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Music and fashion have always gone hand in hand. A new book explores the myth and meaning of looks made famous by artists such as Bjrk, MIA and Jennifer Lopez

Bjrk: Debut, album, 1993

Bjorks Debut

Judy Blame is a legend of street-derived DIY styling. In partnership with music video director Mondino, he created the now-classic cover portrait for Bjrks acclaimed first album, Debut.

Blame had requested that Bjrk simply bring her favourite clothes from her own wardrobe for the Paris shoot. However, when the airline lost her luggage (she walked into my hotel room carrying just a model of a boat, a little satin Martin Margiela dress and a big pair of boots) they changed plan and headed to Margielas showroom.

Shed talked a lot about the fact the album was quite techno but she wanted to look like a little animal, so I just yanked that little furry jumper off Martins rail. Then [the French make-up artist] Topolino came in and put those two sequins under her eyes and that was it the full stop! recalls Blame. And so pop musics inimitable cyber pixie was born: a crystal-clear synergy of quiet vulnerability and extrovert determination.

Lady Gaga: meat dress, MTV awards, 2010

Gagas meat dress. Photograph: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

Surreal, subversive and typically Gaga, the infamous meat dress (painstakingly crafted from real slices of meat) that she wore to the MTV music awards in Los Angeles in 2010 divided commentators: was it an artistic statement with a feminist agenda (women as meat) or anti-fashion dig at the sensation-hungry fashion and music industries? Franc Fernandez, who was originally commissioned to create a meat purse, developed the idea into a into a full-blown dress, and drafted in the family butcher to bring it to life.

Grace Jones: Nightclubbing, album, 1981

Nightclubbing, 1981.

Grace Jones collaborated with French art director, filmmaker and then lover Jean-Paul Goude to create performances, album art and music videos that propelled her semi-surreal image into the stratosphere. The cover for the album Nightclubbing (1981) boasts the image Goude believes most truthfully crystallises his overall vision of her a fearless modern hero, with extreme, subversive beauty. Jones boasts a sharply structured flat-top, a black, square-shouldered Armani suit (later retouched to look more extreme) and a torso so sculpted that the decolletage-cum-breastbone could be male or female. Her skin is inky black (Goude painted it black then overlaid it with blue powder to deepen the look) her lips dark red countered by the sleek stick of a white cigarette.

It was about extremity, playing on her masculinity. Grace simplified to the maximum, says Goude.

Jennifer Lopez: Get Right video, 2005

Jennifer Lopez, Get Right.

While Jennifer Lopezs persona was inarguably built on sexually charged charisma, stylist Andrea Lieberman, who put Lopez in a deep-plunge Versace dress for the Grammy Awards in 2000, said it was about reclaiming ownership over that sensuality. The Get Right video is a vision of sports luxury way before the term athleisure was coined in 2014. Together, they constructed an identity so popular that Lopez kickstarted global trends such as the Juicy Couture velour tracksuit (Im Real, 2001) and the Manolo Blahnik, Timberland-style stiletto boots (Jenny from the Block, 2002), inspiring a whole generation of emerging female hip-hop artists.

MIA: 2009 Grammy awards

M.I.A, Grammy awards 2009. Photograph: John Shearer/WireImage

One of anti-fashion stylist Anastasia Maranos most significant relationships has been her work with the outspoken British-Sri-Lankan songwriter, rapper and general creative agitator MIA. The pair worked together on a series of stage shows and festival performances, including her appearance at the 2009 Grammy awards when nine months pregnant. It was a headline-grabbing moment thanks to a bodycon Henry Holland monochrome mesh minidress with strategically placed polka dots. Echoing heavily pregnant Neneh Cherrys appearance on Top of the Pops two decades earlier, MIA accessorised it with hotpants and beefed-up Reebok trainers, unapologetically subverting the conventional mother-to-be stereotype.

It was a really special moment in her life, says Marano. She had a major song, Paper Planes, a album and a baby. The dress was actually a very sexy dress to start with; she wanted to look more like an artpiece.

Roxy Music: For Your Pleasure, album, 1973

Roxy Music For Your Pleasure

After redefining the suit in the suavest, slinkiest form for public appearances, couturier Antony Price next collaborated on Roxy Musics artwork. One of their most notable album covers is For Your Pleasure featuring Amanda Lear, stalwart of the 1970s club scene, model-muse to Salvador Dal and friend of Bryan Ferry. Sheathed in black latex and holding a panther on a leash, Lear poses in film noir meets art provocateur Allen Jones style. The enigmatic Lear was a fitting symbol for a band who were carving out a niche as pops perfect artefact.

While these images were sometimes criticised for bordering on the chauvinistic, the designs coincided with the emergence of the first international supermodels, glamazons with heavenly bodies, formidable characters and the aura of a stratospherically unattainable lifestyle, and cemented the bands legacy.

This is an edited extract from Fashion + Music by Katie Baron (Laurence King, 30). To buy a copy for 24.60 (inc free p&p), visit

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