A commanding stage presence is an essential element of the rock and roll spectacle. Beyond captivating audiences with their music, artists from Abba to ZZ Top have projected their quirks, singular identities and personas via unique stage costumes. Some artists' costume choices are icons to themselves – think Michael Jackson’s gilded glove or Elvis Presley’s bejeweled jumpsuit. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, is home to many of these iconic costumes and ground-breaking designs. Here are some of our favorites, which you can see when visiting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum!
David Bowie's Suit, 1972 / Design by Freddie Burretti
David Bowie’s breakthrough came with The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars (1972), a thoroughly modern album that promulgated the notion of rock star as space alien. Bowie melded rock with theater, creating the provocative character and alter ego “Ziggy Stardust." Bowie wore his lightning-bolt emblazoned suit onstage during his tour to support the album.
The Supremes' Dresses, 1969 / Design by Bob Mackie
The Supremes rose from the poverty of ...
Starting this week, visitors to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, will be able to see a new addition to the Rock Hall's Michael Jackson collection: an outfit worn by the King of Pop early in his Jackson 5 days.
I clearly remember the first time I saw this newest addition to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum’s collection. I got an extreme close-up look at Michael’s orange, yellow and red ensemble, with my nose inches from the television screen. I was watching the Jackson 5’s second television special, which aired on November 5, 1972. Michael and his brothers wore a succession of colorful, fashionable, individualized yet coordinated outfits on the television special.
The warm, saturated colors, double-knit fabric, turtleneck and bellbottom design of this particular outfit were the apogee of early 1970s hip fashion, seen on fashion runways from couturiers like Halston and Yves St. Laurent, accessible and readily adaptable for the ready-to-wear market.
The stylish turtleneck top of the outfit with the heart-embellished “J5” logo is actually a body suit – clearly a necessity to accommodate Michael’s athletic dancing. Michael was growing up fast, but ...
An exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the making of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's new exhibit highlighting 50 years of the Rolling Stones. The exhibit, Rolling Stones: 50 Years of Satisfaction, opens to the public on May 24, 2013, and will span three floors, more than 4,000 square feet and feature hundreds of items -- instruments, clothes, handwritten correspondence, art, photographs and more -- from the Rolling Stones' amazing history as the "World's Greatest Rock and Roll Band."
Watch the video below for a sneak peek at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's new Rolling Stones exhibit.
Women who rock know how to rock a look. From Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey to Janelle Monáe and Lady Gaga, the ladies who have made the music that moves us have used fashion – clothes, makeup, hairdos, hats, jewels, boots, shoes – to help express themselves. Their art goes beyond song and sound. They create entire worlds of style that connect us to their musical messages, draw us into fantasies that run the gamut from elegant to edgy, push us to understand how the spectacle of self-presentation can communicate ideas and emotions in ways that transcend words or melody. Today, the idea of rock style is a given: We’ve grown accustomed to seeing singers on the cover of Vogue, we buy the clothes and makeup promoted by stars from Madonna (featured in Versace ads) to Rihanna (a spokesmodel for Revlon); we can even dress ourselves head to toe in clothes created by rockers, such as Gwen Stefani’s L.A.M.B. label or Beyoncé’s House of Deréon.
It’s easy to boil rock style, in all its guises, down to two ideas: glamour and rebellion. But, as the Women Who Rock exhibit illustrates, the story is ...