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Fashion and Music
6.22.2001 by Sean


Fashion is a marvel. Not in the fashion world, obviously, but in the music world, certainly. In the fashion world, fashion is about ugly anorexic models wearing too much makeup and ugly clothes. Pretty clothes, you see, are just "clothes". Ugly clothes are "art". You can see this in the painting world, too. Whereas weird bands of stripes and Campbell's soup cans are art, beautiful landscapes are simply things for hanging on hotel-room walls.

And I'm not going to dispute that logic. Chagall's "Green Fiddler" is a far better piece of art than even a piece as renowned as Corot's "Orpheus Leading Eurydice to the Underworld". Similarly, a nice skirt and nice top are pretty, a strange garment made out of aluminum plates and kettles is art.

I could use without the bony models, though.

In any case, outside of the fashion world, fashion is a marvel - and not simply in terms of artistic value. Countless musicians owe their success to good fashion sense, or good fashion consultant sense. Where would Shania Twain be without her babydoll shirts? Where would Madonna be without her spiky bra? Where would David Bowie be without his silver spandex bodysuit?

The influence of fashion on music is ubiquitous. When artists don't look the part, it's frustrating. Take Elliott Smith. The fellow sings about heartbreak and loss in a style reminiscent of Simon and Garfunkel, and idolizes the Beatles. What does he look like? According to Magnet Magazine, sort of like the lead singer of Creed, only older and less studly.

Is this a problem? Well, I suppose not. So long as Smith can keep making good music, who cares if he's tattooed. I'll just avoid going out to dinner with him, and this won't be hard, as Elliott doesn't know my phone number.

In many ways, the fashion's more important than the actual music. The Spice Girls' management certainly new that. Britney Spears wouldn't have gotten far without that almost-up-the-skirt shot on her first album cover. If Metallica was a bunch of dumpy guys in polo shirts, would any of us have ever heard "Master of Puppets"?

If Kermit the Frog was an obnoxious 14 year-old boy named Tony Especce, where would "The Rainbow Connection" be today?

Certainly not playing on my CD player.

I mean imagine... you're watching Tony on TV, crooning away, and he keeps giving the camera the finger, struttin' about all hardcore, and doing that "ride the bronco" dance. What's more, he's wearing a torn flannel shirt, a giant gold alarm-clock around his neck, and a sideways "Death Row Records" hat. Oh yeah. And no pants.

"The lovers, the dreamers and me," indeed. Put on some trousers, Tony!




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