Music and fashion have a long history of influencing each other. When one thinks back on the defining fashions of a decade, they are more often than not tied to the music which was being listened to. From punk to mods, grunge to New Romantics, what you listen to and what you wear are intrinsically linked expressions of your personality. But it’s not just the style of music which influences how we dress, it’s the people who produce that music. These icons go beyond musical fame, and become symbols of a lifestyle that we strive to emulate. Here, members of the OxStu fashion and music teams as well as other Oxford students tell us about the performaers who have had both a musical and sartorial effect on their lives.
“For me, Stephen Malkmus, the frontman of Pavement, has this effortlessly cool look. He may not be what people call ‘chic’, and in fact he at first appears fairly standard; uninteresting even. Good shirts, jeans, and converses what you’ll normally see him in. But part of this is the ironic air which the band gives off in their music. It’s very understated. I also like Thom Yorke of Radiohead’s style, especially with the new ponytail! If anyone can rock longer hair, it’s him.” – James Aldred
“My musical style icon would have to be Madonna – specifically, 80s Madonna. For me, 80s Madonna’s style was so iconic because it presented a whole new idea of young women’s fashion – her style incorporated an unapologetic sense of sexuality and freedom whilst embracing youthful femininity. Her experimentation with colour, texture and shape, and attention to detail, sums up the 80s for me – bright, bold, unique and unconcerned with the conventions of popular taste. I always try to incorporate a little bit of this ethos into my everyday fashion!” – Hazel Harrow
“Without question, David Bowie has had the most influence on my style. I’ve always considered myself not to fit in with typically ‘masculine’ ways of dressing, and he showed me that one doesn’t have to dress in a strictly male or female way with his androgynous looks. In a similar vein, Adam Ant got me really into playing around with makeup, and I still sport the odd bit of guy-liner on a night out. I also went through a phase of wanting to dress like a dandy highwayman all the time… fortunately it didn’t last!” – Peter Lock
“Well, this is somewhat embarrassing to admit but I can only really say Rachel Stevens. As a die-hard S Club 7 fan, I was very into the whole baggy trousers with a vest-top and trainers look (give me a break – these were the dark days of the early 00s). Rachel was always my favourite though. I was even given a Rachel Stevens doll for my 6th birthday, complete with S Club 7 logo-emblazoned flare trousers. Although this was all way back in the day, I do have a particular embellished purple top which I always think has an air of Ms Stevens about it, and has me humming ‘Bring It All Back’ as I’m getting ready to go out.” – Alys Key
“My music style icon is Florence Welch. I lover her 70’s inspired style and her trademark long lace dresses. From graphic prints to loud colours, the variety in her outfits never fail to amaze me. She also couples her look with a strong and mysterious attitude, making every girl envy her confidence.” – Laetitia Nappert-Rosales
“Mika is my icon in everything. He wears the best suits, has the best hair, sings the best songs and is just all-round the greatest person on the planet. I’m just hopelessly in love with him”. – Freya Judd