Fashion, like songwriting and other artistic outlets, is a form of self-expression. It adds to one's aura; it speaks on her behalf. Yet fashion sometimes gets overlooked in music, and undeservedly so.
Following in the fashionable footsteps of trend-setting artists like Stevie Nicks and Debbie Harry, we've collected modern music's most style-savvy women. And unlike Lady Gaga, who admittedly puts time and thought into her creatively eccentric costumes, these ladies sport a style that's fashionable and attainable, to boot.
Gwen Stefani: An excellent example of the successful fusion of fashion and music, the No Doubt front woman is now known and respected for both music and fashion design. Her "flirty rocker" lines L.A.M.B. and Harajuku Lovers have been wildly successful, carried worldwide by retailers like Nordstrom and Bloomingdale's. Though she most often sticks to her token platinum 'do and red lipstick, she's never been afraid to take risks in fashion. Remember her hot-pink hair and braces phase?
Jenny Lewis: The Rilo Kiley frontwoman, prettier half to Jenny & Johnny, and former child star (always worthy of a mention) has an endearing offbeat indie fashion flair. She blends her girl-next-door cuteness with retro inspiration, sporting everything to edgy short-shorts and hot-pants onstage, to sweeter feminine looks like rompers and floral vintage dresses.
PJ Harvey: The reigning Queen of the Headdress, the alt-rock mainstay dresses as creatively as she writes songs. Now often known to wear ornate feathered headdresses onstage, Harvey first caught my fashion-loving eye in 1993's "Man Size" video, wearing, well, not much: minimal make-up, a simple cropped t-shirt, and white granny-panties... and she still managed to look gorgeous.
Janelle Monáe: Seemingly borrowing her fashion flair from fashionable men from days past, like James Brown, Monáe dresses androgynously chic, wearing tuxedos, suspenders, and pinstriped suits, often adding feminine touches with girly saddle shoes or dramatically oversized bows.
Alison Mosshart: The Kills/Dead Weather front woman's style is definitive tough-girl rocker-chic. Like the female version of Julian Casablancas, she sticks to leather jackets, studs, tapered leggings, and unkempt hair. Like Julian, it works for her.
Kim Gordon: The Sonic Youth bassist has described her style as "vulnerable," a paradox to the hard-rock music her band defines. She wears short skirts and babydoll dresses, and looks just as good in them at 57 as she did twenty years ago. She also runs her own clothing lines, X-Girl and Mirror/Dash, citing a need for "clothes for cool moms."
Florence Welch: The red-headed beautiful Brit's style is fully feminine and romantic; from flowing bohemian lace dresses to modish mini-skirts, the Florence and the Machine frontwoman knows what looks best on her body - we're sure her six-foot-tall frame widens her options.
Karen O: At first glance, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman looks like any other androgynous trendy Brooklyn hipster. The difference is, she lives up to the edge her style implies with her all-around fierceness. She embraces the most extreme of '80s style, wearing tattered tees, torn stockings, bright red lipstick, and neon face-paint.
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Zooey Deschanel: Though enormously understated in comparison to Karen O and Co., the She & Him front woman has a quirky yet feminine, not to mention more realistically manageable look. From her evident plethora of feminine vintage dresses, she sticks to sweet, classic looks, incorporating girly accessories like headbands and bows.
Bethany Cosentino: Though the Best Coast front woman's PR camp seems to prefer pushing her stoner, cat-loving status, her fashion sense is worth a mention, too. She has fun with her style, wearing denim cut-offs, rompers, and floral sundresses. She's "Cali-chic," through and through.