By Jackie Lyons
In 1963, during the British Invasion, six young men made a name for themselves. Their name: The Rolling Stones. Their bad boy looks and infectious music quickly drove them to instant stardom. With their target audience as teenagers, they soon became world famous. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famers’ classic songs like “Paint it Black” and “Ruby Tuesday” made the top charts.
For five decades, The Rolling Stones turned their stage into a runway, changing their style to fit the trends of the time. On Saturday, November 12th, their entire wardrobe went to display in New York in an exhibit called, “Exhibitionism-The Rolling Stones”. Items on display include, iconic fashion pieces from every band member, instruments, and memorabilia in
general. Re-creations of their original recording studio were also on display, with every tiny detail in tact.
It is said that The Rolling Stones inspired the image of the modern rock star, punk, mod, and psychedelia. According to frontman, Mick Jagger, “It’s not just five blokes in blue jeans going on with a lot of amps, you know what I mean?” Jagger tries to say that their appearance means something to their stage presence. The first piece in the collection is a houndstooth jacket worn in 1963, a rare piece from when the band wanted matching uniforms. Later on, their manager Andrew Oldham, decided that the band needed to go the other route and develop a bad boy image with leather jackets and no care attitudes. Another piece on display from 1966 is Mick Jagger’s red military jacket that was worn in the show, “Ready Steady Go!” The bright colors and flowy styles of the 70s rolled in a brand new look to work with. In Keith Richards’ autobiography, Life, he says, “It really pissed off Charlie Watts, with his walk-in cupboards of impeccable Savile Row suits, that I started to become a fashion icon for wearing my old lady’s clothes.” They broke the strict gender barriers that were set up in society by wearing dresses and skirts. In the late 70s, they went along with the disco phase and sported white suits and skinny ties.
The 80s and 90s produced neon jazzercise pants and animal print headbands. Keith Richards used his past style choices to influence his character in the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. The 54 years that they were together, The Rolling Stones produced 54,000 unique styles that they have no regrets of. Jagger states, “You have to go and take chances, and people are going to laugh, and maybe it’s not going to be a success. But there is no success without risk.” The The Rolling Stones music was a soundtrack to a generation and their fashion dressed a culture.