When music meets style
It’s an ancient and pervasive idea that music reflects emotion. It’s also an accepted fact that popular musicians have an unparalleled <g data-gr-id="98">affect</g> on the world at large. In hindsight, the examples are infinite. From Madonna and Kurt Cobain to Bob Marley and the Sex Pistols, it doesn’t take long to think of moments when fashion and music have come together to produce something iconic and change the cultural landscape forever. Remember the Beatles’ mop top? Talking of the latter, the most iconic pop-rockers of all time inspired many trends: collarless suits, the outlandish psychedelic peacock style of their Sgt. Pepper days, Lennon’s round wire-frame glasses. But their most famous contribution was the mop-top, those four floppy boyish hairdos – long swooping bangs, hair-covered ears, and shaggy all over.
Today, it’s a run-of-the-mill middle school cut, but in 1964, it was revolutionary. Or, Madonna’s tribute to Marilyn Monroe in her Material Girl music video, which later provided inspiration to Indipop star Alisha Chinai? Oh c’mon, all of us remember the Made In India video, don’t we (yes, the one with Milind Soman)? Rastafari icon Marley, till date, continues to influence street style across the world- tattered pyjamas, multihued shirt, dreadlocks et al! Closer home, too, independent <g data-gr-id="93">artistes</g> have carved their style niche, and left a mark on the fashion consciousness of the people. From Daler Mehndi’s bling turbans to Yo Yo Honey Singh’s hip-hop street style, from <g data-gr-id="94">Suneeta</g> Rao’s <g data-gr-id="95">ethno</g>-fusion chicness to Monica Dogra’s breezy bohemian style (she’s now designing her own range of women’s clothing!), musicians have had a telling effect on fashion across the world. Here are the five most popular ‘looks’ that <g data-gr-id="78">hav</g> been popularised by <g data-gr-id="79">artistes</g> the world over!
What do Jim Morrison, Axl Rose, Dave Grohl, and Kurt Cobain have in common? Apart from the fact that these are some of the world’s most insanely talented musicians, they also happen to the world’s foremost rockstars! If there’s one genre of music that seems to heavily influence clothing styles within mainstream culture it has to be rock music. Every second child dreams of becoming a rockstar. All of us have air <g data-gr-id="90">guitar-ed</g>, stuck our tongues out at imaginary fans, and dreamt of a life full of sex, drugs, and rock & roll (Ian Dury’s words and song. Not mine!) at some point of our life.
Think loose flowery tunics, bell bottoms, bandanas, psychedelic prints, long hair, and no make-up? Familiar, right? The Beatles wore such clothes during their stay in Rishikesh, Janis Joplin wore them on stage during cult festivals like Woodstock. India wasn’t far behind either. Remember Dum Maaro Dum? Flower Power was a slogan used in the late 1960s and 1970s as a symbol of the non-violent ideology. The slogan was invented in opposition to the Vietnam War. People who were in opposition to the Vietnam War were called hippies. They used flowers as a symbol for life, love and peace and they created a hippie culture.
Their culture reflected the way they dressed. And, a whole lot of musicians belonged to this generation of free-thinkers- from John Lennon and Cat Stevens, to Jimi Hendrix
and Bob Dylan! Neither their <g data-gr-id="75">music,</g> nor their style will ever go out of fashion!
Every generation since the <g data-gr-id="110">Fifties’</g> has had its own <g data-gr-id="99">pop-ular</g> music icons. But, the term really caught on in the Eighties with <g data-gr-id="100">artistes</g> like Madonna and Michael Jackson captured the imagination of almost every <g data-gr-id="101">person-young</g> and old. It was the decade that saw the birth of MTV, and <g data-gr-id="102">artistes</g> with greater visual appeal started to be promoted. Madonna with her eccentric, street-chic style, and Jackson with his trademark studded leather jacket, curls, and trademark gloves influenced an entire generation of music lovers, and I’m thankful to have partaken of, at least, some of it. Later, the Nineties’ saw bubblegum <g data-gr-id="103">popstars</g> like Britney Spears (her tweed skirt-two braids schoolgirl look in the Baby One More Time video continues to inspire teens till date!) and <g data-gr-id="104">boybands</g> like the Backstreet Boys (remember Nick Carter’s slick, longish hair parted in the middle? A look that was later copied by Salman Khan in the film Tere Naam) fascinate young listeners across the world.
The Street Star
Most trends don’t start <g data-gr-id="89">consciously,</g> because real trendsetters don’t set out to start trends. They just want to be themselves and make music. Hip-hop <g data-gr-id="84">artistes</g> did the same, and their casual, gangsta, street style caught on like a wildfire! Think MC Hammer, Queen Latifah, Kanye West, Eminem. From baseball cap, track pants, and hoodies to the more elitist leather jacket-sunglasses-bling combo, <g data-gr-id="85">hiphop</g> fashion continues to rule the roost. For as long as the music is alive, the style will continue to be in, well, style!
The author is a snotty single child, mountain junkie, playback singer, Austen addict and dreams of singing alongside Buddy Guy