There was once a time music and fashion went hand in hand, but nowadays female singers are more defined and recognised by their style says Fiona McKinson
Style vixens abound; the music industry is full of sassy fashion conscious artists that are not only worth listening too, but also taking a look at
VV Brown VV Brown is known for setting trends on and off stage. She is represented by Select Models UK after being scouted on a flight and is the only black British female artist, alongside Leona Lewis, to do a shoot for Vogue magazine. In November 2008, she participated in Naomi Campbell's charity fashion show with Tyson Beckford and Daisy Lowe and modelled for Ashish Gupta's 2009 Show at London Fashion Week. And with a keen interest in fashion and photography, VV Brown has launched her very own vintage clothing store: www.vvvintage.com.
Cynthia John Lawrence, VV's stylist, describes her style as 'an eclectic mix of high fashion and vintage, with some good high-street pieces thrown in. Her look is fun while still being cool and elegant -- it's not just about glamour!' However, carrying off quirky clothes does take a little know-how enthuses Cynthia. 'I'm always aware of with any artist and even when I'm styling fashion shoot, that the secret.
Janelle Monae America's Grammy Award-nominated, Janelle Monae, has shot to the top of the best dressed charts with her future inspired vintage garms. In her native city Kansas, she dreamed of Broadway, but her theatrical style blossomed when she moved to Atlanta and met the style icon Andr 3000 of Outcast. Like him she has an eclectic look, which is symbolic of her open mindedness to embrace rock, alternative, soul, indie pop, afropunk, and new wave sounds.
Celebrity hairstylist Rukey Styles says, 'One thing I love about Janelle Monae is that she lets the natural sisters know that they can be fly! Here she's wearing her natural textured pompadour. Her style and music reflect her admiration of the late Fifties and Sixties. Elvis is no longer the only music artist known for his signature pompadour.'
Ebony Bones Ebony Bones aka Ebony Thomas, former actress on the soap Family Affairs, continues to channel her character Yasmin who was characterised by her statement wardrobe. She oozes with creativity; not only does she make her own clothes, but she also designs her band's stage costumes, ceremoniously painting a signature uni-brow on each female member as homage to her favourite artist Frida Kahlo. In fact, Ebony often pays respect to creative artists through her outlandish fashion sense. She has performed in a sequined banana skirt in reference to favourite actress Josephine Baker.
Bones has appeared in Rolling Stone, French Vogue, NME, Q, The Guardian, The Observer and i-D, . She has also graced the covers of French lifestyle magazine Telerama three times, Tsugi, Japan's Eyescream, as well as the German music magazine De:Bug.
Santigold New wave artist Santigold pushes her love of brands to the foreground by mixing beloved pieces with high-end labels. She is known to be a fan of Angela Barrow's accessories line Cheek-ie and is also an advocate of Bijules NYC, a jewellery and accessory line, for fashion-conscious people. Designer Jeremy Scott for Adidas Originals claims she is a muse for when he is looking for new ideas, and power house label BCBGMAXAZRIA used her album L.E.S. Artistes as the soundtrack for his New York Fashion Week runway show.
Santigold's music suggests she has her finger on the pulse of what's hot, but a girl can always use help. She is friends with April Roomet, stylist to Snoop Dogg, the mother of Tyson Beckford's son Jordan and star of E!'s reality show Candy Girls.
Shingai Shoniwa Shingai (pronounced Shing-eee) Shoniwa of the Noisettes is another style icon renowned for her distinctive natural hairstyle and retro-esque tailoring. At the Roundhouse's Turning Point Festival this year, she sported black sequined hot pants beneath a black tasseled mini skirt, which she whipped off mid set cementing her dare-devil attitude towards fashion.
Shingai is a fan of her friends' fashion brands such as her flatmate Tasha's jewellery label, Justine's Virtue, and her friend Melanie Wilson's shop, Prangsta Costumiers.
Melanie says Shingai began visiting Prangsta 10 years ago. 'She was particularly fond of two of signature pieces; the lantern skirts which come in various colours and styles, and the silk blouses; multi-darted with a high collar and intricate lace detail.'
Shingai has also been styled by Nasrin Jean Baptiste, who is her friend and a protg of Cynthia Lawrence-John. Nasrin has worked with the likes of Estelle, Rafael Saadiq, and Rihanna and styled the Noisettes for their 2006 music videos Scratch Your name, Sister Rosetta, and Don't Give Up. Just as Shingai's music blends punk with rock and soul, her style blends inspirations and her unique background, which merges theatre with circus training.
Speech Debelle Mercury prize winner Speech Debelle pays homage to her grandmother, a fashion designer, by embracing her strong style
Lil Mama Nineteen year-old Niatia Jessica Kirkland aka Lil Mama was awarded Style Star 2007 from Seventeen magazine, where she was acknowledged for cool casual looks, hip-hop glam and hot colours
Mpho South African musician Mpho (pronounced Mmmm-poh), channels her inner Madonna with Eighties inspired outfits to pull off her unique look