Fresh style insights, tips and commentary by Michelle Tea, Michael Braithwaite, Leo Plass, Page McBee and Carrie Leilam Love.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Rock! And! Roll!

Listening to the Stones on my way to work last week got me thinking about style. The music of my mom's generation was nothing short of epic and even the spectacular spectacle of Our Lady of High/Low Weirdo Fashion (Gaga) is less about wild-child-authenticity/rebellion as much as it is a cynical-pop-commentary/Warholian consumer bonanza.

Exhibit A:

As compared to Exhibit B:

I mean, who else can rock a turtleneck and what is basically feathered hair and make it look AWESOME?! Anyway, I got to thinking. Maybe I'm just mad because I think the new Gaga video sucks (Madonna homage my ass) but I'm not a hater. I still think her videos are some of the most original artistic products mass marketed today. The point is, there are fashionable pop stars around today, sure, but the problem is maybe that we've tuned in so hard we forgot about dropping out.

Not to be a bum out. As far as the masculine-dressed go, there have been a few notable stand-outs in recent years (it should be noted that there are a litany of fashionable feminine music icons/rising icons of the recent past, from PJ Harvey to Beth Ditto to Janelle Monae).

Here are my picks for best-dressed music dudes of the aughts + up.

The incredibly dapper Andre3000:

The boho/freak stylings of MGMT:

The casual chameleon brilliance of Beck:

And the amazing Louis Vuitton chest-puffing of everyone's favorite sensitive jackass, Kanye West:

Unlike the pageantry of these guys, Jagger looked like he just rolled out of bed looking cool--an incredible fashion performance echoed and updated by Morrissey but not seen since.

I know there are tons of bands that have ripped off Jagger's sexual sneer but none of them do it with his ingenious aplomb (see: every ironic and jagged indie outfit of the last 10 years). I appreciate the peacock style of the aughts+ but I hope someday to see a dressed-down cool that's not derivative, not "retro" and not manufactured by a record company.

Until then, I'll appreciate the underrated/over-discussed quality that this generation does offer fashion (and everything else): an intense awareness of itself.

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