Between fashion and music there has always been a symbiotic relationship. Not only image and songs overlap, but the combination of these two forms of emotional communication represents the true essence of the myths of rock. Many artists in the extravagant, revolutionary or particularly creative look have found the secret of success. But to conquer the public it is not enough to go on stage with a strange dress or dress elegantly in designer clothes from the great designers.
Fashion and pop music they run parallel because clothes and melodies are two sides of popular culture. Since the record industry was born, the image has been a fundamental part in the dynamics of music marketing. The great rock stars have understood that in addition to voice, talent and a right dose of sensitivity or transgression, on stage they are also judged for their appearance. But in music is appearance or substance more important? We will try to find out in this article.
Fashion music and image
The growth of cosmetic surgery or the billions spent on the men’s and women’s cosmetics market show one thing: this is the society of the image. Well-being and beauty of the body and mind are continuously declaimed by communication and it is no longer just a matter of personal aesthetic pride or seductive power, but of economic convenience. Research confirms that beautiful people have more careers and earn more money in every professional field.
Salt’image is important in everyday life let alone in the world of songs, where the concept of rebellion is added to the communicative force of fashion and music. Thinking about the greatest rock stars of every decade we can easily find confirmation of the contamination between melodies and clothes. Originality is a fundamental characteristic of talent; when it is linked to a social message it goes beyond emotion to become a counterculture.
Artists and stylists they have always dared to break down walls, go against the system or simply to sell records or clothes. From the times of ’68 to the fluid forms of genre, every phenomenon always has a purely creative ideal part and one linked to business and communication. The public does not go to concerts just to listen to music but above all to watch, so much so that even musical tastes are in some way conditioned by appearance.
Fashion and pop music
A singer who wanted focus everything on the look he wouldn’t be an artist, but neither is it right to deny completely the importance of the dress. Talented singers and instrumentalists who are not very attentive to the image risk being outclassed by the first Youtuber who collects millions of clicks because he dresses in an original or provocative way, perhaps without knowing how to play or sing and singing apparently insignificant songs.
The image is not inversely proportional to the talent, but in the history of pop music many artists have achieved success also thanks to an extravagant look. The Beatles probably would have sold millions of records without long hair anyway, but today more than ever the myth is linked to the image. Madonna, David Bowie, Roxy Music, Lady Gaga and many other famous stars of the international show, deprived of the image and judged only on the musical level would lose much of their charm.
The relationship between fashion and pop music it is fundamental not only for the icons of pop rock. If swords, lightning and thunderbolts work in heavy metal, for the singer-songwriters of the author’s song committed, in addition to the bottles of Barbera, on stage there were the eskimo to identify characters like Guccini. Even the charisma of artists such as Luigi Tenco or Fabrizio de Andrè went far beyond the musical, poetic and narrative content.
After all, even the songwriters were fashionable characters as today are the trappers who mix Rolex and streetwear in the videos. In the new generations, the black leather jacket or a tuft is not enough to amaze, but the visual communication is layered in a thousand shapes and colors that, between videos, social networks and smartphones, pass through clothing. Trap artists wear glamorous clothes that are excessive and without rules and it is the way they wear them that makes them protagonists more than words or music.
Fashion and cultured music
The symbiotic relationship between fashion and music is not only a prerogative of popular art but also concerns more sophisticated musical genres such as the so-called cultured music. Culture and musical training of listeners of classical and jazz or songwriting can be very different, but even with different levels of understanding of the artistic language, the dress, image and style of the artist and the public as a whole. is critical.
For the opera audience, going to concerts has always been a way to exhibit a cultural and social identity, if not the latest jewel purchased. In recent times the dress code of the concert seasons is more varied, but the differences can also be seen in the records, with the conductor in a granite and austere pose leading the orchestra. Even in jazz the covers have a distinctly rarefied aesthetic, while many famous artists such as Miles Davis had a genuine fixation on the dress worn on stage.
It always counts what the artist manages to convey to the public also through his image. For this before get on stage of Sanremo or of the more down-to-earth underground suburban club, a singer should think well about how to dress. A well-finished look can bring an intangible product such as music closer to the collective imagination of all audiences whose musical choices can have much more to do with personal identity than with listening awareness.
The problem of how to dress It is not just about the big music stars on stage, but about anyone who has the opportunity to perform at school or at work. A good suit also serves to be heard in the office and is part of a series of non-negligible elements capable of providing security. Together with other psychological factors, a good image can also allow us to be realized from a professional point of view.
How important is the image?
