Thinking back to my youth, I remember watching Elton John and Kiki Dee performing on a variety show, probably the Hudson Brothers (Kate Hudson’s dad and his brothers had a one hour weekly show with musical guests and comedy sketches). Kiki Dee was wearing light blue overalls and had her hair super straight. I wanted straight hair and light blue overalls so bad that I convinced my mother to let me learn how to sew so I could make a pair just like them…. and I did. It wasn’t until the late 1990’s that I was able to achieve the straight hair. Several years after the blue overall experience, I saw Madonna in a bustier and fluffy skirt and that became my next must-have. I wore crazy skirts like Cyndi Luper, crimped my hair like Whitney Houston and would have tried to copy every one of Cher’s Bob Mackie gowns if I thought for a second I could get away with it. In case you can’t tell, I think music is a huge influence on fashion.
Oddly enough, the effect music has on fashion is a trickle up theory, of sorts. An artist wears something in concert or video, their fans go wild, begin to copy it, and then works it’s way up the generational ladder until it is mainstream fashion. Gwen Stefani was a huge influence on fashion in the 1990’s bringing some glam to the grunge look. She was so successful that she even started her own clothing line, which is now the norm for many female artists. The grunge look was not my favorite but, looking back it had to be cost effective since cleanliness was definitely optional.
Yesterday, I returned home form the market to learn the sad news that Whitney Houston passed away at the age of 48. Whitney Houston was one of the greatest vocal talents of my lifetime, a powerhouse, a woman of heart and soul who shared her talent with the world and her style greatly influenced fashion. Her inimitable style and talent will be missed as she enters the ranks of one more soul who left this world way too young.
-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago