Not only was Prince a consummate performer, he was also a true style icon.
The late Prince was always an exceptionally trendy man, never failing to push the boundaries of fashion in each and every music video, stage performance, and public appearance. In this article, I will be paying tribute to the man’s impeccable sense of style.
Disclaimer: Prince’s work is notoriously hard to find online. A private man, he did not buy into the “Spotify/YouTube mentality” of having all of his work available for mass public consumption. If you wanted access to his material, you either had to buy the DVD, subscribe to Tidal, or simply be fortunate enough to grow up in an era where his music videos were still aired on television (thanks, VH1!) In the event of his demise, more and more of his music videos are being released to the Internet, but they may be taken down by his family as he was extremely against the Internet as a method of distribution.
For the sake of simplicity, I will be discussing some of the more easily available material, so that you, too, can take the time to appreciate the magic of pastel colours and eyeliner. And hopefully, you will also be inspired to build a large, purple stash of CDs and DVDs on your shelf.
This is the first song that got me hooked onto Prince’s music. I heard the song with my friends when we were teenagers in an all-girls Catholic school. It was a phase of life where we actively searched for suggestive music videos to watch together and giggle at. Prince’s Kiss was one such video.
Not only were the lyrics empowering (“You don’t have to be beautiful to turn me on // you don’t have to be rich to be my girl, you don’t have to be cool to rule my world”) but the music video was a feast for the eyes. A suave, lean Prince dominates every frame in an extra-large leather jacket, complete with resplendent looking shoulder pads, and silver metallic studs down the sides and back. He shows off his marvellous physique by sporting a buttoned crop top and the tightest leather pants, which definitely influenced my fashion choices for a few years after that. The abundant nature of kohl accentuates his expressive eyes, and even in such a sexually charged video, he displays a sign of his faith by sporting a giant cross pendant. The funky rhythm and leather outfits acts as a sort of timeline – you definitely know you’re in the 80s.
Sporting a gigantic symbol on his right cheek (a hybrid of the symbol for male and female), Prince sings into a gold encrusted microphone, while golden confetti occasionally washes the stage and the audience. In line with the name and theme of the song, all of Prince’s accessories are gold – from his watch to his pointed Oxford shoes, and guitar, which is probably the most uniquely shaped guitar I have personally ever seen. He wears a shimmery golden shirt with a black waistcoat, a look which has probably inspired Adam Lambert and Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow.
Moments into the video you will realise the waistcoat actually serves as a thong, a look only Prince is capable of pulling off. Several thick gold chains decorate his neck, with his marker of faith still visible. The glitz and glam of the music video, the flashy outfits, and confetti showers serve as a stark contrast to the sombre lyrics (“all that glitters ain’t gold”).
History lesson: During the time of this music, Prince changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol, which could not be written in Unicode, and was referred to as “the artist formerly known as Prince.” After ending his contract with Warner Bros, he began calling himself Prince again.
3. Partyman (Batman OST)
Easily the most stylish villain to have ever graced the Batman movies, Prince’s Partyman has the flexibility of a gymnast, as he busts out some complicated dance moves with the ease of butter, and transports himself around the room via a giant rope. By donning the trademark purple suit of Joker, yet sporting Two-Face’s fragmented make-up, Prince not only nods to the androgyny of his appearance, but also to his zodiac sign, Gemini.
His villainy lures all his unsuspecting guests to their deaths by inducing them to consume champagne from a giant fountain and engage in other hedonistic behaviour. By the time the police arrive, Prince taunts them with maniacal laughter, which indicates this won’t be his only crime spree. Only Prince is capable of pulling off a tangerine coloured undershirt and cuffs, and still look exquisite.
This article is an excerpt from ZALORA Community. For the full article, click here.