Really a dress can enact the success of an artist? It is obvious that the look was more important to the Sex Pistols or Boy George than to Miles Davis or Herbert von Karajan. The symbiosis between fashion and music also exists as an instrument of rupture in the creative process of the industry but then it concerns people, beyond everything. Judging an artist by appearance is an irrational phenomenon that is beyond the control of the human brain.
On what the choices of the public influenced by the appearance of musicians has devoted numerous studies to Chia-Jung Tsay of University College London. His tests show how the public uses visual information also to make musical judgments and create a personal taste. People are convinced that they evaluate artists ‘performances using their ears, but it often seems to rely more on the eyes when judging the artists’ look.
The test asked lay listeners and music experts to guess who the winners of prestigious music competitions were. The test took place in three stages, first by listening to only audio recordings, then showing videos with audio and finally only videos without audio. The greatest number of correct answers was found in the people who had watched the videos without audio, rather than in those who had only listened to the songs.
Power fashion in music
Given that the relationship between fashion and music exists, what power does fashion have? Having removed any ideal barrier to the spread of capitalism and consumerism, the equilibrium in the relationship between fashion, advertising and marketing is completely blown. The spread of social networks and the use of streaming music, a system of distribution and management of the market controlled by finance, contributed to this.
Today nobody dreams of hiding what in the 60s it was forbidden to say: the dress is importantcan make a difference and money. Once the boundary between fashion and music has been crossed, the most famous artists use the image as a commercial brand to sell clothing or perfumes. The risk is that the power relationship between quality and quantity is distorted, often with an artistic, human and general decay that we can all verify on a daily basis. How did we get to this point?
The book makes this clear Fashion + Music written by journalist and trend forecaster Katie Baron for London-based publisher Laurence King. Her analysis starts from afar in a period before the cultural, social and economic revolution of the internet, when records were bought in stores and still talked about political, social and sexual identities. In the 80s and 90s, fashion and music went hand in hand with respect, obtaining memorable results that are still under everyone’s eyes and ears today.
In a world dominated by images and videos, the relationship between fashion and music it is more and more important. But how important is being good musicians and how much is having a good image consultant? The Eurovision Song Festival is the answer: more than a singing event it is a fashion show. Amazement or annoyance do not serve to explain a reality that sometimes sees characters without apparent musical qualities become star influencers rather than artists.
Sure a good one image consultant he can do nothing if talent, willpower and luck are lacking, but his role can be essential in building a successful character. Costume designers, creatives and fashion designers such as B. Akerlund, William Baker, Jeffrey Bryant or Nicola Formichetti, are the names of consultants who, rather than dressing up concerts, built real staging.
The artists are the protagonists of shows that must provoke, seduce and conquer the eyes of the public and not just the ears. How to transform the three chords of any pop song into a powerful transmedia narrative on the border between art, music and communication? The choice of materials, colors, shapes, tricks, sets must be studied with great professionalism and awareness.
Find thebalance between fashion and music that is, between appearance and sensibility is one of the most difficult tasks of a good image consultant. We must not exaggerate with too extravagant projects, but bring out personality and emotions. From the stage name to the look, bands, professional or emerging artists must have an image in line with their brand and up to their abilities.
Fashion and cinema
When it comes to fashion music or artthe difference between looking and seeing or hearing and hearing is only in people’s eyes and ears. T.utto serves to immediately identify the character to break into the hearts of the fans even before having played a single note. The same happens between fashion and cinema, which began their joint journey in the 1930s with the rise of the Hollywood myth.
Scholars and art critics they argue that the importance of the union between fashion and film goes far beyond the simple ‘dressing’ entrusted to the costume designer. Since the 1950s, cinema has established itself as a flywheel of lifestyles. In theaters around the world, people have been fascinated by a way of dressing and acting that has arrived on the streets from films. As in the case of music, the style of film actors since the end of the 1960s has also assumed an ever greater importance.
Fashion and cinema They have always helped each other with important collaborations between stylists, directors and actors for films, advertisements, shorts and documentaries. By offering actors entire collections for free, the stylists define the character of the characters on and off the camera, advertise themselves and save money on film production. Audrey Hepburn is the first famous actress who is tied to the taste of a stylist.
The little black dress by Hubert de Givenchy with clean lines worn in the famous film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” has transformed it into a style icon. Another famous example is Richard Gere dressed as Armani for American Gigolo. Many films set in the world of fashion have also made an era: Blow up by Michelangelo Antonioni (1966), Under the dress nothing by Carlo Vanzina (1985), Notes on fashion and the city by Wim Wenders dedicated to the designer Yoshi Jamamoto (1989), Pret -a porter by Altman (1994) or The devil wears Prada by David Frankel (2006), just to name a few.
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