Does Music Influence Fashion – You Bet!

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


They’re playing our song


One of the most memorable parts of any wedding reception is the first dance. As family, friends, photographer, videographer and staff look on, the couple dances as a married couple for the first time. All movement in the room  stops except for the couple on the dance floor, looking into one another’s eyes, moving to the sounds of their song of choice.

Choosing the right song can be tricky, difficult or very easybut make no mistake it is a very personal choice and should express the personality of the couple and their feelings about their relationship and this big moment in their lives. That is a tall order but one that we can help you to better understand by asking yourself three simple questions:

Fast or slow?  Hard to believe but, some couples do not opt for a slow, romantic ballad to express themselves.  For certain couples, the idea of a more upbeat song fits the bill quite nicely and captivates the guests. Perhaps something like the Frank Sinatra classic “It Had To Be You” or  the equally popular remake by Harry Connick Jr. If you dissect the song, it is not really slow. It does require some serious dance moves,  so don’t pick something of this tempo if you can’t handle a foxtrot. Footnote: Frank Sinatra songs have not lost their romantic popularity since his first album but, is it a coincidence that a great deal of his best works are in a foxtrot tempo? I’ll let you think about that for a minute, it’s a good segue to the next topic.

Modern or classic? It is true that the classics never die. Think about this: many modern songs of today will become classics by the time you celebrate your 25th anniversary, so in hindsight it is  moot  to worry about the popularity of a single song. My prom theme was on a classic radio station about three years after I adorned the satin concoction my mother made for me so lets not split hairs. Pick a song that has lyrics that are meaningful or one that was playing when you cemented your commitment, so my advice: Don’t worry about how old it is.

What does the song actually say?Believe it or not, some of the most romantic songs of all times have misleading words. There is a reason that the Dolly Parton/Whitney Houston classic “I Will Always Love You” is not even mentioned on any list of top songs chosen for the first wedding dance. Listen to the lyrics, “If I should stay I would only get in your way….” Seriously? Is this what you want to be playing as you step onto the dance floor? Equally misleading are “Every Breath You Take” by the Police (stalker), “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers (morbid). I was fooled by at least one of these songs and I can tell you I was shocked when I learned what the song really said. Best piece of advice ever- Google the lyrics to your song choice to see what the song actually says. You might be surprised but you will thank me.

Bottom Line: Don’t let anyone tell you what is right or wrong, this is a very personal choice. I would take the advice of the DJ or bandleader only and perhaps enroll in dance lessons if you opt for a Sinatra tune. Happy Hoofing!

Bridal Expo Chicago has music professionals at each and every show that are in tune with your needs. Take a moment to call 847-428-3320 to get tickets to a show in your area.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago