Music and fashion are kind of like peanut butter and jelly: they're made for each other. Would the Sex Pistols be as memorable without their punk rock style, which was so notably executed and elevated by Vivienne Westwood's visionary creations? Not in our minds! Could you image Madonna's iconic Blonde Ambition without her Jean Paul Gaultier-designed cone-bra corset? Certainly not! And where would the fashion world be if Marc Jacobs had never created his grunge-influenced collection for Perry Ellis? (We don't even want to know.) Needless to say, it's impossible to imagine how music would function without fashion, and vice versa too. Obviously this duo plays a major role in our lives, as we've always got our eyes peeled for the latest fashion trends and our ears open for the next new artist to add to our office playlists, which leads us to today's story. For this installment of What They Wear, we decided turn the spotlight on six musicians who are not only talented, but also happen to be daring tastemakers too. From Lykke Li's vintage chic to Alison Mosshart's effortless insouciance, we have a feeling you'll find them inspirational too.
We have a serious crush on Swedish singer Lykke Li. The 24-year-old indie artist is insanely talented; her debut albumYouth Novels is a must buy, plus we adore her obsession-worthy remix of the Kings of Leon's "Knocked Up" and new song "Possibility," which is a part of the Twilight Saga: New Moon soundtrack. In addition to her professional accomplishments, Li has personal style galore and always wears outfits that feature a masterful mix of pretty pieces with touches of masculine scruffiness. The result, dear readers, translates into unique hipster look that makes us swoon. For example, at the Dior Beauty party to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the J'Adore fragrance, Li wore a print halter blouse from the French fashion house's S/S 09 collection with a petite pair of vintage shorts, accessorized with a Longchamp Gatsby Bag (from F/W 07) and Robert Clergerie's Dorine Platform Booties ($594)¬--a cool combo indeed. To attain Li's look try Ann Taylor's Textual Print Twist-Front Halter Top ($44) over something short and black, like Bebe's 2b High Shine Mini Skirt ($25), then finish the outfit with Chinese Laundry's Love Me Suede Caged Platform Sandals ($86).
Recently included in Elle's notable Women In Music roundup, VV Brown (born Vanessa) is finally getting some much needed acclaim. In addition to her soul-pop-meets-doo-wop melodies, which can be enjoyed on her album Traveling Like the Light, Brown's also celebrated for her unique take on trends and retro rolled bangs. One of our favorite fashion looks from Brown is the casual ensemble she was snapped wearing in front of the Capitol Records Tower in Los Angeles. The singer/songwriter wore a floral tunic over a long-sleeved gray frock, resulting in a cool, casual, layered look. Check out Joie's Watercolor Floral Denisa Top ($228) in Dusted Peri and Velvet's Ryba Dress ($119) for similar pieces, just make sure you simulate Brown's style and add a waist-cinching belt; Forever 21's Interlocked Skinny Belt ($5) will give you a similarly feminine shape. Finally, pick up a comfortable pair of white sandals, such as Nine West's Evaleen Wedge Sandals ($44), to complete this cute and casual look.
We have been obsessing over Alison Mosshart for some time now; as the lead singer of The Kills and super-group The Dead Weather, she just might be our idol! And while we remain envious of her collaborations with Jamie Hince and Jack White, it's her understated rocker style that keeps us begging for more. There is no doubt Mosshart has smart sensibilities, and her low-key ensembles always look effortlessly cool, as you can see by the outfit she wore to the Cinema Society and D&G screening of The Twilight Saga: New Moon. Mosshart picked a black-on-black combo comprised of two pieces from Bess¬--the N.Y.C T-Shirt ($110) and the Velvet Racer Jacket ($1300)¬--styled with a sold-out pair of Prada studded platforms. To add some rock-n-roll pieces into your daily rotation, pick up Unconditional's Drape Picket Velvet Jacket ($321) and wear it with a graphic t-shirt and slim black jeans, like Kitsune's Text Crew Neck Tee ($88) and Gap's Always Skinny Jeans ($70). Then you simply need to dress up this casual look with a pair of heels like Liliana's Asset Platforms ($35), which have a similar cutout design.
Elly Jackson/La Roux
Vanette Plaid Georgette Tank ($113), then add boyish accents with Pins and Needles' Tuxedo Blazer ($68) and Obey Joan's High Waisted Skinny Jeans ($40), plus accessories like Fossil's Harlow Red Fedora ($23) and Steven's Mista Tassel Wingtip Flats ($91) for a complete Jackson-inspired look. If you are just as addicted to the '80s flashback beats as we are, you will be thrilled to know that La Roux will be hitting the road this summer, so be sure to check them out in a city near you!
Soulful songstress Diane Birch has an eclectic sound resembling a blend of Janis Joplin, Aretha Franklin, and Joss Stone¬--a combo that's created loads of fans! As the daughter of a traveling preacher, Birch's peripatetic childhood gave her a global perspective on style at an incredibly young age, exposure that no doubt helps her create nuanced outfits today. Recently spotted outside the Ed Sullivan Theatre in New York, Birch showed off her hipster predilections with a cool mix of vintage (lace top and hat) and modern pieces (Topshop leggings and Chloe Sevigny for Opening Ceremony shoes). To mimic her sweet sensibilities, try a lacey top like American Apparel's Leaf Flower Lace Tee ($38) tucked into French Chalis' Skirt ($26) for a light and airy look. For an additional layer, keep your legs warm with American Apparel's Nylon Tricot Leggings ($34) and step into Dolce Vita's Helix Wedges ($173) for a strappy alternative to her shoes. Of course no Birch look would be complete without a black hat, so be sure top it off with Brixton's Pack Hat ($42).
Studio 54 disco dresses and grungy t-shirts with images of noble beasts are some fashion favorites of the electropop singer/songwriter Little Boots, a.k.a. Victoria Hesketh. While her music might be effervescent fun¬--"New In Town" is a must-hear¬--Hesketh's sense of style screams "edgy glam," as you can probably tell from the Matthew Williamson Lace Embellished Shoulder Dress (available in August) and Pyramid Crystal Wide Belt ($585) she wore to the launch party for said designer and Belvedere Vodka last month in London. If you want to recreate Hesketh's beautiful bronze moment, check out Designer Remix's Metallic One Shoulder Dress ($322) and Cecilia De Bucourt's Coin Stud & Chain Wrap Belt ($106)¬--an equally desirable combo with the same standout, shimmering qualities. Then simply finish the look with a playful touch, like her exact Lulu Guinness Lip Clutch ($330). ¬--Jessica Baker
Photos of Elly Jackson, VV Brown, Victoria Hesketh, and Alison Mosshart, courtesy of Getty; Photo of Diane Birch, courtesy of WENN