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ONE PROMOTES THE OTHER.  Magazine publisher Conde Nast created the annual Fashion Rocks TV concerts to give viewers rousing close-ups of these new music-based fashionistas.



Wow!  Did you see the Fashion Rocks TV show on CBS earlier this month?  Light! Cameras! Action!  In Radio City Music Hall, New York.  Gorgeous young rock stars, outfitted to the 9s, showing what it’s like to be ‘way on top. Every one singing their hearts out, always in motion to an insistent, throbbing beat, commanding your rapt visual and sound attention.  Rock Music and Rock Fashion Mode?  Nothing less than mind-blowing!


Headliners included Rihanna, Beyonce. Mariah Carey, Justin Timberlake, Fergie and lots more!  And the fashion connection was everywhere.  Favorites among the female performers were bangle bracelets and huge hoop earrings…exaggerating head and arm movement, flashing light.  But the tie-ins go far beyond the designerwear for the show.  Rihanna has inspired Marc Jacobs to name a bag after her.  And she just loves those oversize zippers that give zip to her sporty stage costumes. 


FROM MAMA TO ARMANI:  Beyonce started out wearing ensembles her mother made for her (she is collaborating with her mother on several new dress collections for women and teens.)  Now her designer choices range from Armani to Badgley Mischka.  Beyonce is so talented she writes song lyrics, and there’s lots to learn from this one:


            “I buy my own diamonds and I buy my own rings.  The shoes on my

             feet, I’ve bought it.  The clothes I’m wearing, I’ve bought it.  The

             rock I’m rockin’, I’ve bought it.  ‘Cause I depend on me.”


Beyonce’s last name is Knowles, and her younger sister, Solange, was also on the show.  (She’s had a #1 single recording, “I Decided.)  Solange wanted to look different, have her total fashion look set her off, aside from everyone else on stage.  And she did!  She says she likes to play the “high and low” game, which means she combines top designer pieces with stuff from H&M and similar thrifty hip fashion sources.  “My approach is to look at fashion as an art.”


HOT LIFESTYLE:  Justin Timberlake is right in the forefront of rock-star crossing over into fashion icon.  His line, William Rast, has him starring in commercials as this low-life Southern guy named William Rast.  The clothing line is anything but low-life:  premium denim, leather jackets and edgy miniskirts.  He says “It’s all about lifestyle.”


Plenty of teens were on hand, too, like Taylor Swift, 18, who sold 3 million of her intro  album, and who’s now designing sundresses that will be sold-where?-at Wal-Mart!  She insists “My ideal outfit is a sundress and cowboy boots.”  Jordan Pruitt, 17, has her own music production company and has just signed her first artist, 10-year-old country singer Jesse Kirk.  Jordan is also spokesperson for Limited, and as a recording executive likes quick and easy fashion solutions.  That’s why she loves headbands:  “When your hair is wet, you can just put one on and you’re ready to go.” 



Then there’s Aly & AJ Michalka, sisters who’ve had a platinum first album and whose concert tour is being sponsored by makers of “Hello Kitty” lines.  But these girls are planning their own licensed product lines, including jewelry and hair accessories as well as clothing.  No wonder their latest album is titled “Insomniac.”


ROUGH STUFF:  And then there were the raunchy Pussycat Dolls, with their distinctive music and scanty costumes that are a takeoff on last century’s burlesque.  But very today, and very dominatrix.  These girls not only have had a multiplatinum hit, but used the key lyric on T-shirts and hoodies, crowing:  “Don’t cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me?”
So hot they sold like hot cakes. 


This rough and tough segment of the music world and its myriad fans take strongly to silver – in chains, long earrings, multiple bracelets, and more.  Look for the leather connection, too, and white or clear stones flashing from rings and jacket (leather, of course) embellishments. Black is a major color here, from Victoria Secret undies-style to black bead and stone necklaces and earrings.  Like we said:  hot!


The rapper li’l Wayne may be short, but he stands tall in the star rankings.  And his fashion sense is big:  “I used to only wear white T’s,” he admits, “but I stepped it up a notch.”  His stylist Groovey Lew Jones describes his style as “anything from an antique to the latest Gucci, from Salvation Army vintage to the hottest high-fashion piece.”  Shrugs Wayne, “You just know I’m gonna look good.” 


      –How about some really trendy purple here? Think purple stones and little neckerchiefs featuring super-smart rock concert prints, again, in purple.  Almost gruesome.  Definitely desirable.    


And the guy from Detroit, Kid Rock, has sold over 24 million records since his debut in 1990.  The long-haired, goateed rocker gives a sizzling performance, and has to be given credit for being one of the first to wear his white ribbed T and fedora hat, now staples for the young “In” crowd.  He bought the clothing maker, Made in Detroit, and should prove to be a full-fledged fashion icon for the growing ranks of street-savvy Fashion Rockers.


Whether we’re talking about crosses or crucifixes,  bad-leather cuffs or spiky dog collars, sweet colorful bows or wild chain necklaces, jewelry and Rock go hand-in-hand, with Rock frequently setting the mood, pace, and imagery for the latest in fashion embellishment. Listen to what’s being said and you’ll get a fast push forward on what’s uptrending.  Music is definitely a style-setter.

Comments (0) Posted by Mary McGarry on Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

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