With David Bowie releasing a new single – and announcing a new album is soon to follow – on the same day London Collection: Men commenced, it seems somewhat apt to discuss the relationship between music and fashion.
From the Rat Pack and the Mods in their sublime fitting suits through to the visceral Punks and extravagance of the New Romantics, fashion and music have always shared a bond that has seen one influence the other and vice versa.
Yet while men’s fashion goes from strength to strength and continues to push the boundaries of what men can, and will wear, music and its incorporation of fashion seems to have stagnated in the past decade. Not since The Strokes and the Libertines brought the skinny jean to the masses have we seen bands and solo artists bring a sense of fashion to a wider audience.
Some may argue that artists such as Lady Gaga and Florence and the Machine are fine examples of musicians not afraid to stretch the rules of fashion within their music but even they would have to admit that much of their influence comes from artist such as Bowie himself. In fact the Thin White Duke seems to be an influence on pretty much anyone currently plying their trade in the music scene.
With shows like the X Factor creating a bland, stale version of pop, experimenting with both music and fashion seems to have almost been wiped off the radar.
In the past 50 years music and fashion have been embedded in the social psyche. From the birth of Rock ‘n’ Roll in the 50’s through to the grunge and indie scene that so encapsulated the 90’s, every generation has had a fashion/music movement they can call their own.
In a hundred years time, will our children’s children look back at the Naughties and see it as the moment the marriage between music and fashion separated? Are we now stuck in an age where the man on the street is unwilling to go against the grain?
We put some of these questions to one of the last bastions of fashion and music, former lead singer of the Libertines, Carl Barat.