A style icon is someone who embodies fashion. Someone whose personality shines through anything they wear and make their audience flip through the pages of a magazine and say “I want that”. This month Ellie.com wrote an article regarding the 25 most influential and intrepid style icons within the music industry. The list is compiled of all female musicians, most of which deserves to be on this list, others not so much. I will be sharing this list and giving my own personal opinion on who should be given this title, who should have been forgotten and who was forgotten. So what do you think? You too can leave your personal comments on who you feel warrants to be on this list and who is not worthy.
Annie Lennox: Annie Lennox was definitely a style icon during the 1980’s. She was fearless during this time wearing men’s suits, studded leather jackets and pants while completing her look with that platinum blonde boy cut.
Beyoncé: Always a style Diva rocking Haute Couture representing for the curvy females, showing them you can look stunning in these garments even though you do not have the typical model body type.
Diana Ross: When we think of glamour and glitz we think of Miss Diana Ross, the lead singer of the Supremes. She then went on to have a very successful solo career and was known for her “bling” out fashion. During the 60’s, for a female singer it was all about the gowns and dresses and through the years Miss Ross has acquired quite a bit. Diana’s daughter Tracey Ellis Ross once mentioned that her mother’s closet was timeless and she herself sometimes wore some of her mother’s clothing. This within itself speaks volumes if your clothing after 50 years is still relevant today.
CHER: CHER, the original Lady Gaga is indeed a fashion icon. She is extremely fearless in her fashion choices. Her and ex-husband Sonny Bono revolutionized hippie fashion and was most known for the nude feathered gown she wore on the cover of Time magazine in 1975. Definitely during that time period risky outfits were unheard of and CHER definitely pushed the ballot with her style.
Jennifer Lopez: Jennifer started out as a Fly Girl on the hit TV sitcom In Living Color. Wearing high waist pants, tight midriff tops, bamboo earrings and high ponytails representing for all the around the way girls. She then went out to star in movies, then she decided to show the world one other hidden talent and that was singing. Somewhere along her journey J.Lo managed to create a magnificent glam squad that crosses her T’s and dots her I’s when putting her looks together. In her music videos, movies and red carpet appearances J.Lo is always up to par. I like the way she mixes her street savvy style with couture and still look very glamorous.
Madonna: Madonna is one fashion icon that I think is the most comfortable in her own skin. She is never afraid to experiment with fashion and incorporate different eras. She is constantly reinventing herself from the thrift store get ups during the 80’s to the 90’s wearing underwear as outwear, which is a trend for this summer to the Madonna we know and love today more polished and European. For each one of these eras one thing is for sure Madonna had everyone rocking her looks. Even today Madonna is still making waves, check out the magazine spread she did for Interview. The Material Girl still has it, gracing the pages looking even better than before. Guess what? No airbrush believe it or not.
Kylie Minogue: Kylie Minogue was and still is in my opinion a sexy symbol and she had the wardrobe to match. Kylie was known for her edgy and daring costumes while she performed. She rocked the hell out of swimsuits before Beyonce showing off her power house body. Today Kylie is less risky with her clothing and more stylish and refined.
Björk: Björk? Really? She is not even on my fashion radar and too be honest shouldn’t even be considered for this list. Maybe I’m missing something here, I’m all for the over the top fashion but wearing a swan dress to an award show does not say fashion icon.
Cherie Currie and Joan Jett: Cherie and Joan were the poster children for Rock and Roll, with their leather body suits, high boots and mullet hair styles. Two of young Hollywood stars Kristen Stewart as Joan and Dakota Fanning as Cherie are scheduled to play this rocker duo in the upcoming movie The Runaways.
Courtney Love: Musician Courtney Love who is known for her grungy rocker style during the 90’s was transformed into a chic movie star for her debut in 1997. I won’t say Courtney Love is a fashion icon however I would give her the title of best transformation.
Debbie Harry: American singer, songwriter, actress Debbie Harry who is best known as the lead singer for the group Blondie is indeed a fashion icon. Most of her looks during her musical career is very relevant to today’s fashion which is a perfect example of how fashion is forever revolving. She was known for her oversize man’s tee with leggings and strapless figure-hugging jumpsuits which are all hot trends for the summer 2010 women’s fashion.
Elly Jackson: Elle.com compares Elly Jackson’s style to that of Annie Lennox and Grace Jones with fitted blazers, skinny jeans and Gucci loafers. This gender-bending trend is also popular these days. This gender bending trend is also popular these days i.e. singer Janelle Monae’s tuxedo wearing style.
