I’m not sure that there’s someone more influential to romantic bohemian style than Stevie Nicks. I find myself being drawn to her style staples time and time again; velvet, bell sleeves, gold, fringe, oversized flowy dresses and wraps, platform tall boots, etc. In addition to her impact and contribution to music, her fashion sense was and is pretty awesome and pretty instrumental at that.
In her own own words she aptly stated,
“I’m timeless, I got that Dickensian, London street-urchin look in high school. I’ll never be in style, but I’ll always be different.”
Much of the staples of boho style are renditions of looks she proliferated. The essence of brands like Free People is their hippie aesthetic, which is basically based on the Stevie Nicks style playbook. I’ve drawn form that playbook once or twice myself and I mean, what girl hasn’t?
Stevie in 1975 looking cute af. Source: whowhatwear.com
You can pretty much copy any of her looks and be on point right now, even though many of these looks were fashionable around forty years ago. The fashion industry definitely has, proving the timelessness of the looks. In a moment of raw honesty and objective reflection on herself and the matter she noted :
“People have latched on to my look because I’ve never changed it… You open a magazine and you say, ‘Oh, Marc Jacobs is definitely doing the Stevie Nicks handkerchief skirt and riding jacket and top hat and scarf,’ because that’s what I wore then, and I still wear it now.” – Stevie Nicks (Stevie Nicks in Control of ‘Dreams’ written by Amy Kaufman for LA Times)
If you don’t know who she is, I’m sure you’ve heard her voice as she sang on most of Fleetwood Mac’s hits. (Landslide, Rhiannon, Go Your Own Way, etc.)
In a way, she was a kind of musical gypsy in the way she wove magic as a singer and songwriter. Her songs evoke a kind of alchemy you can’t quite put your finger on, and her lyrics speak on raw truths about the female side of the human condition.
“While living in the male-dominated world of the very peak of the music industry in the 1970s, she wrote indelible songs that tell real, true stories, often about the bond between women, and about the life of an adventurer.” – NPR.org (“Stevie Nicks: ‘When We Walk Into the Room We Have to Float in Like Goddesses'”: article by Ann Powers for NPR Music
Her voice is haunting yet beautiful, and her gypsy bohemian style matched her vocals seamlessly. The entire image worked in conjunction to create what the musical world has recognized as rockstar goddess status.
The ingredients of the magic that was and is Fleetwood Mac is a blueprint for modern folk pop rock music ever since their reign. The same can be said for female artists’ fashion choices.
“… The 66-year-old’s free spirit, unmistakable raspy voice, and all-or-nothing attitude aren’t the only things that have made her such an icon. Her bohemian-influenced style, which has remained pretty much the same since she first broke onto the scene in the ‘60s, is so distinct that it has become inseparable from her as a human being. ” whowhat wear.com
Many of the details she’s been wearing for decades are now re-emerging as major trends on runways and in street style—fringe, blanket coats, capes, wide-legged pants, and beyond. – Whowhatwear.comWhowhatwear.comWhowhatwear.com (Stevie Nicks is Having a Moment: Shop Her 13 Best Looks Ever by Meghan Blalock)
Stevie Nicks began singing in a folk pop duo with her then boyfriend Lindsay Buckingham. Being in a folk pop duo and her struggle resonates strongly with me, as does her will to support a creative dream. She waited tables at Bob’s Big Boy to support herself and Lindsay, volunteering herself as the breadwinner to allow Lindsay to focus on his guitar playing, which was becoming more brilliant every day.
“I didn’t want to be a waitress, but I believed that Lindsey didn’t have to work, that he should just lay on the floor and practice his guitar and become more brilliant every day…as I watched him become more brilliant everyday, I felt very gratified. I was totally devoted to making it happen for him.
I never worried about not being successful; I wanted to make it possible for him to be successful. And when you feel that way about somebody, it’s very easy to take your own personality and quiet it way down. I knew my career was going to work out fine. I knew I wasn’t going to lose myself.
~Stevie Nicks, SPIN Magazine Interview, October, 1997
There wasn’t much bread to go around however, in the early years.
“We were so poor that we used to share a hamburger for dinner, or sometimes a slice of pizza.
Stevie Nicks, on why she worked as a waitress at Bob’s Big Boy after moving in with Lindsey in 1970, Harpers Bazaar, 1997
Self sacrificial love was a key in Nicks’ success as was discerning what style suited her best. Almost innately she favored loose chiffon shapes that created a sort of other worldly angelic vibe, platform boots which added to her small stature and paired beautifully with her outfits, and colors which suited her overall mysterious gypsy allure.
On creating her image she notes:
“I developed [my clothing style] before the Rumours album with my designer, Margi Kent, that I met in the first year of Fleetwood Mac. I told her, ‘I need to have uniform. We have to think of something that looks good. We can make three skirts, three tops, and have your shoes and your little, you know….a couple of wraps and jackets and you’re ready to go.’ And that’s what I did.” –Stevie Nicks, Spotight on Stevie Nicks, 96.1 WSRS, August 5, 2001
Though Stevie would will herself to avoid stores and shopping she became so famous in such a life altering way and a fast span of time, that she soon amassed a treasure trove of the pieces designers emulate and it girls favor today.
“‘Y’know before Lindsey and I joined we had to steel ourselves not to go into stores… Six months later we were earning $400 a week each and I was totally famous. We used to pin $100 bills up on the walls of our apartment just for fun. You go through that with someone, you don’t forget.'”
It’d be one of the best fashion days of my life if I could play dress up in her closet. I for one plan on attending the garage sale she will throw upon retiring:
“When I stop singing I’m gonna have a garage sale like you’re not gonna believe. We’re talking chiffon, chiffon, and more chiffon.” Stevie Nicks: Visions, Dreams and Rumors by Zoë Howe
Perhaps what makes Stevie’s style so effortlessly attractive is not clothes at all though, but attitude. She describes her image as a sort of suit of armor, worn not only to evoke beauty, but a quiet power;
She told her bandmate Christine what she believed about being a woman immersed in what was then a man’s world , “… you know, we can never be treated like second class citizens here. So when we walk into the room, we have to walk in with a big attitude.
Which does not mean a snotty conceited attitude. But it means like we have to float in like goddesses, because that is how we want to be treated. And we will never not be invited to the party, because we are women.”-NPR.org
They did get invited to the party that is rock music, and have remained fixtures there ever since.
” Nicks and bandmate Christine McVie were strong female figures in an industry where many male musicians were hero-worshipped by fans across the world…” (Stevie Nicks Sees Women’s Rights Slipping, ‘And I Hate It’ by Dan Rys for Rolling Stone)
Stevie continues to be a fashion icon and rock pioneer today and admire her for doing so, and embracing her individuality and all that makes her Stevie.
(if I didn’t mention an image’s source it’s because it’s from pinterest or not found)
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