If there’s one thing I love, it’s music. Thankfully, I’m a multi-faceted human being, and I’m allowed to enjoy more than one thing. It just so happens that one of them is fashion.
Unfortunately, not everyone agrees that music and fashion can go hand in hand. Things are changing, but looking back to around a decade ago in the height of the “scene”, I can personally remember just how unwelcome the concept of caring about fashion trends actually was. Sadly, this seemed to boil down to one thing – gender. Lots of girls were adopting a particular style to match the emo music they were listening to, a music style that was largely mocked by fans of other music that they deemed more “serious”. Apparently, this fashion element rendered the whole genre as ridiculous. Guys into the same music and style were mocked for being too “feminised”; an insult in the eyes of metal heads who felt like they were “real” music fans.
Recently, the Jenner sisters have made a huge faux pas in superimposing their images over the likes of rock legends like Ozzy Osbourne’s face and Metallica logos on T-shirts. Obviously, this is completely lacking in respect, and has been called out by many, including Sharon Osbourne. These bands are cultural icons, and to assume that the faces of young girls belong anywhere near their merchandise is laughable.
But the rock world has always been a stage for fashion, and so when young girls genuinely want to wear the shirts of the bands they like, we shouldn’t mock them. Sure, there are many who appropriate the rock world and wear it purely to look cool when such shirts are produced en masse, but many will have a genuine interests in the bands they proudly display across their bodies. We can’t just assume that because they pair them with high-waist skirts or heels, they don’t genuinely care about the music they represent.
It’s not just band merchandise. An interest in music inspires fashion in itself. From accessories to hairstyles, so many people draw on the music they listen to in order to influence what they look like. I recently interviewed one independent clothing line for UK Models who talked about their “alternative” inspiration, encouraging everyday wear for those who like their aesthetic look to match their aural listening. Everyone involved from the models to the designers like rock music, and this is evident in what they produce.
Whether it was punk in the 70’s, hair metal in the 80’s, or grunge in the 90’s; music has always allowed for people to dress in certain styles. Just because those styles may now incorporate pink and glitter, doesn’t mean we should automatically rule them out. If anything, we should just be glad that the rock music industry is now providing space for anyone who wants to enjoy it.
After all, isn’t inclusion when we’re simply being ourselves exactly what we’ve wanted all along?