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Polishing Up Real Nice: Fan Culture's Impact on Style

To quote Harry Styles' Cherry, 'There's a piece of you in how I dress.' And, with fan culture over recent years, this has never been more true. Fan culture is dancing around screaming your favourite lyrics, it’s getting excited for your favourite artists when they accomplish something, it's dressing up in their style and making it your own.

Fans have started countless trends basing their stylistic choices off of music — albums, artists, and videos. 'How to dress like ____' tutorials have sky-rocketed on popular social media, particularly TikTok. A couple of these have even earned a separate aesthetic from the music fans and are often integrated into both daily outfits and concert ones. References from song lyrics and album art have also been incorporated into said fashion choices.

Lana Del Rey; @yasminparisa on IG

The Lana Del Rey aesthetic is a mix of coquette and rockstar’s girlfriend, with a colour palette of maroon reds, blush pinks, earl greys, and charcoal blacks. Tied together with cherry wine lipsticks, dark ribbons, and ivory lace, these pieces are inspired by the singer’s vintage aesthetic. Lana Del Rey fans have taken on this style pairing it with heart shaped sunglasses and pearls.

Gracie Abrams-inspired TikTok; Gracie Abrams on tour

The Gracie Abrams aesthetic revolves around casual outfits that are often found in someone’s closet: a long sleeve black dress, a simple top paired with pinstripe pants or a flowy midi skirt, and a breezy button down. But most importantly, fans have loved using bows to accessorise these outfits, from small ribbon bows to the silky ones cascading down their hair, bows have been a crucial part of Gracie Abrams’ aesthetic. Gracie and her fans have also been known to celebrate new releases with miniature cakes inspired by her song Mess It Up, where the singer makes a cake over and over again; along with dressing up in straight light wash denim jeans and a floral long sleeve.

Taylor Swift's costume for 'Vigilante Shit'; Steph Bohrer's (@stephbohrer on IG) Midnights-inspired tour look

The Taylor Swift aesthetic taken on by Swifties is inspired by the artist’s albums featuring a wide variety of genres and aesthetics for everyone’s taste. From debut’s vibrant greens and cowboy boots, to Lover’s pastel pinks, blues, yellows and gem hearts around the right eye. To the purple thirteens on the left hand for Speak Now, to dark corset tops and boots for Reputation, to star cardigans for Folklore. Taylor fans have seen and done it all. Many accessorise with heart-shaped glasses, mirrorball earrings, friendship bracelets, and glitter. Cat eyes 'sharp enough to kill a man' and classic Taylor red lips are some of the makeup choices influenced by Taylor’s music.

Harry Styles' Gucci moment for Love on Tour, versus a fans' fabulous reaction (image via Pinterest)
Harry Styles at the 2021 Grammys

The Harry Styles aesthetic actually caused a shortage of boas! As unbelievable as it sounds, Harry fans have taken the singer’s Grammy outfits’ accessories to a new level. Dressing in warm, bright 80’s inspired colours and patterns, harries romanticise the little details: Beachwood cafe coffee, black and white film, sunflowers, and walks around art galleries. Painted nails, pearl necklaces, and an arrangement of fruit inspired patterns have been popular amongst them as well. Through Harry’s bold and inspiring fashion choices, his fans have found a welcoming and accepting home in him and his music.

Whether they’re dancing in a stadium full of fans or in the kitchen in the refrigerator light, fans have found ways of making their fan base feel like a sacred environment, a secret language, a colour only they and the music artist can see. This culture has evolved into countless fashion trends influenced by these music artists and their art.

Words by Daria Blaire

(@daira.blaire on IG)

Edited by Lucy Eaton

(@llucyeaton on IG)


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