The seed of the symbiotic relationship between fashion and the musical genre dates back to the middle of the last century the 50s. In an effort to differentiate themselves from their predecessors, adolescents were the center of a new code, both musical and clothing.
Heir to rural blues and R&B, rock & roll fostered a cheeky, young spirit, hand in hand with lyrics such as rock Around the Clock (Bill Haley & His Comets) or Jailhouse Rock (Elvis Presley, 1957).
The quintessential rock idol, Presley, dazzled teenagers, and outraged parents. In addition to his melodies and his eloquent movements, El Rey imposed a style against the current of that of the “young preppy.”
To the detriment of shirts, chinos, and V-sweaters, the rockers opted for narrow jeans, white T-shirts, leather jackets long hair, waxed. The girls, for their part, shortened skirts and fitted shirts.
The exaggerated makeup and adopted the headboard hairstyle ponytail. In England, the echo of the move responded to the name of Teddy Boys. The first urban tribe entirely teen, musicalized by rock from the United States, and sometimes associated with vandalism.
Rebellion, uncover. The Teddies traded school or work uniforms for cloth, velvet, and high-waisted pants plus bare socks.
Wide-soled shoes, Creeper type, and waxed hairstyles with jopo. The sixties, times of “Beatlemania,” were nurtured by the British band to compose the style of the youngsters.
When the quartet’s manager, Brian Epstein, took office in 1962, he suggested they swap their Teddy wardrobe for a more “mature” code. Tailored suits by Dougie Millings, Ossie Clarke, Pierre Cardin, in contrast to long manes for the moment.
The “Anti Beatles,” according to certain baby boomers who, devotees of the establishment, demonized those scruffy, savage English yo those architects and preachers of a new sensuality.
While Beatlemania gentrified, the quintet of Mick, Keith, Brian, Bill, and Charlie, advocated the impulsiveness of irreverence response to repression, to the Vietnam War, to a “retrograde” generation.
Creators of the modern concept of a rockstar, the Stones imposed, in addition to beats, style. Shredded manes, body garments androgyny. Provocative beasts, along with groupies, turned into girlfriends.
In style icons of the caliber of Anita Pallenberg, Marianne Faithfull, Bianca Jagger. The genderless synergy that in the 60s and 70s, the heyday of sexual liberation opened the way to experimentation.
And, glitter in between, to glam. Who says glam, invokes David Bowie. And who says Bowie, guesses lyrics, melodies, aesthetic statements. He, once nerd, circus apprentice, musician, the prophet.
He, who after detaching himself from the predominant “Mod look,” expressed individuality through dazzling characters. Each album, an opportunity to reinvent yourself. Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane, The White Duke …
Eternal sources of inspiration, both for fashion and for humanity. Besides developing his own statement, “El Camaleón” conceived (and produced) the origins of punk. Iggy Pop, The Velvet Underground.
Alternative sounds and looks. Random violins, total black, leather, theatricality. Exotic characters like Nico, who, originally from Germany, took the baton of the Factory and Velvet in a fleeting way.
So, more than half a century later, his manly dress code persists. The “snobbery” of the under expired at the end of the 70s. Punk explosion. London, New York.
Hordes of young people disillusioned, both by the socioeconomic system and by old musical idols, once rebels, given over to the establishment. A brood of raw, inexperienced bands, mirroring their audience.
The uniform of the rebellion? Intervened leather jackets, T-shirts, and jeans with rips, safety pins, PVC, grotesque hairstyles, and makeup.
Both musically and aesthetically, the more impactful, the better. And for the first time, high fashion catwalks were nourished by clubs like CBGB’s or The Roxy. From “burned” like Sex Pistols, The Damned, or The Ramones.
The 1980s, synonymous with opulence, witnessed the (re?) Sophistication of rockstar. Bands like Mötley Crüe, Guns N ‘Roses, Aerosmith brought their disruptive DNA to Beverly Hills.
Tight, extravagant garments. Scarvesvincha, bijoux. Mullet manes. Makeup. Performative androgyny that brought music and fashion together in figures like Grace Jones, an emblem of disinhibition.
When Marc Jacobs presented, back in 1993, a grunge collection on the New York catwalk, his audience was scandalized. The genre, represented by the boys of Nirvana or Soundgarden, took up the punk spirit of nonconformity.
And to the rhythm of amateurish, distorted sounds, the shoulder pads gave way to scruffy overlays. Tartan shirts, vintage dresses. Worn slippers, borcegos.
Today, more than 25 years later, Hedi Slimane, Céline’s creative director, counts grunge as his main source of inspiration. And in the face of criticism of the more traditional fashion system: “Each one is as he is and must hold it, without any pose, against all odds.” Rock & roll.