Music & its influence on fashion: Decade by decade PART 1

Madonna and that cone-shaped corset, Michael Jackson and the black jeans with white socks look, Britney and the school uniform, Lady Gaga and her…well just Lady Gaga.  Fashion has always been an outlet for musicians to express themselves as an artist.  Nowadays we, the consumer don’t just want to know what their new song is about, but what outfit they wore to an awards ceremony, event or music video.

Music is not just an inspiration for fashion designers but also the inspiration for the soundtrack motivating the show audience and giving each of their catwalk shows a distinct style and identity.  Who could forget Lily Allen singing in a barn at Chanel’s S/S 10 show, Marc Jacobs use of ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ bringing a tear to everyone’s eye and well, the music at every single Alexander McQueen show?

Fashion trends are deep-rooted in music and can be traced back to the days of The King himself, Elvis Presley and his fighter pilot look with customary aviator jacket (a trend once again ‘in’ this season).  So we here at NOIR decided it was about time to discuss how British music has influenced the fashion industry.  So let us start way back in the swinging 1960s to early 1970s.

DECADE: 1960s

BANDS: The Beatles, The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, The Who

TREND: Teddy Boy and Mod subcultures

CLOTHES: Saville Row; tailored suits topped with anoraks.

=From the start of the 1960s, bands like The Beatles, Stones, Kinks and The Who revitalised British pop.  Musicians often pioneered alternative ways of dressing with tailored suits topped with parkas and Mary Quant inventing the mini-skirt which was a major trend this decade.  The Teddy Boy subculture saw young men inspired by dandies of the Edwardian period; drape jackets, velvet trim collars, high-waisted drainpipe trousers.  This trend often re-emerges, with bands like Oasis and Blur being influenced by their fashion style as well as their music.

DECADE: 1968-1970S

BANDS: The Beatles, The Who, The Small Faces, The Kinks, The Beach Boys

TREND: Androgynous hippy movement

CLOTHES: A la Woodstock; headbands, bell bottom trousers, sandals, barefoot, tie-dye, batik patterns and paisley prints.

=The hippy movement later in the decade exerted a strong influence on UK fashion and the bohemian look is still favoured today with the likes of Sienna Miller, Blake Lively and Ashley Olsen all still embracing the look.

DECADE: Late 60s-early 70s

BANDS: David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Queen

TREND: Glam Rock

CLOTHES: Outrageous clothes, make-up and hair, platform-soled boots.

=Ziggy Stardust. Need I say more?

Look out for PART 2…..

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