What we wear has been worn before. Media superstars like Film actors, Comedians and those in the music industry are the style icons that heavily influence us by wearing their chosen designers clothes. An even more significant influence on what clothes we wear is that of the Youtube and Instagram influencers. Given the number of subscribers, likes, and shares they get, they have become the significant influence of the new age. Who are the people that influence our style and dress in the past the most?
First of all, we use the word icon far too much in the modern world. It seems that a simply classy act is enough to get you the icon, or iconic tag. This slowly dilutes the phrase and its meaning. The work of the influencers has not helped due to the sheer amount of them. Here are some of the genuinely iconic fashion influencers.
- Steve McQueen. The actor, not the director McQueen is one of those people who can make anything look cool. He was wearing the Aran Sweater before Chris Evans made it famous again. Of all the POW’s in The Great Escape he looks the best doing it (and one of the other escapee’s was the equally cool James Coburn). McQueen gave things an edge. Clothes fit his body, never the other way around.
- David Bowie. Bowie was never a man to stand still or rest on his laurels. He could have rehashed Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane for his entire career, but instead, he did what he always did and changed direction, rarely, if ever, getting it wrong. After the Glam of Ziggy came the Berlin chic and monochrome look of the Thin White Duke, and when the Seventies ended, he came back with the New Romantic look for Lets Dance. He always had an eye for fashion and was never out of style, even up to the far too early end of his life.
- Rod Stewart. He may have passed his prime in 1986 and never returned to it, but Rod Stewart’s youth and young manhood show that he was an incredible trendsetter before he strayed into singing Waltzing Matilda and songs about Motown Records. Before anyone wore it, it seems that Rod had worn it first and invariably better.
- James Dean. He only made three films, but Dean’s demise at such a young age and in a car accident elevated him to a level of success he might not have achieved if he’d lived. Dean made jeans and T-Shirt cool (just ask Steve McQueen 15 years later).
- Jimi Hendrix. He spoke coolly, and he played the guitar like it was an extension of himself. To add to the coolness, he played a right-handed guitar upside down because he couldn’t get hold of a left-handed one (obliging him to think backwards as the notes were reverse). Perhaps this would explain why he would set guitars alight on stage. Plus, he served in Vietnam and started out as an eighteen-year-old guitarist with James Browns Band.
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