Grace Jones: Growing up as a kid I was really scared but still very fascinated with Grace Jones. She definitely walked the line between masculine and feminine. Grace Jones had no boundaries when it came to fashion she rocked the hell out of that high top fade. She was the advocate for very structured and elaborate shoulder pads which is also another reoccurring trend.
Gwen Stefani: Gwen Stefani is a style icon and fashion mogul. Her fashion line L.A.M.B was founded in 2003, they manufacture clothing and accessories such as shoes, watches, bags and a fragrance called L. Gwen comes from a line of seamstresses and it definitely shows. When Gwen first came on the scene with her band No Doubt her look was very tom boyish, as time elapsed she herself evolved into a glamorous 1940’s pin-up girl.
Karen O: This South Korean born musician is known for her outlandish sense of style. Her outfits are made by her friend and fashion designer Christian Joy. Her exotic facial features and black bob hair cut which amplify her pale skin along with her over the top outfits make Karen O stand out.
Lady Miss Kier: Elle.com stated that she designed her 60’s inspired clothing which caught the attention of designer Thierry Mugler who invited her to walk in his spring 1991 show.
M.I.A: M.I.A is very adventurous in her fashion choices. I remember watching her interview on MTV when she first came on the scene and thinking “Wow this chick is definitely trapped in the 80’s but I think her style is kind of dope!” She is also a fashion designer which explains her over the top fashion ideas i.e. her appearance at the 2008 MTV Music Awards while 9 months pregnant.
Lady Gaga: Speaking of over the top, Lady Gaga theatrical fashion sense will definitely make you stop and take notice. Gaga most recently wore a studded swimsuit to a baseball game; talk about under dressed however for some reason I just can’t get enough. It’s like the late Alexander McQueen himself created this international superstar. I’m in the front row anxiously waiting to see what comes down the runway next. Even though almost all of Gaga’s outfits are not ready to wear, she well deserves to be on this list for being an innovator.
Missy Elliott: Missy Elliott is an extremely talented artist and successful business woman however not a style icon. Elle.com stated that Missy “wears Hip Hop” but I’m sorry the hip hop fashion has come a long way from wearing track suits and Adidas. Hip Hop style is a fusion of street savvy style and an individuals’ personal style. Mary J Blige, Keri Hilson and Keyshia Cole are all perfect examples of female artists that embody Hip Hop fashion. Missy Elliot on the other hand is a trendsetter in music not in fashion.
Patti Smith: known as the Godmother of Punk, integrated the beat poetry performance style with the three cord rock and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame in 2007. Back then in the 70’s Smith embraced the “boyfriend” trend which has been reemerging within the fashion world for the past couple of seasons. It is said that she would wear men’s oxford shirts with blazers which inspired fashion designer Ann Demeulemeester.
Rihanna: I did a short piece on Rihanna back in January of this year entitled “Rated: Trendsetter” and I guess I stand corrected. Rihanna is indeed a force to be reckoned with when it comes to fashion. Her style is like no other and she takes on many different faces from the girl next door to a super hot sex symbol decked out in all the latest designer garments. She has set the bar so high that even though you may not like her as an artist you can never deny her influence when it comes to fashion.
The Spice Girls: The Spice Girls were not style icons in the 90’s, even though that era had some really questionable style selections. These were 5 girls dress exactly how they were supposed to be portrayed. Baby Spice dressed like a baby in pink and ponytails, Posh always in a short mini dress which I personally thought she got the name because of her facial features. Scary Spice wore horns and animal prints. Sporty Spice track pants and crop tops showing her athletic physique. Ginger always wore red. They were indeed huge mega stars however not influential in any way when it came to fashion.
Tina Turner: The Queen of Rock and Roll started out with straight hair wearing that infamous sequined flapper dress rolling on the river. Artists like Beyonce and many others even today still try to reinvent that look. Tina then transformed during the 80’s wearing a leather micro mini, spiked heels with matching hair with a denim jacket embracing her rocker look.
Yoko Ono: Always wearing a pair of designer sunglasses no matter the time of day and staying true to her 60’s beatnik style dressed in all black or white. Yoko Ono is style Icon in her own right, by incorporating current designer pieces to upgrade her beatnik style.
Beth Ditto: This punk chick reminds me of a modern day Tracy Turnblad (Hairspray movie) representing for all the “pleasantly plump” females. Beth is a plus size lady that knows what to wear to compliment her body type by using clothing with certain designs that draws the eye away from her size and to her shape. She is very confident in her own skin and it shows.
Written by: Curt Greenidge