The world of music moves just as quickly as that of fashion, so it’s no surprise the two are consistently intertwined.
Last week, reporter Liz Jones attacked Rihanna’s personal style (igniting a firestorm between the two), while on Monday, Carly Rae Jepsen was announced as Candie’s Fall 2013 star. Meanwhile, Miley Cyrus actively sheds her Disney image through raised hemlines and cutout patterns, while Lana Del Rey continues to challenge old Hollywood. The times they are a-changing.
But this is old news. And to prove it, we’ve rounded up ten of our favourite fashion transformations so we can pay homage to both music and fashion’s flair for evolution. Let’s take a walk down memory lane.
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1. Miley Cyrus
Where do we begin? Shortly after casting off her "Hannah Montana" wig, Miley Cyrus chopped off her hair, dyed it blonde, then began embracing a gothic, more controversial aesthetic. Shorter hems, plunging necklines, and crop tops have replaced the singer’s jeans and Converse from a few years back, and have proved that contrary to her song’s message, upon adulthood, one indeed “can be changed.”
Considering Beyoncé entered the music game in her late teens, we should hope her fashion sense matured as years progressed. Fortunately, upon the disbandment of Destiny’s Child (not that we’re sanctioning their break-up – that would be blasphemy), Beyoncé came into her own, trading camouflage and embellishment overload for silhouette-hugging mini-dresses, and foolproof colour combinations. No wonder she launched her own swimsuit line for H&M.
3. Justin Timberlake
Before the days of Tom Ford collaborations, suits, and ties, Justin Timberlake was merely a boy with a penchant for denim, jerseys, and, well, everything else we’ve come to expect from ‘90s and 2000s. However, gel curls and tank tops were soon replaced by leather bomber jackets and straight-legged jeans, and as Justin’s solo albums continued being released, his fashion sense only improved more so. (Though arguably, it’s going to be hard to trump these Tom Ford suits.)
There’s no “bad” fashion in the world of Madonna – especially since her very ethos hangs on “express yourself.” Instead, Madonna’s style is merely a reflection of her current headspace: the ‘80s saw her embrace trends of the era, while the SEX days saw more leather, PVC, and far more skin. To celebrate Evita, she channeled old Hollywood, while the mid-2000s saw more of an athletically inspired look. The day Madonna’s style stops evolving is the day the world is over.
5. Lana Del Rey
Lana Del Rey may have only been known by that name for the last few years, but prior to “Video Games,” the singer went by her birth name, Lizzy Grant, and favoured Americana styles (think gingham, stars and stripes, and t-shirts) while doing so. Now, she’s synced herself so much to the fashion world that she’s landed a modeling deal, and a campaign with H&M – all for abiding by her own style, and doing so fearlessly. Maybe we should’ve been writing Lana Del Rey think pieces about that in 2012 instead.
6. Justin Bieber
What’s a boy to do? Bursting onto the scene in 2008, the then-13-year-old Justin Bieber made purple hoodies his trademark, inspiring a colour trend the world over amongst his loyal tween audience. However, the older he got, the more fashion-conscious he became, first shedding his fleece, then traditional pants shapes. Lately, Bieber’s taken to parachute pants, matching leather tops, and in one case, bright animal print (which, fittingly, clashed which his pet monkey that was apprehended). If only he could learn from Justin Timberlake. If only he could learn from all of us, who’ve erred terribly style-wise in our teens.
7. Emily Haines (Metric)
While Metric’s Emily Haines has always had her own sense of style, the attention earned by "Live It Out," "Fantasies," and the stadium-packing "Synthetica" have brought even more attention to her fashion choices (and rightfully so). Now, in place of the subtle dresses of 2006, Haines has amped up her stage aesthetic, opting for metallics, sequins, and prints. But that’s not all: the singer has recently spoken about designing her own line of jewelry, proving that if you live by your own fashion code, you will turn all the right heads.
8. Britney Spears
In only a few short years, Britney Spears went from high school uniforms, to rhinestone-clad stage costumes, to matching denim with Justin Timberlake. But then she came back (and again once more), debuting a more refined style on "The X-Factor," as well as a Michael Cinco Couture dress that trumped all others at Elton John’s Oscar party this year. To grow up is to accept change, and Spears has not only done so professionally, she’s applied that lesson to her style ethos, too. The woman deserves all the applause.
9. Kate Nash
We don’t hear a lot about Britain’s Kate Nash due to the Atlantic ocean between us, but those who were paying attention to Nash’s 2007 pop debut were likely startled when her tea dresses were replaced by a punker, more Tim Burton-esque aesthetic. Now, her evolution continues: channeling Riot Grrrl through her music, the singer’s fashion sense is also much more pronounced and fearless. Vivid reds, vintage silhouettes, and a ‘40s-inspired hair sweep now define Nash’s style, doing well to prove you can be socially aware while being aesthetically so. Fashion is a terrific form of expression, after all.
10. Jennifer Lopez
Before the best dressed lists, before the deep-V Versace Grammys dress (never forget the controversy), and before her love “[didn’t] cost a thing,” Jennifer Lopez was just Jenny From the Block: the casual bandana-wearing girlfriend of Puff Daddy, previously known more for her movies than for her music. But those were the ‘90s, and as J. Lo became just that, she traded her athletic pants for couture, cementing herself as a fashion icon. It’s amazing what 15 years can do.