Fashion and Music Videos: Iconic Looks and Styling Trends


Fashion and music videos have been intertwined through the decades, providing us a window into the world of style and trends. From poofy shoulder pads in the 80s to haute couture in the early 2000s, music videos have left their mark on iconic fashion looks. In this article, we explore different fashion styles throughout music video history and the hairstyle and makeup looks that have come to define these eras. Buckle up and let’s go down memory lane—it’s time to talk about fashion and music videos!

1. Unleashed: A Journey Through Iconic Fashion Moments in Music Videos

From Michael Jackson’s vibrant jackets to the scintillating style of Lady Gaga, music videos have provided us with some of the most iconic fashion moments in recent history.

Michael Jackson
Michael Jackson’s acclaimed “Thriller” video (1982) set the standard for the modern music video, and therefore, for creating iconic fashion moments. His vibrant jackets, sequinned trousers and hiking boots were the manifestation of a man not afraid to stand out and show his personality through fashion. The look was a striking one even over 30 years later, with city dwellers across the globe embracing the style verging on costume. His impact even now is evident, with many fashion pieces inspired by Jackson’s unique look still being referenced in modern collections.

Madonna has long been a trend-setter and an icon of daring expression. Whether dancing in a conical bra on “Vogue” (1990), or the risqué outfits of her “Justify My Love” (1990) video, Madonna showed us that with the right attitude we can express a little rebellion through our style.

Britney Spears
Sticking with classic silhouettes and timeless colour combinations, Britney Spears launched herself into global stardom with iconic looks on hit videos like “Baby One More Time” (1998) and “Oops! I Did It Again” (2000). The former featured a pale blazer and plaid skirt combo, enhancing Britney’s youthful and innocent looks, while the latter ushered in a sequin-laden era of showgirl glamour that Britney claimed in her signature style.

Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga’s rise to fame and global superstardom was pushed by her creative and scintillating looks featured in her various videos and performances. Her collaboration with designer Nicola Formichetti set the tone for outrageous fashion moments, like her memorable meat dress (2010) or the sci-fi glamour of her “Applause” (2013) music video, redefining “statement pieces” and inspiring creativity.

2. Soundtracked by Style: Exploring Iconic Musician Looks

Style has always been a big part of the music experience. For decades, the fashion choices of musical icons have created some of the most iconic looks of our time. From the Mods to the punks, the hip hop culture of the 80s to EDM and pop stars of the present – each genre of music has been accompanied by a unique style.

We’re breaking down some of the most iconic looks in music history. From the colour-blocking of the Mod scene to the Ziggy Stardust glitter, these looks shaped the era of their respective genres and will remain timeless in fashion history.

  • The Mods: A 1960s youth subculture, The Mods embodied the spirit of a rebellious yet sophisticated aesthetic. The style was about mixing high-end fashion choices with lower-end pieces of clothing. The looks were symmetrical and color-blocked.
  • Punk Rock: Punk rock was about being yourself and courting a serious attitude. The look was heavy on the combat boots, plaid shirts and studded leather anything. There were also a lot of DIY clothing involved, which gave rise to the concept of upcycling.
  • Hip Hop: One of the most influential music genres ever, hip hop has created some of the most iconic fashion looks of our time. The style was characterized by colorful tracksuits, nameplate bat top earrings, and of course name brands like Tommy Hilfiger.
  • EDM: Love it or hate it, electronic music has become a huge part of popular culture. EDM fashion is heavily influenced by the artistry of the music itself. Think neon colours, fuzzy materials, and bold accessories.

These style movements were led by passionate music makers who were afraid to stand out. As music and fashion continue to evolve, these looks will remain a powerful reminder of our shared culture.

Music videos are more than just an art form – they have a tremendous impact on both music and fashion trends. From the big hair of the pop era to the ripped jeans of punk, music videos have been inspiring fashion since MTV first hit the airwaves in 1981. Here, we explore how music videos have shaped fashion trends over the past four decades and what those trends look like in today’s world.

From the 80s to today, music videos have created iconic looks that transcend culture, time and place. Neon leotards, oversized sunglasses, shoulder pads, attache cases – it doesn’t matter if you lived on the block, watched MTV on your family’s couch or wherever, you were no doubt influenced by the styles of your favorite music videos. From Madonna to Missy Elliot, 90s music videos brought an edgy, Urban chic to the scene, and fashion followed.

The new millennium brought the world of hip hop and rap music to the forefront – and with it, came a resurgence of bold, eclectic fashion trends.from baggy streetwear to shiny, designer pieces, these looks featured in countless music videos and started a new wave of fashion – one that has transcended throughout the years. Music videos of the modern era continue to influence fashion, from the vintage vibes of Fleetwood Mac to the eccentric wardrobes of Lady Gaga and Cardi B.

