Sunday, March 16, 2003

Lots of people talk about the connections between music and fashion, but those connections are often tenuous. Spin regularly features fashion spreads, usually modeled by up-and-coming musicians who are so desperate for exposure they'll wear anything, and it's clear that the magazine only makes the effort so they can convince clothing companies to advertise. Fashion magazines invoke the "rock chick" aesthetic, blissfully unaware that stiletto sandals wouldn't cut it in a mosh pit or that Sheryl Crow's '70's California singer-songwriter motif isn't punk rock.

The Style Network just had an extreme example of one side not quite getting the other. In presenting designer Cynthia Steffe's fall 2003 show, they discussed the mod influences. Someone must have been aware of the basic tenet of writing to not reuse the same expression, so they clearly tried to come up with synonyms for "mod." Someone compared the looks to Quadrophenia. I'll give them credit for trying, although the women's fashion in that mod chronicle movie were indistinct compared to the men's, and Steffe's design details were more like what was seen on That Girl and The Avengers. Then fashion correspondent Lloyd Boston called the look "rockabilly." The guy may know fashion, but he couldn't wouldn't know Jerry Lee Lewis from the Who, the Stray Cats from the Jam, or maybe even a pompadour from bangs.

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