Cher, Elton John, Diana Ross, at the Rock Music Awards, 1975.
Collaboration between artists can birth the most innovative and authentic work. The relationship between fashion and music is not just about a catchy song or a beautiful piece of clothing, but the emotions they are inspired by and inspire in others. Musicians started to influence fashion in the ‘50s and ‘60s, when Elvis Presley and The Beatles emerged, they weren’t simply musicians, they were rockstars. After all, the original street style stars were musicians. Their authentic brand of cool can’t be replicated. One could spend hours on end scanning through the stylish snapshots of fashion and music icons like Debbie Harry and Madonna. Clothing and music come down to an attitude. There is usually a sub-culture that informs each artist’s tastes, and that subculture is a way of life for so many people. Even when they don’t try, musicians can become great sartorial influencers. Take Kurt Cobain for example, grunge has become a fashion staple; yet Cobain was by no means looking to inspire runway looks. Most art is formed by one of two things, the world in which we live and our fantasy-based projections of the world in which we live. Musicians perform for thousands at a time, on stages around the world. They are a perfect mix, a reflection of current culture, and the fantasy of our own perceptions. They are the ideal subjects for pointy-busted Jean Paul Gaultier corsets, and they rock sequins like no other. Just scroll through these photos and witness the birth of street style at its most genuine.
(L) Elvis Presley, Live at the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium, 1957. (R) The Beatles, The Ed Sullivan Show, February 1964.
(L) Diana Ross, Wearing Fashion by André Courrèges, 1966. (R) Diana Ross, Wearing Bob Mackie, Photo by Richard Avedon, French Vogue, 1970.
(L) Joan Smalls as Diana Ross, Photo by Terry Richardson, "The Hit Parade", W Magazine, July 2011. (R) Joan Smalls as Diana Ross.
Diana Ross and Michael Jackson, credits unknown.
(L) Joan Smalls as Michael Jackson, Photo by Terry Richardson, "The Hit Parade", W Magazine, July 2011. (R) Michael Jackson, Don't Stop Till You Get Enough Cover, 1979.
(R) Elton John, Photo by William Lulow. (R) Elton John on stage at the Sundown Theatre, London, 1973.
(L) David Bowie, Ziggy Stardust at Hammersmith Odeon, 1973. (R) Vogue Australia, 2003.
(L) Jean Paul Gaultier, S/S 2013. (R) David Bowie in Tokyo during the Ziggy Stardust Tour, April 1973.
(L) Joan Jett, 1977. (R) The Ramones, 1970s.
(L) Vivienne Westwood dances on stage during a Sex Pistols Show, 1976. (R) Vivienne Westwood, S/S 2010.
Marilyn Manson for Vivienne Westwood, 2005 Ad Campaign.
(L) Sid Vicious, of the Sex Pistols. (R) Isabeli Fontana as Sid Vicious, Photo by Terry Richardson, "The Hit Parade", W Magazine, July 2011.
(L) Debbie Harry, Photo by Steve Emberton, London, 1977. (R) Debbie Harry, Photo by Alan Perry, England, 1978.
(L) Press Photo for Blondie's Plastic Letters Album on Chrysalis Records, 1978. (R) Debbie Harry, wearing dress by Stephen Sprouse, 1979.
(L) Prince, Photo by Richard Avedon, 1983. (R) Prince, Purple Rain Tour, 1984.
Madonna, Like a Virgin Cover Session, Photos by Steven Meisel, 1984.
(L) Madonna, 1983. (R) Jean Paul Gaultier, S/S 2013.
(L) Madonna and Jean Paul Gaultier, photo by Herb Ritts, April 17 1990. (R) Madonna wearing Jean Paul Gaultier Corset, Blonde Ambition Tour, 1990.
(L) Madonna, Photo by Herb Ritz, single cover for Dear Jessie, 1987. (R) Madonna, Photo by Ken Regan, 1985.
(L) Kurt Cobain, 1990s. (R) Naomi Campbell and Kristen McMenamy, Photo by Steven Meisel, Vogue, December 1992.
(L) Joan Smalls as Tupac Shakur, Photo by Terry Richardson, "The Hit Parade", W Magazine, July 2011. (R) Tupac Shakur.
(L) Gwen Stefani, 1997. (M) Gwen Stefani, American Music Awards, 1997. (R) Gwen Stefani, Grammy Awards, 1997.
(L) Gwen Stefani on the Cover of Nylon Magazine, June 2000. (R) Gwen Stefani, Harpers Bazaar, 2012.