'On the Catwalk'

Songs from keen, fashionable artists

By JOE KONZE JR
On April 17, 2014

Style is like a Phoenix - it may die but will eventually come back.

And like a Phoenix, style reappears stronger than before.

With this week's Spectrum playlist, we take artists from the '60s through now and break down their fashion and music styles.

'60s

The Rat Pack:

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Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop were a group of classy individuals, but what made them more attractive was the immense talent that each possessed. Their suave and freshly pressed suits set them apart from others in this time period.

 Jimi Hendrix:

Hendrix had different outfits to go along with his screaming and ear-shattering guitar solos - notably his famous Technicolor Dreamcoat. It screamed the '60s like his guitar riffs resonated throughout shows and venues he played in his career.

Janis Joplin:

Joplin was a trendsetter. Between the various hats, scarves and coats, Joplin's style and legacy continue today. Her style was shown through her emotion and music.

The Beatles:

 The Beatles went from pressed suits and bowl cuts at Shea Stadium in November 1963, to a hippie-inspired fashion later in their career. Whether it was the suits and bowl cuts or the hippie look, the group will forever be memorable for their music.

 '70s

The Specials:

 There was an interesting style that The Specials offered to its fans, known as the Rude Boy style. It was a two-tone Ska revival in England in the '70s, incorporating the styles that filled Jamaica. It was a way to illustrate the rocksteady genre of music. The band put a twist on the conventional three-piece suit, incorporating plaid, stripes and colors into their look.

David Bowie

This is Major Tom to Ground Control, I'm stepping through the door to tell you all that Bowie had a vibrant and scandalous fashion sense. With this futuristic, gender-bending style, the star refused to conform to the mainstream look. He also dabbled with makeup and face paint, shown in an iconic lightning bolt across his face.

Freddie Mercury

Mercury was most notable for his tight white pants, no shirt, a mustache and a slight gap between his teeth. Only he could pull off this look. But the style did not take away from the high-pitched notes of a rock god.

Debbie Harry/Blondie:

This original rock chick had a long-hair-don't-care type mentality. She was naughty and not nice. She wore t-shirts without bras and didn't care about anything.

Miles Davis:

If a cardigan and an ascot is cool, consider me Miles Davis. He used multiple styles and fused them together to go with his passionate playing. He also sported a nice pair of loafers.

Diana Ross

To go along with her gorgeous complexion and vocals, Ross sported big hair and big vocals. But where she gained more points was in her disco-infused style.

Stevie Nicks

Nicks' style epitomized the '70s rock atmosphere that swallowed the decade. She wore jeans with stylish silk shawls and big boots. But she also had flare and her carefree look gave off a smooth vibe.

Marvin Gaye:

 Gaye had a look that was simple and fit the style of his music. He wore denim on denim with a bright beanie. The simplicity of Gaye's wardrobe did not take away from his versatile three-octave pipes, which probably has to do with being in the game for over three decades.

The Ramones

Ripped, tight jeans and leather jackets, Chuck Taylors and Dr. Martens boots that accompanied fast-paced drumbeats and guitar riffs. This helped put this four-piece punk rock band on the map and develop an Americanized punk-rock movement.

The Sex Pistols:

This four-piece, punk-rock band helped begin England's punk-rock movement, which included edgy apparel.

The Clash

The Clash had an appealing style when they hit the punk-rock scene. They had tailored suits mixed with suede shoes and sometimes even Dr. Martens boots with the suits. It's a mix of a street style and military flair.

 '80s

Madonna:

 Madonna doesn't have one look that defines her whole career. From sweaters with an oversized neck, or a cut-off worn over a small shirt or bra and mismatched patterns, Madonna was a pop icon no matter what she wore.

Michael Jackson:

The "King of Pop" had more to offer than his stellar dance moves and delicate voice. He, like other artists listed, changed his style over the course of his career. He went from bell-bottoms and floral shirts that showed his youth to a flashy, glamorous look throughout the rest of his life.

Bananarama:

Wild, messed up hair, a jumper and jeans made this band's image reached the top of the charts in the '80s. But by the mid-to-late '80s, Bananarama shed its original look and matured, switching to clean-cut hair and neater clothing. 

Twisted Sister:

 Big hair, leather pants and ultimate warrior-style makeup encapsulated Twisted Sister's music and stance in the '80s rock/metal scene. Led by frontman Dee Snider, the band rose to the top of the charts but faded away just like '80s metal did.

Poison:

 Bret Michaels was the heartthrob of the '80s. He epitomized the hair-metal scene with his long blonde locks, bandannas and tight leather pants. His outfits made any lady fan of Poison scream at the top of her lungs.

WHAM!

Andrew Ridgeley and George Michael were many '80s girls' dream guys. From their tan skin, white tank tops and blue jeans to their Hawaiian shirts and shorts that looked like swim trunks, these guys entered the scene with far more to prove than just singing and dancing.

Culture Club:

Culture Club had an interesting approach to its style in the '80s. Frontman Boy George wore makeup and an outlandish style of clothing but it worked for the group and served as a reflection of its music.

The Cure:

 The Cure dominated the goth scene in the '80s. Because of its inability to provide strong creativity in its first album, The Imaginary Boys, the band had to find a new image and way into the limelight. Robert Smith, The Cure's frontman, took over creative control and helped jumpstart the band's success. Smith had a big bushel of hair that looked like he was shocked by electricity and wore it with eyeliner and dark clothing to get his gothic message across.

Prince:

This man turned his name into a symbol. With a trench coat, ruffled shirt, curly afro and scruffy facial hair, Prince helped create an original look that matched his career. But he didn't stick to one style; he switched up his look throughout his career - which often intertwined with his music. He never played one style of music.

