Between the Buttons

The Sartorial Legacy of the Rolling Stones

When the Rolling Stones first roared into the public consciousness in the early 1960s, they didn’t look too different from the other groups of the time: at this early point in the band’s career, the Stones’ manager (and former Beatles publicist) Andrew Loog Oldham had decreed that the boys should all wear identical suits. By the mid 60s the irrepressible Mick Jagger was quivering on stage in skin-tight trousers, military jackets and louche, androgynous scarves, while the other members followed suit with open-necked dress shirts and ripped vests thrown together with tailored jackets and increasingly wild costumery. The band set the blueprint for rock’n’roll style—a trend that has never been far from the fashion runways in the ensuing years. In the last decade, some of the Stones’ sartorial trademarks have been revisited with particular enthusiasm, notably via Hedi Slimane’s chic rock revival at Dior Homme in the early 2000s, but also with pointed directness—Rei Kawakubo endlessly reproduced the Stones’ logo all over the irreverent glam-tinged tailoring of her spring 2006 menswear collection. For fall 2010, the fascination with rock star excess flared up, with Gucci showing velvet jackets, silk scarves, furs and scoop v-necks (all worn by shaggy-haired, Jagger-esque models) and rock stalwarts including Roberto Cavalli, Paul Smith and Maison Martin Margiela (who offered many stage-ready pieces, including leather shirts and silver sequined jeans) continuing to riff upon the loud, confident and tailored look that the Stones first pioneered. Even at the Lanvin show there was a bit of Jagger Swagger, with models sporting neckerchiefs, salmon-colored overcoats and 70s-style white buckle shoes. 

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