Music videos are – and always have been – a great way to express oneself and to take fashion cues, though of course, it’s important to make them your own. As fashion and music continue to intertwine, we can be sure that music videos will be right there in the mix, inspiring style and creativity.

4. Proving Ground for Visual Culture: Bringing Fashion and Music Together

The fashion industry is constantly striving to expand its boundaries and attract a wider audience. As such, it has become more open to collaboration and experimentation – something that is particularly prevalent when it comes to pairing fashion and music.

From runways to billboards, modern-day fashion increasingly touches on musical genres, techniques and movements in order to capture its wide-ranging audiences. Musical influences from electronic music to hip-hop have become deeply intertwined with of-the-moment fashion, two influential entities that can push the boundaries of creative expression.

Through this mix, the digital age has ushered in a new era of bold experiments made up of diverse styles, genres, and cultures. Whether it’s a powerful partnership between a renowned fashion designer and a breakout artist or an artist/designer union to create a limited edition capsule collection, these combinations make for some extraordinary fashion statements.

Thanks to its ability to evoke trends, unite cultures and foster creative exchange, fashion and music have become a proving ground for visual culture experimentation. The embracing of such collaborations is sure to take both the fashion and music industries to new heights.

5. A Roundup of Timeless Style Icons in Music Videos

Music videos are brimming with stylish stars. From the vintage-chic looks of the Spice Girls, to the flowery 60s-inspired garb of Adam Levine and Maroon 5, there is plenty of eye candy in the music video world. Here is a roundup of some timeless icons from the past whose style has had a lasting impact.

  • David Bowie, the ever-iconic Ziggy Stardust, has been a major influence on fashion with his gender-bending and verging-on-androgynous looks. He had an innate talent for mixing and matching, often defying convention and making tabloid headlines.
  • Madonna, the Material Girl, has a knack for transitioning from one look to another, often combining street and vintage styles seamlessly.
  • Michael Jackson was known for his effortless style, often seen wearing his signature fedora hat and a single sequin glove. His flair for a good mattress-like jacket or the jump suit worn in the Thriller video made him a fashion icon.
  • Beyoncé has had numerous styles over the years, often collecting daring and theatrical costumes from world-renowned designers to go along with her singing. She recently donned a sequin leotard at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, and her looks are constantly on everyone’s radar.

These are just some of the timeless icons who have shaped the music industry with their style. We can also look to the likes of Prince, Lady Gaga, and Elton John for inspiration. With music videos getting increasingly more fashion-forward, it is exciting to see what iconic looks will arise in the future.

The Future of Fashion in Music Videos

The fashion in music videos is constantly evolving, and there’s no doubt that recent years have seen some of the boldest trends yet. From the retro rocker vibes of Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy” video to the futuristic, monochromatic looks spotted in K-pop videos, fashion is always taking center stage in music videos. So, what’s next?

It’s safe to say that bold shades, eclectic patterns, and eye-catching silhouettes will still be dominating the music video landscape. We can expect to see more hybrids of streetwear and athletic-inspired fashion, featuring bright contrasting colors and exaggerated shapes. Furthermore, we’re likely to see versatility in fashion continue to be the focal point—with artists and their backup dancers seamlessly changing looks and embodying a variety of styles throughout the videos.

In terms of upcoming fashion trends, sustainability will certainly be at the top of the list — especially now that more and more music videos are choosing to bring awareness to important global issues. With this will come a trend towards fashion that’s upcycled, organic, and locally sourced. We’ll also see powerful, multifaceted visuals, driven largely by a focus on intersectionality and pro-black identity.

Other trends that we’re likely to see in upcoming music videos include:

  • High-Tech Fabrics: Expect to see sophisticated, tech-inspired fabrics in statement pieces, from glossy latex to bright sequins.
  • Bold, Unconventional Prints: Whether it’s asymmetrical stripes or abstracted plaids, the prints on display in upcoming music videos will be anything but traditional.
  • Vibrancy and Joy: Rather than darker hues, pastels and bright, textured colors will be taking center stage, accompanied by a newfound sense of joy.

The fashion showcased in music videos gives us a glimpse into how we can celebrate difference and create looks that are uniquely our own. By pushing for diversity in the fashion world, we can move away from labels and towards a place where everyone is encouraged to express themselves in their own way — creatively and uniquely.

As fashion and music videos have evolved over the years, so too have the iconic looks and styling trends. Through creativity and expression, these two aspects of pop culture provide endless inspiration, both now and in the future. Have a great summer, fashion and music lovers!

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