6 Of The Most Influential Music Video Looks From The Last 40 Years
Music videos have been an extension of a performers' art since the form's creation. The song itself can capture people's hearts but the video adds another dimension of story telling. While there's some debate around the first music video ever released, The Buggles' Video Killed The Radio Star was the first music video to be played on MTV in 1981.
As Billboard reports, from that moment on the music video quickly became a crucial in making or breaking a record's success. From Madonna to Queen, David Bowie to Prince, a unique and stunning music video could lead to huge success for any musical act. The form was also another way for fans to see their favourite artist's style and has helped heightened music's influence on fashion significantly, as WWD reports.
Fast forward to now and the music video continues to be a crucial part of a musician's creative output. When an artist is about to release a new video, people wait on YouTube with bated breath for the moment it goes live. After Taylor Swift dropped her single "You Need To Calm Down" earlier this year, fans clamoured to know when its music video would be released, as Bustle reports. Such is the influence of music on fashion that in recent years artists have begun to capitalise on album launches and music video releases with fashion collections. As Swift did with her recent sell-out collection with Stella McCartney.
Bustle UK spoke to Derek Blasberg, head of fashion and beauty partnerships and Youtube, to get his thoughts on just how much music videos have impacted our style over the years. He tells me: "Music videos are an art form, an expressive outlet where artists can showcase a piece of themselves and portray their personality. Since the first music video launched in the '80s, there have been countless iconic fashion moments – from fingerless gloves to double denim – that have made their way from small screen to street style."
So here are some of the most iconic music video fashion moments of the last forty years.
Madonna, "Material Girl" — Fingerless Gloves
Madonna has undergone significant evolutions in both musi and style over the years, but this video really helped cement her status as the queen of 1980s pop. Much of the fashion in the 1984 video is centred around Marilyn Monroe's Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend. But an undeniable way this video influenced trends at the time was the fingerless lace gloves she wore which then became popular in the 1980s.
Thanks to the song's impact on popular culture, Madonna has been nicknamed the Material Girl and has even brought out a fashion brand of the same name with stars such as Rita Ora collaborating on campaigns.
Cher's "If I Could Turn Back Time" — Leather
While leather jackets had been a wardrobe staple for a while, Cher really helped to unleash everyone's inner rock chick with this chart topper in the late '80s. The video arguably helped spark a resurgence of the leather jacket trend in the '90s and other iconic leather looks later in that decade. Blasberg notes: "I was in high school when Ricky Martin hit the scene. I remember his name-making performance of “Cup of Life” at the Grammy’s in 1999, which I watched and immediately wanted to buy leather pants. You’ll be relieved to know my mom didn’t let me. They looked good on Ricky, for sure. But they weren’t for me."
Spice Girls' "Wannabe" — Various
This would not be a comprehensive list of the must influential fashion in videos without the purveyors of girl power. "Wannabe" was their breakout hit and introduced their unique style to the world. Their fans soon wanted in on the unique styles of the group, as Harpers Bazaar notes. Whether it was the LBD, animal print, pink, a sports bra or of course dying two strands of hair peroxide blonde, the impact that the Spice Girls had of fashion is undeniable.
Blasberg is a particular fan of group and explains their legacy is still going strong today: "don’t think I didn’t love working with Victoria Beckham on relaunching her YouTube channel. I made her say 'Tell me what you want what you really really want' a zillion times," he tells me.
All Saint's "Never Ever" — Cargo Trousers
Khaki and cargo trousers were an All Saints trademark and the 1997 "Never Ever" video helped cement them as a staple of late 90s and early 00s fashion. The oversized cargo trousers paired with a spaghetti strap top and trainer or timberlands is a pure (shores) classic. This wasn't the only influential music video of the late '90s and early '00s as Blasberg notes, "so many [music videos] stick out in my mind: No Doubt’s “I’m Just A Girl,” Britney Spears’ red catsuit in “Oops I Did It Again,”
J-Lo's "I'm Real" — Juicy Couture Tracksuits
Most '00s girls were guilty of over-wearing a Juicy Couture tracksuit. The velour matching set with the word "Juicy" bejewelled across the bum was seriously the ultimate '00s girl look. As CNN reports, the 2001 video really put Juicy Couture on the map, and was later worn by the likes of Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, and Kim Kardashian.
Beyoncé's "Love On Top" — Wedge-Heel Trainers
According to Blasberg, Beyoncé is one of the most iconic artists when it comes to fashion. He says, "[her] creative launches continue to make headlines and directly influence real life trends, [she's] a clear example that the music world is pretty much hand-in-hand with the fashion world."
The Isabel Marant trainers used in the Love On Top video had a real moment when Beyonce rocked them with a black leotard. This look was simple and so understated but the trainers became extremely popular as this 2011 requested look piece from fashion blog Get Whit It suggests.