Harry Styles is changing the fashion game, and here’s why

Beyond his music, Harry Styles is known widely for his bold fashion choices.

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Beyond his music, Harry Styles is known widely for his bold fashion choices. In recent years, especially since his departure from One Direction, Harry has created his own recognisable style of dress, working with designers and stylists like Alessandro Michele and Harris Reed to amaze on the red carpet, on stage, and in his music videos.

Yet what is often spoken about far less is the cultural impact of Harry’s wardrobe, and the social and cultural references that these hold. In his ‘Fine Line‘ era, we have seen Harry progress and delve further into fashion, using his classic base of daring suits to move into the territory of playing with textiles, gender stereotypes and accessories.

 

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Was my absolute pleasure and privilege to create this custom look for a man who continually inspires and supports me. He has believed in my vision without question in this early stage of my career. @harrystyles, to say thank you would be an understatement, but truly as always, thank you for letting me be a part of your vision and your art. Harry wears a two piece bespoke silk moire suit for his new video Lights Up that is now live! The deepest thank you as always to the guardian angel of my life @harry_lambert the man who has always seen that light within me and everyday helps that light shine brighter and brighter! To my friends and helpers that helped me bring this look to life thank you guys, truly @molliemayboyd1 @absmsleach @lakenyork @dani.lknight @vezwez @liyah

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In his ‘Lights Up’ music video, Harry wears a silk moire two-piece suit, designed by Harris Reed. Yet this suit was an indication of what was to come, as it departs greatly from the traditional silhouettes from the HS1 era. The sleeveless, peplum suit jacket takes the traditional silhouette used in women’s clothing and puts it on a masculine body. Reed here takes the first step in using troupes of women’s fashion in Harry’s clothing.

This idea is only emphasised by accompanying the suit with a mesh top underneath, again a material generally only used in men’s fashion. Reed is really experimenting with Harry, just as he is launching his own fashion brand, and this should be seen as a great opportunity for both Reed and Styles to create a new space within celebrity fashion, which some argue has become rather stale in the past few years.

Accessories have become a staple for Harry. His rings are a known classic with his fans, but in the past few months, many have noticed the pearl necklace that has become a staple in all Harry’s outfits. Seemingly a small detail, the choice to incorporate a pearl necklace into not just red carpet outfits, but also his day to day outfits, again shows a conscious blurring of gendered fashion lines.

For decades, the pearl necklace has been a symbol of femininity and is pictured on many women throughout history. Including it in his outfits now is both an acknowledgement of its feminine past, and also an attempt at changing its future within fashion.


 

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‘Falling’ | @harrystyles live from The #BRITs 2020

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In a culmination of all of these bold steps forward in genderless fashion, Styles performed recently at the Brits wearing an all-lace suit, paired with lace gloves and his pearl necklace, a look inspired by Prince, who wore something similar performing on stage. Blending this time a more masculine silhouette with lace, Harry, once again is bold and stunning, showing the timeless quality of Prince’s outfit, his appreciation for the original figures of the music industry who broke down gender stereotypes within fashion.

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