Singing Fashion: Singers Who Created Fashion Waves
1. The Beatles
The Beatles is one of the most iconic bands ever. Their mop-top hairstyles made a splash in the early 1960s. Their hairstyle reeked of an unkempt rebelliousness that youngsters immediately lapped up. In the beginning of their career, all-black, skinny suits and boots became archetypal to the band. The ankle length, Cuban heeled boots were christened as Beetle Boots. They then graduated to collarless flamboyant suits and popularised them so much that they became a phenomenon with teens. The fabulous four always wore similar clothes and shoes on stage to represent cohesiveness among them.
2. John Lennon
People still own at least one pair of Lennon glasses/sunglasses. It all began with John Lennon. The Beetles' vocalist and guitarist John Lennon was near sighted and couldn’t see the audience he was performing to. He started wearing round wire-rimmed glasses to his performances. The glasses were soon known as Lennon glasses and became a huge rage!
3. Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix reverberated a psychedelic spirit — lots of colour, free flowing silhouettes, printed blouses, flirty bell bottom pants, ruffles, fringes, chunky rings and large abundant afros prepped with hair accessories. He had a short-lived music career, but the cultural imprint he left lives on. His edgy and dramatic style statement was attention grabbing and forced men to try their hands at larger than life fashion.
4. Michael Jackson
King of Pop indulged in a larger than life lifestyle. He was invested in fashion and ensured that each of his music videos, live acts and public appearances were high on glamour and style. His embellished everything statement continues to grow strong today. And who can forget the striking red leather jacket with multiple zips that he flaunted in the Thriller video. Another apparel item that garnered a cult following was the military jacket that Michael often wore to his live shows. And his trademark high water pants, he brought them to the forefront. He wore white socks embellished with rhinestones to display his moonwalks clearly. His clothes reflected the kind of showmanship his music is popular for. He really went all out with them.
5. Kurt Cobain
At a time when all rock stars wore leather jackets, skinny jeans and dark sunglasses on stage, Kurt Cobain emerged as a breath of fresh air. The front runner of Nirvana pioneered the grunge music and fashion movement with his laidback thrift store clothing. His effortless approach toward clothes and accessories made fashion easy and accessible for young men. He wore everyday clothes such as flannel shirts, oversized sweaters and cardigans with a pair of Converse. One look at the video of Smells like Teen Spirit and it becomes evident why grunge became as popular as it is today. His off-duty look with unkempt hair is still followed by young men, even women. Flannel shirt, pair of ripped jeans and a pair of Converse are a go-to outfit option for both men and women today, all thanks to Kurt Cobain!
As far as musical inspirations go, the Rap God can’t stay behind. If Kurt Cobain pioneered effortless fashion, Eminem loosened it further. Picture hoodies, basic t-shirts, tatted arms, shorts or joggers, graphic print vests and you get Eminem or every other boy next door. Slim Shady’s music is heavy duty and his fashion aesthetics are conversely low-key. Eminem popularised headgears like beanies and baseball caps. You would rarely find him without them either, and his fans all over the world follow suit.
7. Kanye West
Rapper Kanye West crossed paths with fashion so dominantly that he has gained more popularity for his fashion moments than for his music career. He has, to his name, collaborations with some of the most renowned names in the fashion industry (read Louis Vuitton, Balmain, Nike, Adidas, Giuseppe Zanotti and A.P.C.) His Adidas Yeezy line is a pop culture sensation currently. He is the very first rapper to wear high fashion and avant-garde brands influencing rap fans to look beyond the streets and venture into luxury.
Fun fact: Kanye interned with Fendi to learn the nuances of fashion.
8. Pharrell Williams
The Happy hit-maker is another contemporary musician whose interest in fashion peaks high. He has collaborated with the likes of Adidas and Chanel. He is always at the top of his game when it comes to putting together an outfit. Over the years, Pharrell Williams has emerged as a heavy influence on the modern street wear scene with his sneakers, fedoras, quirky bottoms and sunglasses. His sense of style is so dynamic that one can’t really bracket it into a certain type. He carries his crisp suits as well as rocks a chic, layered outfit.