The Most Fashionable Music Videos of All Time
Music videos are having a moment, thanks to the hype surrounding the release of Taylor Swift’s celeb filled one for “Bad Blood,” Madonna’s “Bitch I’m Madonna” and the most recently, “BBHMM” by Rihanna. Teasers and celeb-filled posters have been dropped like pop culture crumbs on our social media feeds leading up to the various debuts, but for those who are old enough to remember classics like Michael Jackson’s epic horror mini movie for “Thriller,” can anything from 2015 really compete? Whether these new tracks can truly live up to the Prince of Pop remains to be seen but it seems like even in today’s age of a videoless MTV, there are many efforts to bring the golden age of the music video back. In honour of this recent revival, we take a look back at some of our most favourite fashion moments in video history.
Run DMC, “My Adidas”
For sneakerheads, no hip hop group is more iconic. Run DMC’s videos introduced the popularity of Adidas tracksuits, thick gold “dookie rope” chains and the classic shell-toe Superstars. The group signed an advertising deal with Adidas some years later and became the first hip hop group to have an endorsement deal with a major corporation.
Cher, “If I Could Turn Back Time”
Cher’s fishnet leotard with leather moto jacket and matching rose tattoos on both butt cheeks is one of her most recognizable outfits to date (which is saying a lot, given her proclivity for headline-making). However, the overtly sexual nature of her ensemble was received with such controversy that many networks refused to play it. MTV would only have it on rotation after 9 p.m. With Navy men as Cher’s audience and a massive battleship as the backdrop, the video landed the military in hot water and since, they’ve refused any request for a video to be staged on any of their ships.
Aside from its overt connection to the magazine, this video brought the previously-underground dance trend to the masses. Professional dance battler or otherwise, everyone can thank the Madge for one the most iconic hand gestures of all time.
George Michael, “Freedom! ’90”
Despite the utter lack of actual clothing in this video, its fashion element is off the charts. Who could forget Linda Evangelista’s bright white hair against her black oversized turtleneck curled up on the floor, with Naomi, Christy, Linda, Tatjana and of course Cindy lip syncing this video into fashion history.
Nirvana, “Smells like Teen Spirit”
No other video captures a generation quite like this one. From the greasy hair and the dirty Converse shoes and the oversized plaid button downs, it’s absolute grunge perfection.
These sexy style queens made wearing your PJs look cool, which each of the members donning a different highly-pigmented pair of silks in front of wind machines.
Michael and Janet Jackson, “Scream”
Shot in black and white with an ton of overexposed lighting, the futuristic vibe lends itself perfectly to Michael and Janet Jackson’s matching black spike sweaters and patent leather pants, the pair pop right off the screen. With their on-point outerwear, Michael in a black shaggy fur crop coat and Janet’s metallic floor length fur trim coat, it’s ’90s fashion perfection.
No Doubt, “Just a Girl”
With her unique blend of quiff bangs, bindis and skater pants, Gwen Stefani became one of the biggest fashion icons of the ’90s. This video, one of No Doubt’s first, exemplifies her unique style.
Britney Spears, “…Baby One More Time”
This iconic schoolgirl combo featured a kilt, abs-flaunting polo and puffy pink scrunchies, making Spears’s blend of innocence and raw sexuality so iconic. Her impact was so big, it dissolved whatever was left of the grunge scene, ushering in the era of pop princesses.
Beyonce, “Single Ladies”
This video features no elaborate costume changes, set designs or even more than 3 people, but it is still one of Queen Bey’s all-time best. The black bodysuits are like a second skin, while the titanium “roboglove” speaks for itself. Top off all that with Sasha Fierce’s badass dance moves and you have one unforgettable video.
Lady Gaga, “Bad Romance”
Most Gaga videos are filled with eye-catching fashion choices but this one was truly a work of art, thanks to Alexander McQueen’s Spring 2010 Plato’s Atlantis collection. The video is a beautiful moving fashion ad.