How Iconic Rock Stars Influenced Fashion
Updated: May 21
From Elvis Presley to Mick Jagger, their influence on modern fashion cannot be denied. Whether they encouraged people to wear certain garments or colours or simply give the youth the courage to be themselves their impact is worthy of attention. They helped to shape the fashion world by striving for individuality and self-expression showing that clothes make up a huge part of the performance.
Think Harry Styles began the trend of colourful suits? Think again. Although later known for white bedazzled jumpsuits, Presley began his career in bright suits that by 50's standards were 'outrageous'. While he preferred a simple fit at home, his stage outfits were the opposite as he wore pink or red blazers and gold suits. Although rock'n'roll always existed, he was certainly the icon that popularised the genre and it was not long before the teens of the late 50's started slicking back their hair and wearing loafers to imitate their idol.
Although fans discovered them in smart suits that contrasted with their loud music, it was not long before the Fab 4 changed their image and brought about the fashion revolution of the 60's. The dark suits were replaced by bright colours that they donned proudly after the release of their long awaited Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. Although their style changed, they never strayed away from their shabby haircuts which they were widely known for. Fans often imitated their style and haircuts because if you can't beat 'em you gotta join 'em, right?
The Rolling Stones
I don't think that this bunch ever tried to be anything but outrageous. Ever since the beginning their image was never clean and their style never conventional. Although before fame they tried to imitate The Beatles in their early days since it was what worked back in the day, the moment The Beatles stopped touring The Rolling Stones carved out their own image. Jagger ditched suits for tight jumpsuits or two-pieces that often showed the chest area and loved to experiment with makeup and nail varnish. On the other hand, Richards was the rock to Jagger's glam as he often wore dishevelled t-shirts and leather trousers.
Thanks to the times in which he rose to fame, Bowie had more freedom when it came to his image. He often dyed his hair, wore makeup and at the beginning often donned wide-leg trousers reminiscent of the 40's with a sprinkle of 60's colours. Probably the most fashionable rock star ever, Bowie is often payed tribute to on modern runways as his Ziggy Stardust era continues to influence many for the androgyny, freedom and self-expression it symbolises.
Probably the only person that ever wore double denim and made it look cool. Debbie Harry is the epitome of the style everyone is after today- eclectic, effortless and eye-catching. The Blondie front-woman loved patterns and thrift shopping before it was popular and her style is very reminiscent of the rock stars of the early 70's as she did not shy away from bright colours and outfits that would even get looks today. It's safe to say that her tight outfits and dramatic liner certainly set the tone for the rise of Gothic fashion in the 90's.