The relationship between fashion and rock 'n' roll is one of self expression, rebellion and creativity. Each evolves and intertwines with time, exemplifying freedom of expression. Learning where the rockstar fashion trends emerged, how they evolved through many generations and stood the test of time, will make you appreciate it so much more the next time you walk into your favorite boutique and see a pair of rockin' ripped and studded jeans.
Old Time Rock 'n' Roll
Rock and Roll and its fashion counterpart danced onto the scene in the 50s, when American Bandstand went on the air nationwide. From day one, fashion and music were fused together in a rock 'n' roll whirlwind with a visual presence. Artists were able to express themselves not only through their music, but also with the style and image they wished to portray to their audience. In the 1960s when the Beatles were on the Ed Sullivan show, fans not only reveled in the rock 'n' roll sound they heard, but also the fashion elements that made them iconic: mop tops, skinny black ties and matching suits. Other popular rock icons were no exception. Bands like The Rolling Stones portrayed a street image with long hair, rocker tees and leather.
People began to recognize rock 'n' roll as a rebellious form of expression, one they could emulate by copying their favorite rockstars. The over-the-top designs and musical lyrics from the seventies were portrayed by rock 'n' roll icons like David Bowie and his interpretation of Glam rock, the punk style of the Sex Pistols and the disco era complete with bell bottoms and psychedelic colors.
As music evolved with the times, its fashion counterpart was front seat on the wild ride. The 80s introduced heavy metal bands and pop-style music and fashion. Metal bands rocked their way on to the scene, proving that men could wear as much hairspray and makeup as women, and still look cool. Van Halen and Mötley Crüe, to name a few, sang about life as a party with their tattoos and defiance of the norm.
Pop-rock icons of the decade like Prince and Madonna donned ripped jeans, funky hair and shoulder pads that the public could not get enough of and could view on MTV. As times in the world were changing and music began to evolve, a new sense of rebellion against glam – and life in general – erupted.
Enter, 90s grunge; one of the most memorable rock fashion movements to date. Groups like Nirvana made it cool to just "be," starting a trend of unkempt hair, baggy jeans and flannel shirts. Their message was expressed in their relaxed style, attitude, image and tone of music.
Throughout the years, Fashion houses have been forced – by popular demand of young America – to follow the these trends in order to sell rock styles. Whether its the music itself or the visual intent of the artist, designers are privy to the power of "rock on" fashion and often use it as a source of creativity.
For Those About to Rock
So how does rock 'n' roll influence fashion trends today? Its clear in todays world of fashion and music that there are no rules or guidelines. The wide variety of musical preferences allows people have more freedom than ever to rock any style that suits them from one day to the next.
Whether its hard rock, classic rock, pop rock or punk rock, there is an appreciation for individualism and keen understanding of musics influence on fashion by rockstars and their adoring public. The relationship between rock 'n' roll and fashion has evolved into a freedom to wear style from the past with a new twist often created by rock icons themselves.
With an understanding of their influence on street wear, many design for fashion labels or have their own clothing lines. Destinys Child channeled artists from the Motown days with their lavish gowns and "uptown" glamour, reminiscent of the Supremes in the early 60s. Tina Knowles, their stylist and Beyonces mother, had so many fans asking about her designs that she started her own clothing line, House of Dereon. Gwen Stefani has helped to bring the pop style of the 80s back, while adding her own Rasta spin to it. To capitalize on her unique style, Gwen started the clothing line LAMB (love angel music baby). In 2005, Justin Timberlake joined forces with his childhood best friend to form William Rast Clothing. Its clear rockstars are aware of their influence on street wear, and theyre cashing in. Even popular music brands like Fender and Gibson have recognized the correlation. Fender, the number one maker of stringed instruments, created www.fenderclothing.com. There, you can find accessories and clothing inspired by rock 'n' roll music.
Designers continue to capitalize on rocks fashion influence, and through todays wide array of technology, it's all readily available. Many create a style reminiscent of decades before, bringing it right to your fingertips via the Internet.
Tattoo fashion, inspired fashion from bands like Mötley Crüe, are created by fashion empires like Christian Audigiers Ed Hardy line or 2bfree Clothing. Found in department stores and their own websites, fans are easily able to live on the edge wearing tattoos without actually breaking the skin! If youre pregnant, you can still wear your favorite rock 'n' roll style and log onto www.rockstarmoms.com . They offer maternity wear like Sex Pistol tube tops, Jimi Hendrix tunics and ACDC tees. You can even outfit your baby with a rocker style and find a punk rock onesies, a Romones creaper and a Bob Baby Bib. The availability of rock inspired fashion online and in stores all over the nation, make it quick and easy for all music fashionistas to get a rockin wardrobe.
Lets Get Rocked
The evolution of music and fashion may change through time, but the underlying core of individualism and creativity are always present. rockstars and designers are in tune with their influence and collaborate to bring rockin style to your fingertips. Feel free to live vicariously through your favorite rockers from any era and continue to express yourself and your individuality. Today its about wearing what makes you feel your best. Evolution, individualism, freedom and style. There's no doubt about it, fashion rocks!