In recent years, the world of music seems to have exploded with personalities leaving their permanent mark on the industry. Fashion is but one of a variety of methods used by artists to reach stardom through a plethora of unique, and occasionally controversial styles added to their wardrobes.
From wildly extravagant outfits and stage wear, to the idea that “less is more” in terms of attire, there seems to be no limit to the imagination of musicians and fashion designers determined to push the boundaries of fashion in music.
we’ll be looking at five musicians whose choice of apparel redefined what people thought about the relationship between music and fashion and helped define their careers as more than just musical performers. So, let’s jump straight in.
First on our, and any other musical style icon list of the past 40 years for that matter, is Prince.
Sadly, with his untimely passing in 2016 at the age of 57, the world lost not only a great musician but one of its foremost fashionistas. Throughout his career, Prince’s style was a true mixture of sex, clothes and rock n’roll.
He was a style innovator in a world still coming to terms with the ideas of gender neutral dressing.
Like some of the other artists featured on this list, Prince’s style explored themes of androgyny and sexuality as well as the unlimited uses of sequins. Most importantly, Prince’s fashion sense was consistently in line with his music, and added an extra layer of depth to what were, and still are, an impressive and timeless collection of compositions.
2. Elton John
Next up we have the one and only, Elton John.
With a career spanning over 50 years, a quick look through Sir Elton’s discography, from his early years in the 60’s up to the present day, showcases his extravagant and eclectic wardrobe.
Arguably best known for his collection of pretty “out-there” glasses, Elton John has been sporting lavish labels for most of his career and never failed to push designers such as Prada, Dior, D&G and Jean Paul Gaultier to their creative limits.
While the star has toned it down over the last few years, Elton is still active within the industry having recently teamed up with Lady Gaga to create the new limited edition Love Bravery line as a part of Macy’s American Icons campaign.
Get Elton’s look with the Miu Miu MU 13NS lenses in smoke & glitter below:
3. Lady Gaga
In at number three, we have Mother Monster, also known as Lady Gaga.
After elevating to the ranks of superstardom in the late 00’s, Gaga’s wild style has garnered almost as much attention as her music.
From working with world-renowned designers such as Karl Lagerfeld, Alexander McQueen and Philip Treacy, to the previously mentioned collaboration with Elton John, Gaga has become a full-on fashion force over the years and shows no signs of slowing down.
While a number of Gaga’s outfits have come across as somewhat controversial, (looking at you, meat dress) the majority of her wears are as creative and large in scale as her talent as a musician is.
And, if you’ve ever been lucky enough to see her perform live, you’ll know exactly how massive a talent she and her designers are.
4. David Bowie
Our penultimate entry is Ziggy Stardust himself, David Bowie.
The king of reinvention, David Bowie is known for transforming himself throughout his career with his various different styles and personas. Ziggy Stardust, Alladin Sane and Thin White Duke were all contributions to Bowie’s redefinition of himself and his music.
The musician’s talents in songwriting and performing were complimented, much like artists such as the previously mentioned Prince, by his exploration of themes of androgyny and gender fluidity while also daring to push boundaries and shining a light on how music and fashion coincide.
From eye-patches and quilted cat-suits through to Ace Ventura-esque striped trousers, David Bowie will forever be remembered as a musician of immense talent that dared to be different in every decade his career spun through.
5. Grace Jones
Finally, we have one of the most influential women in fashion, Grace Jones. Musician, model, record producer and actress, Grace Jones is yet another artist featured on this list that explored themes of androgyny in her work and challenged societal ideas of gender roles.
Jones’s style has influenced a myriad of followers and fellow stars including Annie Lennox, Lady Gaga and Rihanna. Her presence is still felt throughout the fashion industry.
Best known for appearing with her flat-top hair style and square-shouldered suit, Jones’s style and vision has become legendary for being occasionally over the top and always iconoclastic. She describes her style and experimentation best herself stating, “I feel feminine when I feel feminine, I feel masculine when I feel masculine – I am a role switcher.”
When it comes to gender-bending superstars, there’s only one Grace Jones.
And with that, our list comes to a close. It’s interesting how these undeniably influential superstars share somewhat similar themes in their work. Sexuality, androgyny, extravagance and experimentation appear to be the lifeblood of their collective works and when you spawn as many imitators and emulators as this collection of artists have, there can be no arguments as to how much of an impact they’ve had on the fashion industry and society as a whole.
The musicians featured in this list also solidify another powerful sentiment, that only those willing to break the mould have a chance at greatness. So what do you think? Do you agree with our list? Is there anyone else you feel should have earned a place? Let us know your thoughts and opinions down in the comments!
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