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8 Global Music Artists Who Rock Vintage Fashion

Lana Del Rey’s Americana fixation, The Avett Brothers ‘country dapper’ image and The 1975’s teasing throwbacks to the 1700s

Riddhi Chakraborty Aug 10, 2017

Postmodern Jukebox tend to dress in the style of the era they are emulating musically. Photo: Press image

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Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey on the set of the music video for her song “Burning Desire.” Photo: Courtesy of Jaguar/Wikimedia Commons

The queen of indie-pop has long been known for her fixation with Americana: her music and videos regularly feature references to Fifties and Sixties pop culture, and her wardrobe is no exception. Del Rey, who is often referred to as the ‘gangsta Nancy Sinatra,’ has a distinctive, cinematic sound that shook up radio stations and made waves across the contemporary pop landscape. While her sound was busy revolutionizing pop, Del Rey’s vintage aesthetic– which serves as the perfect complement to her music– was the ship that launched a thousand winged eyeliners.

Janelle Monáe

Janelle Monáe wants to “redefine what it looks like to be a woman” Photo: Marc Baptiste

Certainly one of the most dapper artists in the industry, Monáe is famous for her wardrobe of crisp and clean-cut tuxedos. Monáe has stated that her intention is to “redefine what it looks like to be a woman” and considers androgynous singer-songwriter Grace Jones and 1920s entertainer and activist Josephine Baker her style icons.

Børns

Børns’ crop tops, leather jackets, lace shirts and funky prints caught Gucci’s attention. Photo: Nikko LaMere

Garrett Borns a.k.a. Børns’ old soul is reflected beautifully through his unique sense of style. The singer-songwriter often seems caught between eras, blending vintage fashion with modern gender-bending. Børns’ love for crop tops, leather jackets, lace shirts and funky prints even caught Gucci’s attention, leading to a partnership with the brand. “Everything in fashion and music and art is cyclical,” he told us in an interview last year. “It comes in waves and everything kind of comes back.”

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Postmodern Jukebox

Postmodern Jukebox tend to dress in the style of the era they are emulating musically. Photo: Press image

This group of musicians started out as a cover band on YouTube and gained popularity due to their vintage spin on modern hits. Some of their most popular tracks include a 1950s doo-wop cover of Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop,” a slow Forties-style jazz cover of Radiohead’s “Creep” and a Seventies’ soul cover of Ariana Grande’s “Side To Side.” The decade-hopping doesn’t end with their music: Postmodern Jukebox tend to dress in the style of the era they are emulating musically.

Zella Day

Zella Day’s outfits span from sparkly and disco-inspired to bohemian and Woodstock-reminiscent. Photo: Harper Smith

The “Hypnotic” singer-songwriter serves as a window back to the glamorous hippie fashion of the Sixties and Seventies. Both her live performances and music videos often see her in outfits that span from sparkly and disco-inspired to bohemian and Woodstock-reminiscent. Day’s sound was inspired by several rock gods of the Sixties, including Patti Smith, Janice Joplin and The Rolling Stones. “Every night before I go onstage and I’m thinking about what to wear, I’m planning my outfit around comfort and flexibility and glitter,” she told Rolling Stone India in 2016.

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Melanie Martinez

Melanie Martinez on the set of her music video for “Pity Party.” Photo: Promotional image

A lot of Martinez’s music videos feel like eerie throwbacks to the 1950s. The Tumbler-esque juxtaposition of frilly pastel dresses with her two-toned hair makes her seem doll-like, while the presence of her tattoos and borderline emo electro-pop sound make for an all-round haunting image. The 22-year old singer directs her own music videos, which often centre around skewed family values, body image problems and societal issues.

The Avett Brothers

The Avett Brothers’ image perfectly represents what modern bluegrass and indie folk is all about. Photo: Press image

The folk-rock band’s look can be described as ‘country dapper,’ with a wardrobe that often combines sharp suits with cowboy hats, denims, boots and suspenders. Combined with their expansive sound that includes ragtime, pop elements and country, the band’s image perfectly represents what modern bluegrass and indie folk is all about.

The 1975

While The 1975’s sound is probably more ‘vintage’ than their look, the band has been attracting attention recently for the latter. Over the past few months, their collective wardrobe has oscillated between Eighties underground punk and 18th century nobleman, causing fans to suspect that the English rock band is dropping hints about the theme of their upcoming third studio album.

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