ON THE CATWALK, BABY

Further Probing the Link Between Fashion and Rock — Is Fashion Only Clothes Deep?

Johnny Loftus

Recently on Glorious Noise, in an article discussing Hollywood’s propensity to favor the underdog as the perfect paramour for the straightlaced overachiever, I made the point that said overachiever — at least in the context of the Teen Comedy — is usually the cheerleading captain (Kirsten Dunst in Bring It On) or at least rich and popular (Freddie Prinze, Jr in She’s All That). And — whether they be male or female — that Cool Kid’s true love usually turns out to be a punk rocker or an intellectual or an amalgam of both, either way decidedly not someone who dates the preps. This seemingly innocuous article developed into a fascinating conversation string debating the interrelated topics of rock, fashion, self-identity, motivation, and feminism. Taking one part of that discussion, it’s interesting to look at Fashion’s role in Rock, and vice versa.

So.

Rock and Fashion, Fashion and Rock. To which side of this dichotomy do those who consider themselves rockers — and concurrently those who consider themselves fashionistas — align themselves? And does that line blur continually between the two camps, with the hardliners in both staying as far away from the other as possible? Glorious Noise is currently interviewing for a fashion editor, who will then cover the Fashion side of the equation. In the meantime…

In Rock at least, fashion — or at least what one wears — has always been a signifier of music style. The Greasers and the Preps, the Mods and the Rockers, and Steve Dahl’s infamous Disco Demolition — these battles were all based on a demarcation of style and music. But even the 70s heavy metal dudes drunk on suds tearing up Comiskey Park’s infield while burning millions of disco records had a look that defined them. It wasn’t a pair of pink sidewinders or a bright orange pair of pants, but hell, you knew them when you saw them coming. Nowadays, musical genres still spawn their own fashion. There’s the club kids with their giant jeans and florescent T’s. In another corner are the neo-Goths, who’ve updated the 80s Robert Smith look with piercings, vinyl pants and hair dye. And there’s the indie rockers, whose style has always revolved closely to that of the Fashion world, if only because the genre’s fans have those skinny hips that haute couture adores so much. Natch.

If someone tells you that they don’t care about fashion, they’re usually lying. Unless they’re a drummer, and that’s a whole different article. Anyway, it’s true that the two are linked, whether the Rockers or the Fashion kids like it or not. But how? In obvious ways, like Steven Tyler or Shirley Manson sitting stage-side at Fashion Week in Milan? Or is it something deeper, something that somehow plays back into the vibe of my article about Bring It On‘s guitar-playing, Clash T-shirt wearing lovable loser, who wins the sunlit love of his school’s fashion maven?

I’m afraid I can’t go any further with this point until some input arrives from all of you GloNo readers, who were so gracious as to write in your thoughts about the other article. What do YOU think?

JTL

9 thoughts on “ON THE CATWALK, BABY”

  1. “If someone tells you that they don’t care about fashion, they’re usually lying. Unless they’re a drummer, and that’s a whole different article.”Juh? I’d like to see that article…

  2. Josh, you should be interviewed for that article. Remember your huge Apple Computers baseball jersey? Mike D. sure does…

  3. Hey Josh, I distinctly remember you saying to me, “You’re like me-I don’t care about clothes!”That may be true, but who’s the one with the fez? :D

  4. Yeah, Shecky? Well I was probably high at the time… and who bought you the fez?When the whip comes down, you’ll see who’s in style.(It’s still a pretty sweet fez – I gotta get me one.)

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