A Concert of Camous and Coat Tails

NEWARK, Dec 19, 2011 / FW / — Attending the famed Trans Siberian Orchestra (TSO) Christmas concert last night made me think of menswear and how it has evolved around music for the past several decades.

Way back in the 1990’s when Seattle sound ruled the airwaves, grunge also ruled the runway. When rap became part of mainstream music, the saggy bottoms was the hip wear on the streets. 

Of course, when Hedi Slimane took the creative helm of Dior Homme (he practically invented the brand), he changed menswear forever when he cut the silhouette pencil thin and made rock & roll elements an inherent part of it. 

Hence last night was a big revelation for me. Not having seen TSO before (in fact, the first time I heard of them was when my BFF Desiree told me we were going to the concert because his youngest son wanted to go) my first thought was that it was an orchestra first and a rock & roll band second. This impression came after googling TSO. 

I was only partially right. I had the percentages inverted. TSO was a rock & roll band first and an orchestra second. They do have several musicians who are part of a philharmonic orchestra, albeit one of them is an electric violin.

What distinguished them though was the coat tails that all members were wearing. They look formal, as if they were truly a classical orchestra group. Their music and the head banging guitarists and violinist made them into a rock band.

The band’s successful fusion of classical and rock & roll music morphing them into a new music genre can also be observed among the audience. There was the well-dressed crowd in suits and cocktail dress while there the camouflage & jeans group. 

Through my eyes as a fashion editor, I see a certain symmetry on stage, on the audience and on both. Rock & roll a taken a cue from fashion, hence we have come full circle. From the suit wearing Beatles of the 1960s to Nirvana’s grunge, menswear designers had been inspired by the music and the now iconic way of dressing by Kurt Cobain. 

Today’s musician are now taking cues from menswear designers on what they will wear on stage.


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