'90s 

Britney Spears

When "...Baby One More Time" hit the airwaves it was a catchy song with appealing lyrics. And her music video was just as appealing - she wore a schoolgirl outfit and bleach-blonde hair. Spears' career has been a roller coaster ever since. One minute she was a preppy high school girl, and the next minute she was sporting a snake around her neck in "Slave 4 U." She displayed herself as innocent during the beginning of her career, but we've seen, like her song suggests, "She's not that innocent."

Rancid:

Spiked hair, leather jackets, metal-riveted belt buckles and raw-street-style jeans provided this band with an image that spoke louder than its vocals. Rancid was one of the more popular punk-rock bands of the '90s. It brought back the image that once made bands like The Sex Pistols and The Clash famous. Rancid's fast-paced drum beats and guitar riffs could bring listeners back to the roots of punk rock.

The Spice Girls

The U.K. pop sensation provided listeners with five different styles - a "spice" of everything. There was Sporty Spice, Scary Spice, Ginger Spice, Posh Spice and Baby Spice. They were eccentric in the pop scene. But they worked as a cohesive unit to make decent pop music. They did exactly what they needed to do in a time when boy and girl bands were popular. 

Kurt Cobain

Cobain could care less about what people thought about his image. He pulled off worn-out, ripped jeans and a wrinkled flannel with beat-up Chuck Taylors. But what was fascinating about Cobain's image was its symbol for grunge music. The guitar's sludgy sound and Cobain's bellowing vocals became part of his style.

'00s

Amy Winehouse:

 Her hair resembled the poof style from the '50s and her attire exposed her tattoos. She had a new take on vintage. Her songs are sad and evoke a lot of emotion. Her style is as memorable as her music.

Gwen Stefani:

Stefani takes fashion risks. What is most notable about her style is her vibrant blonde hair, bright red lipstick along and graphic-printed dresses. In 2004, she launched her fashion line L.A.M.B and this year, she came out with an eco-friendly line.

André 3000

There is no way one half of Outkast would be able to make girls shake it like a Polaroid picture without having an attractive appearance on camera. And you know you have an awesome fashion sense when magazines like Complex Magazine are contacting you for fashion tips. From pressed suits, fedoras, bowties and a nicely trimmed goatee, he has the ability to adapt to any situation with his style.

Present

Katy Perry:

Just watch her video for the song "California Girls" she's sporting a cupcake bikini. She can wear anything and pull it off - ranging from cupcake bikinis to Japanese geisha getups. When she wears dresses, they usually hug her figure.

Lady Gaga:

 Gaga made this list primarily because she wore a raw-meat dress to the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards. It proved she can virtually wear just about anything.

Pharrell:

Pharrell is making his mark in the music and fashion industries. He's started trends that range from effortlessly cool street wear to sharp tuxedos - and let's not forget the 10-gallon cowboy hat he debuted at the Grammy's. It was a reminder that Pharrell can wear whatever he wants and pull it off - he showed up to the 2012 Paris Fashion Week with green hair and no arguments were made.  

Harry Styles:

Being in a boy band brings certain stigmas - a group of boys that look almost identical in an attempt to gain the affection of young teenage girls. But Styles, from British boy band One Direction, is a man who fits into no mold. Known for his scruffy, curly hair, the young singer has attracted a lot of attention in the fashion industry. His skinny jeans, muscle t-shirts and bandanas have inspired a generation to bring grunge back into fashion. 

Justin Timberlake:

Timberlake has come a long way from his double-denim days and bleached tight curls. He's got his on-duty and off-duty styles perfected. The sharpness of his suits is unmatched and his accessories are meticulously matched. 

Nicki Minaj:

Minaj has several alter egos and they reflect her varying senses of fashion. When she's Harajuku Barbie, for instance, she wears long, pink hair, glamorous clothes and bright lipstick. And pristine rhymes go along with her pristine style.

Kanye West:

Love him or hate him, Kanye is one of 2014's most expressive style icons. The rapper/artist/fashion designer certainly knows how to throw an outfit together. He focuses on t-shirts and jeans, which he says are the essentials for men's wardrobes.

Beyoncé:

Starting as a member of Destiny's Child to becoming one of the most historical female solo artists of all time, Beyoncé's style has adapted throughout her 20-plus years of performing. Her style embodies her voice - powerful and iconic. She knows how to showcase her assets yet remain a respectful icon for women across the world. 

HAIM:

These three sisters have style that is almost a direct expression of their music - R&B slicked back with a hint of grunge and shrouded in folk and festival fashion. They have a vintage feel that comes from their nonchalant ensembles.

Macklemore:

Macklemore reintroduced the pompadour haircut - the short back and sides paired with the comb-over. He brought thrift shopping into the mainstream with "Thrift Shop" and he constantly breaks the mold with his fashion choices. He rocked a teal velvet tuxedo, white shirt, black bow tie and black, gold-studded shoes to a red carpet event. And he looked great.

Bruno Mars:

Motown is back. Bruno Mars has consistently praised his roots when it comes to music. In doing so, his fashion sense has become greater over the course of his career. His pompadour that sits higher than Macklemore's is his stand-out characteristic, as well as velvet tuxedos and suede shoes similar to those worn by the late James Brown.

Miley Cyrus:

Cyrus successfully shed her Disney-princess image by removing a considerable amount of clothes. As her voice matured, her necklines got lower and her underwear lines were on show for all. Her style is an outward expression of who she wants to be and how she wants to get there. Style is confidence.

 

email: arts@ubspectrum.com


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