The music world has always been something very mysterious to me. It is allusive in its nature daunting and terrifying and oh so intriguing. Musicians themselves have an intoxicating presence. They collect such followings because of the quality of their profession. They rip open their chests, pluck out their hearts, and hold them out in their hands for us all to watch, as they beat and bleed. They make themselves vulnerable in the most personal way, the good ones do at least. This can be a musician’s success, but it can also be their downfall. Vulnerability coupled with celebrity and then criticism has killed so many young stars. We watch them climb to the top and fall down, as we point and laugh at them.
I myself have fallen in love with countless rockstars. With their brooding, sad eyes, broken hearts, and strong hands, what woman wouldn’t love one? They make great company, often smart, and speaking in lyrical whispers, constantly tapping away at the wall between you and them with their drum sticks and guitar strings and soft voices. They will break your heart, only if you let them. But it’s so much more fun to let them.
A look comes with being a musician, a certain cool and stage presence, a knowledge of how to carry yourself. They walk down the street and you know who they are. Marc Jacobs described it best when he said, “I like looking at the people who listen to the music I like. I like looking at the people who make the music I like… As a teenager growing up in NYC… I was seduced by punk. Not at first by the sound, but by the visual noise that came from it, from the scene, from the different styles of the bands and the styles of their fans.” Because with rockstar’s confidence, or at least their facade of confidence, they can get away with wearing almost anything. This is something that people who don’t look like Mick Jagger or Joan Jett cannot always do. So for an art project I designed a line of clothes that brought rock star style down from the nether sphere and into a more reachable grasp. I inserted them into images of 1970’s New York, because I wanted to reflect the dirtiness and grittiness of the clothing. I believe that not only should everyone get the chance to look like a rockstar, but everyone at some point in their lives has wanted to be a rockstar. And you’re lying if you say you haven’t.
My Design (the shirt says “Barely Legal”)
My Design (the guys around it are vigilantes who were known as the Guardian Angels)
Designers like Marc Jacobs have ventured down this path before. In his 1992 collection for Perry Ellis, Jacobs epitomized the LA rock ‘n’ roll queen by way of Courtney Love. This was also the collection that subsequently got him fired from the brand. More recently companies like Saint Laurent Paris, the re-branded name of Yves Saint Laurent, with their new head designer Hedi Slimane sent models down the runway in over-sized flannel shirts, babydoll dresses, and fishnet stockings for their Fall/Winter 2013 collection. Up and coming designer Christian Benner beat me to the chase a little bit when he said he wants people who buy his clothes to know that they can “own it, their own, it might sound corny but, rockstar, in a sense.” It doesn’t sound corny at all.
I love music so much, but I don’t play an instrument, and I can’t sing, and I don’t like performing, so this is my way in. To make and design rockstar clothes for the average person. To cultivate a brand and a name that is known for its ability to create a feeling, a vibe, not just clothes.