The Music in… And on Me

Exploring the songstresses that inspire my everyday style

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'Melodrama' album cover artwork

The great thing about fashion is that every person’s style is so unique. The adaptive and ever-contingent nature of the industry allows for individuals to find themselves through items of clothing; reasonable enough, since we carry our style on our backs every day. Clothing becomes a sign for who we are, which is why the way I dress is so important to me. I want to represent the fashion-forward version of myself, but also my working-class background. I want to exude a casualness that is effortless, but also be dressed up enough to get a second look from passers-by.

Despite having the classic student financial problems and living on a sum that doesn’t allow me to truly express how I would want to dress, I try my upmost best to keep in-line with trends I want to pursue. With fashion magazines, TV ads and billboards at every turn, not to forget social media platforms like Instagram blowing up our phone’s internet data, it’s hard to not feel somewhat exploited by the fashion industry. However, for someone like me who is engrossed and passionate about what is next for fashion, such platforms act as inspiration for my own brand of style. Being simultaneously involved in fashion and music, these industries work hand in hand for me in terms of where I derive my own fashion identity. A lot of the artists I listen to today also happen to be some of my greatest fashion muses.

With girl power and women’s independence being in full force in today’s society, the women I aspire to exude complete confidence, sass, and a sort of self-assurance; they know who they are – both internally and externally, (through the garments they wear). Let’s take a look at who I believe to be the most innovative in fashion and music right now:

My first singer-fashionista comes in the form of Raye. The London-born diva first came to prominence in the charts when she featured on Jax Jones’ popular dance track ‘You Don’t Know Me’. Despite being a heavily collaborative artist, working with the likes of Jonas Blue, Nas, Charli XCX, as well as earning writing credits for SG Lewis, Blonde and Little Mix (to name just a few), her solo debuts have been just as incredible. With upbeat tunes and punchy lyrics, ‘you’re-definitely-in-love-with-me-but-I’m-over-it’, it’s easy to see how her laidback, modern music is paralleled in her sartorial choices. A typical outfit for Raye would be something cool, oversized, sporty, and yet vintage-looking. Her minimalism lies in her makeup, but her stand-out acrylic nails shout aall-out-glam that is here to slay. Raye’s mishmash of dressed-down style with glam accessories appeals to her down to earth fans. Her candid combination of colourful designer gear paired with her natural big and curly locks is a thoughtful kind of laziness I hope one day to be able to mimic. Raye is definitive for comfort and expensiveness all at the same time. And you can be sure to see her dan some of the biggest hoops you never saw a hoe in before.

After waiting three years for a comeback from her debut album ‘Pure Heroine’, Lorde was not shy when it came to throwing herself back into the music scene, demonstrating a new lease over popular music as well as personal style. Upon her return, Lorde released a true bop with her single ‘Green Light’. While we were dancing and singing along at the top of our voices, Lorde was doing the same; the video for the single shows the artist strutting around city streets, throwing her unique shapes, even dancing on a taxi roof as the driver watches (naughty Lorde). The song, both for herself, and for her fans across the globe, emulated a new direction for Lorde, mirrored also in her updated style. Now seen flaunting her Adidas Superstars wherever she goes, ultimately costing me a small fortune to keep up with her black and white striped sneaker obsession, Lorde showcases a need for the now in her appearance. Whilst keeping it sensible on the feet, Lorde tends to clash this relaxed style with something quirky and flamboyant to illustrate her own quirky personality we’ve come to know and love. With a wardrobe full of sophisticated, elegant dresses, floral jumpsuits, and enough top-and-trouser combos to last a lifetime, Lorde is the walking embodiment ultimate coolness. Switching between her typical dark, witchy-aesthetic, to bright and bold statement two-pieces, the magic of Lorde can be found in the sheer versatility of her style; her capacity to vary in trend but it still be in line with her brand.

My mum always used to say “if you’ve got it, flaunt it”, and this is certainly at the heart of Charli XCX’s fashion philosophy. Performing in skimpy combinations of bralettes and miniskirts, XCX is truly doing it all for female body positivity. Exhibiting her talents in music, the artist has dabbled across the board in terms of popular music. From dance pop, electro pop, to trap, hip hop, and R&B, XCX is not restrictive in how she wants to meddle musically. Her expressive electric and techno melodies give a futuristic vibe, think Princess Leia in her iconic gold bikini, but with more sass and less being-held-prisoner. Charli XCX has an individuality in both her songs and her style. Sometimes embodying dirty, 90s grunge, and on other occasions oozing glittery, girly realness, Charli really plays up to the semiotics fashion has to offer. Picking and mixing between top sporting street brands, and punk rocker-esque accessories, we can identify with the artist’s knowledge of fashion on a broad spectrum, just like her music styles. From colour-blocked attire to all-black, sultry mixtures, our fave pop princess epitomises an equilibrium between sex appeal without being ‘too much’. Pushing the boundaries in both fashion and music, XCX is certainly a model for originality and girl power.

With further admiration for the likes of Rihanna, Mabel, Jorja Smith, and Dua Lipa, it’s safe to say I’m rather fond of a sassy-songstress who knows her way around a wardrobe.