pointy shoulders, spiked studs, oversize shades, patent leather, belts, harnesses and all the S&M and bondage clues turned style – the boys are an ”amazing alluring cult of dance, music, body, sexuality, fashion & provocation” (Kazaky website quote). All in 6 inch heels. Yes you read that right, in case you yet don’t hold a clue of what I am to reveal… They are 4 boys (hell, men!) with sphinx like personas, statuesque bodies, hot beyond imagination, ‘manly yet out of gender‘ who strut their strut on sky high heels while dancing and performing on Electropop/house music, to which they break a few lines themselves. Just press the play button to ‘In The Middle‘ or ‘Love‘ videos, if not for the simple lyrics (though I do confess with a rather naughty guilty smile I kinda fancy) then definitely for their flawless, electric, sexy, stylish, rough, visual, beautiful, (oh and trust me I could so go on) choreography!
”We warn people that we do nothing showy at rehearsal. We save the fire for the real thing‘ as Oleg Zhezhel, the 31 year old most muscular & leader of the group, states.
FashionTag has been watching the boys for the last 3 days and we are in awe, love and admiration with this Ukrainian band who spell it like it is: ‘Love me, Hate me, I don’t care“. And why should they? I mean with Madonna herself praising & choosing them as main dancers/collaborators on her Mad Girl video (kudos to the pop queen for a perfect move there!) why should they give a damn? As Gaspar (one of the members) proudly and so nonchalantly says: “We’ve never played in a club that’s half empty once since we started!” Amen to that! For Girl Gone Wild – Madonna video, Kazaky were styled by stylist Adrianne Phillips who had to create 6 inch heels for them from hooker boots. How was it to dance in squeezing soles? ‘‘By the end of the day on set our feet were bleeding and we had blisters. But if Madonna can repeat the 50th time, why can’t we?’‘ What did the Queen of Pop have to say about the Kazaky boys? ”It was great fun working with them. They were not starstruck at all. They went straight to work when they arrived and they were extremely professional. They took their job very seriously and they were very humble’‘. Well now, add that to your book, as these boys come not just with talent & looks but hard work and modesty as well! And now let us all sigh…
Their achievement list could go on for days with features and editorials in magazines like Dirty Magazine, V Magazine, GQ, Gossip, Marie Claire, LA & NY Times. And I bet you’re jealously thinking… Well they’ve still got New York to nail, right? Been there done that! On July 16, 2011 at Club 57 in NYC the Kazaky have, for the 1st time, performed ‘I’m just a dancer‘ and stole the hearts of all present. ”They are like weird little furies that flew down from Mount Olympus, who scare us all with their beauty” says Simon Doonan. And indeed the Kazaky boys are exquisite, with bodies that portray perfection, moves that seem out of this world, and looks that drive both men and women insane. They are unique, fun, serious, hot, humble, proud, talented. With their perfect DNA on heels they embody the 21st century movement. Pop culture! Fashion, style, music, sexual identities. They seemed to have stripped the meaning of gender to its nakedness – so that by the end of the show you literally see beauty & sex appeal. Who gives a damn if they are boys or girls? Straight or gay? They are fabulous, and yes, to be honest with you, despite of the heels and makeup, they are the most masculine men I’ve seen. It must be the confident attitude. Well besides the leather trousers and six-pack, that is. But what I find so very funny (in a good way) is that the boys love to tease us when asked questions of sexuality. ‘‘The reason we never answer this question is because we try to keep a kind of mysterious charm’‘ says Zhezhel. “We are unbiased in terms of pro-straight or pro-gay” says Fedorenko. “There is no gender related implication. It’s all about the dance and the movement”. An attitude worth saluting as I bow to this calling-it-like-it-should-be reality!
As their performing careers take off I do confess I see more than just a tiny fashion movement happening. I mean with Anna Dello Russo praising them and Tim Blanks labeling the group as ‘‘four dizzy queens with a post-gaga-get-outta-my-way-bitch shtick’‘ their fashion involvement was bound to happen. And it did with the Thierry Mugler show & the Dsquared Spring/Summer 2012 Men’s Fashion Show or with their V Magazine interview and editorial – which was, let me tell you, brilliant and fashion forward in the most powerful way you’ve seen. The concept was ”Kazaky Horror Show” with runny mascara, thigh-high stockings, posed sensuality & stilettos you don’t get no better. Leaving in awe and shock the very photographer, the boys have made yet another statement. Of looks & fashion. ‘‘They speak the language of our visual world” says photographer Inez van Lamsweerde. ‘‘Forget the Keeping up with the Kardashians, I want to see keeping up with the Kazakys. I want them to have their own dolls, leather pants, high heels, you name it. They can take this as far as they want to”.
On everyone’s lips and must-see performances the boys have sure come a long way and to this day continue to make headlines. Their song “Love” has been chosen as the soundtrack for Viktor & Ralph fragrance Spicebomb and they’ve performed for Anouki Bicholla’s Fall 2011/2012 Collection with the whole package: dance, runway & singing of In The Middle hit. And just a few days ago Jean Paul Gaultier could be so blamed for finding inspiration for his 2013 Spring Collection, from the Kazaky boys. At Gaultier‘s in Paris, the catwalk was invaded at some point by Kazaky look a likes in hot leather trousers and high heels. All the muscles and beauty with the package. Not the original, sure, but we’ll take it and give our sincerest kudos to the Kazaky boys for starting up what is called the ‘Masculinity Breaking Stereotypes Movement‘.
They are sincere, talented, original, professional, fun, fashion forward and quite easy on the eye. If you still have’t checked them out… go for it and you might (like myself) applaud all they stand for as these boys are more than a success. They are a statement of all social, music and fashion. Will their freedom of self expression & art (in all its forms) be a cultural milestone? Or could they become the new pop icons of our generation?
Artur Gaspar – 28 years old, former student at St. Petersburg State Ballet Theater
Kyryll Fedorenko (ballroom dancer)
Francesco Borgato – 22 years old, dancer