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The Influence of Music on Fashion

By: Morgan Malget

Artists in the music industry are constantly pushing the boundaries of what society considers fashionable. As soon as a new trend is spotted on an artist the media is quick to pick up on it, and those trends will often trickle down to the general public.

Many individual music lovers' styles are influenced by their favorite artists. Although some artists' styles are replicated on a smaller scale, many popular groups and genres have had an affect on the fashion industry as a whole. The peacock revolution of the '60s was inspired by bands such as The Beatles. When their pop rock music began to gain popularity, designers started to pick up on the changing times and curate fashion for the youth, whereas before it had been geared toward elite members of society.

During this time, it became socially acceptable for men, straight and homosexual alike, to wear bright colors without being judged. Also during this time the iconic mini-skirt was created by Mary Quant, and flamboyant ready to wear fashions such as bright shift dresses and turtlenecks gained popularity. In the later '60s a youth counterculture movement began to grow and because of Woodstock and the artists who performed, like Creedence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, the laid-back fashions of "The Summer of Love" were normalized. This includes bell bottoms, fringe, vests and boho-style dresses.

The grunge fashions of the '90s were inspired by the music and ideals of grunge bands like Nirvana. Kurt Cobain, the front man of Nirvana played an especially large role in contributing to the grunge era. He popularized over-sized tops, flannel shirts and distressed jumpers and jeans. His loose and slouchy style has continued to inspire fashion today. This can be seen in Kanye West's clothing, which features the over-sized look of the grunge era. A$AP Rocky is also well known for incorporating the grunge look into his everyday style.

Although Kanye's clothing is somewhat a replication of the grunge era, he has incorporated one of today's biggest trends, street style, into his designs. Street style emerges from many different types of young influencers such as models, TV personalities and especially artists in the music industry. Often people gain their inspiration for street style through candid images seen on social media or in magazines.

Female artists like Ariana Grande, Cardi B and Rihanna have influenced young women through their candid street style looks that incorporate things like over sized clothing that still look feminine and daring outfits with patterns and embellishments. Their music has also affected how women wear street style because much of their music has undertones of feminism and empowerment, which translates into their fashion.

Artists also play a large role in trends by endorsing brands. Rihanna as well as Rae Sremmurd have been the faces of Puma, and Travis Scott has done modeling for Nike as well as Adidas. Because these artists have high social status in popular culture, giving their endorsement to a brand tells the public that it has their stamp of approval and it's much more likely that the brand will become popular.

Music, and the artists who produce it, have always had a heavy influence on the styles that we have seen come and go. Whether we realized it or not, artists have continuously set the trends for society. We can assume that whatever the next big trend is, we'll see it dawned on one of the top artists of today before we ever see people wearing it to class.


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