The 25 Style Icons of Music Part 5

The fifth and final installment of music's most stylish!
Bringing Clash's 25 Style Icons Of Music to a suitably glamorous conclusion today are the truly iconic, Madonna, David Bowie, Debbie Harry, Paul Simonon and at number one...

1. Keith Richards

Keith Richards doesn’t care for fashion. He’s not interested in labels, designers, colour schemes or collections. His look is an effortless afterthought to waking up. What he wears becomes a part of him, exuding cool through ignorant bliss.

Coming into his own style in the mid-Sixties, the Rolling Stone blossomed through hippy boho chic in Morocco in 1967 - think long scarves, furs, oversized hats, opulent silks - then defined sartorial decadence in the Seventies with a gypsy pirate look that inspired anyone who dared to follow in his alligator cowboy boot-shaped footsteps thereafter.

While Mick Jagger raced to keep up with the jet set and Brian Jones pushed the accepted boundaries of dandiness, Keith Richards demonstrated that fashion is not always about what you wear, but rather how you wear it. His elegantly wasted persona was clothed in dishevelled layers and dark sunglasses; his essential accessories being a pack of cigarettes, a bottle of Jack Daniel’s, and a cherished yet well-worn guitar.

Keith claims to have always cut his own hair - his tousled black haystack extolling the slept-in look, and pre-dated the punk spike by a decade. It was the template for Johnny Thunders’ do, Serge Pizzorno’s layered shag, and Russell Brand’s wild locks.

Named by Johnny Depp as the inspiration for his Captain Jack character in Pirate Of The Caribbean, Keith carries that air of mystery, that hint of danger, and that brazen unpredictability that Depp recreates so comically. He’s a loveable rogue - a guitar-toting warrior whose bad side you definitely don’t want to be on (just ask the 1981 stage invader whose actions begat a swift Fender to the skull).

He is the living embodiment of rock and roll hedonism. His is a life that has miraculously survived the perils of drug addiction, copious alcohol, extensive touring and, of course, the strutting philandering of his singer. His eyes tell of a life well lived, his laugh sparkles with rich experiences.

Louis Vuitton have clearly recognised his nefarious appeal - the rocker led their 2008 campaign, in gorgeous adverts shot by photographer and friend Annie Leibovitz. Which other sixty-five-year-olds could entice the fashion world with such natural and intuitive magnetism?

With a penchant for skull rings, kohl-rimmed eyes, headbands and, more recently, hair trinkets, we salute Keith as rock’s ultimate icon. Long may he reign.

Have your say

Sign in or Register to leave comments
-