By: Inna Bosenko
Checking out at a drugstore, it’s almost impossible to walk away without that impulse buy of a fashion magazine by the register. Flipping through pages, I’m always on the hunt to see what trends celebrities are currently endorsing. We’re all guilty of this: surfing the web for candids, watching music videos, award shows and interviews for fashion inspiration from trendsetting royalty of the music world. Let’s face it: nobody can influence countless generations with style the way a musical icon can. Rihanna places a striped symmetric blazer into her new video and the next thing you know, you’re shuffling through racks searching for just that. We all draw inspiration from the pop culture, but where do these artists draw theirs from? Is it even possible to find out who originally started the skin-tight dazzling mini dresses trend or the edgy leotard craze that’s dominating stages all over the world?
Currently it seems that the second a bold edgy singer steps onstage, they face accusations of imitating Lady Gaga. It became a stage new artists must undeniably go through. And indeed, Lady Gaga is one of the leading contemporary fashion icons, risk takers, rule breakers and creative geniuses of our time. Fashion has been a massive part of her work starting from the blue Poker Face body suit to her loyal endorsement of the McQueen brand. Who can forget the infamous meat dress, a Hussain Chalayan inspired bubble outfit or the Jeremy Scott metallic mini? With her out-of-this-world looks today, people forget that Gaga went through her very own stage of accusations of impersonating yet another pop diva: Madonna.
Madonna came onto the scene in early 80s and caught immediate attention with daring rebellious fashion choices. Excessive amounts of jewelry, lots of black and leather, chains, dramatic curls and undeniable sexiness all made Madonna an innovative sensation. She performed rocking provocative leotards starting a stage trend that would take over concerts of various pop stars for years. Madonna’s famous cone bra by Jean Paul Gaultier became all the rage and was later imitated by Rihanna, Gaga and Katy Perry. Everyone from rockstars like Taylor Momsen to rappers like Nicki Minaj imitated bits and pieces of Madonna’s style. But let’s trace it back even further: this daring diva gained an incredible amount of fans with her own obvious imitation of an eternal sex symbol Marilyn Monroe.
Madonna serves as inspiration to one of the top modern fashion icons and my personal style muse: Rihanna. A true artist, Rihanna constantly progresses through stages with her style: the dangerous rebel look, sweet red-haired image of innocence, colorful Caribbean island vibe and effortless oversized almost-masculine expression. Riri slightly imitates Madonna’s 80s trends with her own edgy twist and sex appeal.
Let’s look at one of the most enchanting representatives of the music industry today: lead singer of Florence and the Machine, Florence Welch. Having her own unique personal style, Florence indulges in feminine fabrics and silhouettes. She was repeatedly seen wearing lace, effortless dress/jacket combinations and her signature look of a light floor-length gown with lots of movement. This style can be easily rewound back to the lead singer of Fleetwood Mac: Stevie Nicks, also famous for boho shawls and light flowy dresses with lots of fabric and layers. Her style has also been duplicated by Hollywood’s royalty Mary Kate Olsen, Mischa Barton and Kate Moss.
So ultimately, fashions seen in music videos or on stages are simply modern versions of something that has already been done and proven successful. Imitation is the best form of flattery and done with a personal twist suddenly becomes brand new originality.