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Grace Jones’s Armani suit

Fashion’s greatest pop hits – from Gaga’s meat dress to Grace Jones’s Armani suit

Björk: Debut, album, 1993

Bjork’s Debut

Judy Blame is a legend of street-derived DIY styling. In partnership with music video director Mondino, he created the now-classic cover portrait for Björk’s acclaimed first album, Debut.

Blame had requested that Björk simply bring her favourite clothes from her own wardrobe for the Paris shoot. However, when the airline lost her luggage (“she walked into my hotel room carrying just a model of a boat, a little satin Martin Margiela dress and a big pair of boots”) they changed plan and headed to Margiela’s showroom.

“She’d talked a lot about the fact the album was quite techno but she wanted to look like a little animal, so I just yanked that little furry jumper off Martin’s rail. Then [the French make-up artist] Topolino came in and put those two sequins under her eyes and that was it – the full stop!” recalls Blame. And so pop music’s inimitable cyber pixie was born: a crystal-clear synergy of quiet vulnerability and extrovert determination.

Lady Gaga: meat dress, MTV awards, 2010

Surreal, subversive and typically Gaga, the infamous meat dress (painstakingly crafted from real slices of meat) that she wore to the MTV music awards in Los Angeles in 2010 divided commentators: was it an artistic statement with a feminist agenda (women as meat) or anti-fashion dig at the sensation-hungry fashion and music industries? Franc Fernandez, who was originally commissioned to create a meat purse, developed the idea into a into a full-blown dress, and drafted in the family butcher to bring it to life.

Grace Jones: Nightclubbing, album, 1981

Nightclubbing, 1981.

Grace Jones collaborated with French art director, filmmaker and then lover Jean-Paul Goude to create performances, album art and music videos that propelled her semi-surreal image into the stratosphere. The cover for the album Nightclubbing (1981) boasts the image Goude believes most truthfully crystallises his overall vision of her – a fearless modern hero, with extreme, subversive beauty. Jones boasts a sharply structured flat-top, a black, square-shouldered Armani suit (later retouched to look more extreme) and a torso so sculpted that the decolletage-cum-breastbone could be male or female. Her skin is inky black (Goude painted it black then overlaid it with blue powder to deepen the look) her lips dark red – countered by the sleek stick of a white cigarette.

“It was about extremity, playing on her masculinity. Grace simplified to the maximum,” says Goude.

Jennifer Lopez: Get Right video, 2005

Jennifer Lopez, Get Right.

While Jennifer Lopez’s persona was inarguably built on sexually charged charisma, stylist Andrea Lieberman, who put Lopez in a deep-plunge Versace dress for the Grammy Awards in 2000, said it was about reclaiming ownership over that sensuality. The Get Right video is a vision of sports luxury way before the term “athleisure” was coined in 2014. Together, they constructed an identity so popular that Lopez kickstarted global trends such as the Juicy Couture velour tracksuit (I’m Real, 2001) and the Manolo Blahnik, Timberland-style stiletto boots (Jenny from the Block, 2002), inspiring a whole generation of emerging female hip-hop artists.

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Kirjoitettu Wednesday 17.08.2016


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