I discuss how music videos have become the ultimate source for style inspiration in the last three decades.
Each year designers, models, bloggers and overall fashionistas flock to the most fashionable cities in the world to cast their eyes upon the latest trends set to take the fashion world by storm. I’m guessing as cash-strapped students that most of us haven’t had the luck to attend one of these illustrious catwalk events. However, in reality the biggest catwalk extravaganza on the planet doesn’t take place in some fancy ballroom in London or under the neon lights of New York. Neither does it occur on the runway of some Marc Jacobs show or in between the glossy pages of Vogue. It occurs on our TV screens, on Youtube, in our own living rooms. I’m talking about the Music Video which, in the last thirty years, has become the most influential catwalk of all .
While David Bowie and the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, wowed us with their wonderful and somewhat wacky fashion choices in the 1970’s and 1980’s, Madonna’s manufactured videos stirred numerous fashion revolutions during this period. Her smash hit Vogue not only found itself sitting at the top of charts worldwide, but the empowering outfits featured in the video found themselves sitting in wardrobes of the masses. The enthralling video which displays males strutting their stuff in crisp tuxedos inspired men all over the world to invest in a clean, cut suit perfect for all occasions. A suit was no longer seen as a luxury for James Bond, but an ultimate wardrobe winner. Madonna’s mega-video likewise inspired ladies across the globe to embrace power dressing. The Queen of Pop’s black, shoulder padded pants suit combination initiated a universal fashion uprising. Androgynous shoulder pads and collar-clad shirts became the staple pieces for modern women throughout the nineties.
Twenty Years after Madonna rocked our wardrobes, her predecessor Lady Gaga became a poster girl for designers everywhere with the massive music video for her stellar tune Bad Romance. The video, which boasts everything from thriller-type dance moves to flaming fire effects, is famous for its fantastic outfits. In many ways it is almost a full-blown advertisement for Alexander McQueen whose pieces take pride of place throughout the video. While the video itself tracks how Gaga surrenders herself to the sinister forces of the music industry, outfits such as an entrancing gothic bikini and a metallic, 3D-esque, disco dress inspired people all over the world to take more fashion risks and not to just follow the crowd.
In 2014 hip hop diva Iggy Azalea took the concept of the music video as a catwalk to another level with her slick single Fancy. The video which is a spoof on the 1990’s movie Clueless has led to the resurgence in popularity of preppy clothing ,such as blazers and brogues , allowing us to unleash our inner ‘90’s chick’. While Azalea’s black and yellow, checked skirt and blazer combination is undoubtedly the most outstanding outfit in the video, her LBD and choke chain ensemble that is featured at the Christmas party at the end is also a stellar look. This autumn, has seen the revitalisation of the choke-chain trend thanks to Miss Azalea. Topshop stock a range of these neck jewels in a variety of colours and designs and they have the instantaneous effect of giving a simple LBD an edgy lift.
The music video, like fashion, has become an artform in the last three decades. While some critics believe music videos are another means of self-promotion in our materialistic world, in reality they are a haven for creativity and where outlandish style can showcase itself! While video may have killed the radio star, it has certainly had the opposite influence on fashion!