Throughout the decades, music and fashion have always gone hand-in-hand. Music stars have always paid enormous attention not only to their art, but also to their fashion and style, which inevitably was shaped by their personality.
Therefore, it’s not a coincidence if clothes and shoes (and other fashion) came to inspire songs, many of which became instant classics, and still remain as masterpieces today.
So, us at Velasca decided to select the five songs that, more than any other, capture the close bond between music and fashion. Who didn’t ever dress up as their musical idols?
Blue Suede Shoes by Elvis Presley (1956)
Johnny Cash unknowingly kick-started the writing of this song, telling Carl Perkins about an Air Force comrade that used to call his shoes “blue suede shoes.”
Some time later, during an evening at a ballroom, Perkins heard a boy screaming “Don’t step on my suedes!” to his date, who had just crushed his feet. So the infamous song was born, inspired by the rudeness of a boy more interested in his shoes than his beautiful girl, that Presley made into one of the most famous rock’n’roll tracks ever.
Famous Blue Raincoats by Leonard Cohen (1971)
It was a cold and dark night at the end of December. Cohen (in the cover picture), bent over his typewriter, retraced the mistakes made with his lost lover, composing a letter that is almost an enigma, whispered on the arpeggiated notes of a gloomy guitar.
“I bought it from Burberry in London in 1959. I used to wear it heroically and when I took off the lining and the squeezed sleeves were repaired with patches of leather, it gained further glory.”
He tells of a cryptic and confused love triangle: her, him, and a friend-lover “with no identity” to whom it seems the letter is addressed. It’s difficult to focus on the characters and decipher the truthfulness of the story. The only reference to reality is that the “famous blue raincoat” belonged to the Poet.
Forever In Blue Jeans by Neil Diamond (1978)
According to Cotton Incorporated, “Neil Diamond was right when he named his most famous hit ‘Forever in Blue Jeans’. In fact, in the 1980s, 81% of American women bought at least a pair of jeans in a blue tone.
In 2001 the song was used by Gap to promote the sale of blue jeans in an advertisement in which Will Ferrell played Diamond. That’s how a love song became one of America’s most celebrated advertising jingles.
Red Shoes by the Drugstore by Tom Waits (1978)
In the portrait of a damp and gray corner of a decadent city, the red shoes of a woman waiting for her man seem to be the only beam of light that Tom Waits wants us to see in his ‘Red Shoes by the Drugstore.’
The woman is waiting, motionless and surrounded by a sad and voracious city, and she remains vain. Her lover, who really loved to watch her in her red shoes, is killed while trying to steal a diamond ring for her. She is left with nothing but an empty handbag and echoes of memories washed away by the rain.
Vintage Clothes by Paul McCartney (2007)
Paul McCartney, in his long career, has seen his style evolve like a chameleon along with his music. ‘Vintage Clothes’, a track from the 2007 ‘Memory Almost Full’ album, marks the beginning of a medley in which the ex-Beatle retraces the different stages of his life. So the “old” clothes become a symbol of a past viewed from afar, to be preserved and find some comfort in, even if everything is destined to change at a reckless pace.