Subscribers to any Condé Nast magazine will find some extra fun in their mailboxes this month in the form of the publishing company’s fifth annual Fashion Rocks supplement.
The magazine features articles and photo spreads chronicling the decades-long affair between fashion and pop music. Just think back to trendsetters like Aretha Franklin with her Capri pants and big hoop earrings, and you realize that rock stars have been setting fashion trends for generations.
Fashion Rocks takes a look at the history of that affair with a piece juxtaposing pictures of the 1960s girl group The Ronettes (and Amy Winehouse) with a bee-hived Chanel model at a pre-fall collection show. The piece also includes photos of M.I.A., Santogold, Joanna Newsom, Jenny Lewis and a vintage Debbie Harry next to contemporary couture-clad beauties modeling the very same styles those artists made popular.
Check out this gorgeous glamour shot of Beyoncé rocking an Armani suit.
A highlight of Fashion Rocks is a feisty first-person essay by Joan Jett, called “Born to Be Bad.” Jett writes about creating her own unique style and how it was influenced by everything from her high school drama classes (and flashy musicals like Cabaret) to the gender-bending 1970s glam rock of David Bowie and T.Rex:
At school, I was laughed at for my towering platforms and rhinestone jackets. They’d bark at me and call me Diamond Dog, but I didn’t care. It was the beginning of not fitting into sanctioned “girls roles” — and of getting a hard time for it.
Jett traveled to London with her first band, The Runaways. The edginess of punk rock wore off on her, and soon she was sporting leather jackets and spikier hair. (She later gave a black leather belt with silver rings to doomed punk star Sid Vicious.) No one was more shocked than Jett when she was asked in 1985 to appear in the pages of Vogue:
I had gone from being criticized for my individuality to being applauded for it. I was experiencing success after years of being told I should lose the guitar and just try to be a singer, or put on a dress.
Be sure to check out the features on Liz Phair and The Kills (pictured above, and whose guitarist,Jamie Hince, is Kate Moss’ boy du jour), and the pages chronicling current romances between other rock stars and fashion figures, including paparazzi pics of White Stripes frontman Jack White with model wife Karen Elson and bohemian fashionista Natalie Portman with beau Devendra Banhart.
Do you have a favorite fashionable rock star? How about a favorite style from yesteryear?