Spotify has wrapped. Taylor Swift broke Ticketmaster. Beyoncé made Grammy history. The music industry is winding down for the year. Between troubling world news and hoilday cheers, we cautiously keep our hopes up for 2023. Here are half-dozen recent music videos that made me go wow-now on fashion styling: a mix of Christmas tunes & darker-themed tracks. Who should I see next?! Tell me 🙂
Stormzy – Firebabe
This is neither a holiday tune nor an angst-ridden anthem which is precisely why this video belongs here. Stylist extraordinaire Melissa Holdbrook-Akposoe wraps Stormzy in the most comfortable knitwear imaginable (a Gabriela Hearst look) so he can soothe us with his latest soulful turn. Plus, what a cool throwback to Style-the-Beat’s humble origins in Labrinth’s Jealous sweater.
Kazakh music industry is more than the sensational Dimash! This duet lives up to the song’s refrain of “looking at the bright stars”. As the operatic ballad gets its cinematic treatment, designer Assel Shalabayeva delivers her own stitch-perfect performance fusing Central Asian costume heritage with contemporary action aesthetics. A special shout-out to Nomad Stunts for their
breathtaking breath-giving work undoing trauma and unlearing violence. That’s the spirit!
Backstreet Boys – Last Christmas
The original “Last Christmas” came in 1984… and never left. Already one of the most covered songs in history, this year… to save me from tears?! …it gets a Backstreet’s back alright makeover. Ultimately, a lazy cash and relevancy grab, it is fittingly outfitted by Brooks Brothers, the world’s most bland brand. Still, worth Style-the-Beat attention as a total look example of corporate collaboration.
Loïc Nottet – Mélodrame
When a reigning enfant terrible of Belgian pop steps onto a historic Opéra Royal stage, you can expect high notes and ever higher emotional stakes. Costumier Pieterjan Van Biesen (curently in charge of revamping Natan Couture) makes oversize monochrome pieces sparkle with fifty shades of melodrama under the watchful eye of an unforgiving grand chandelier. This is delicious styling worth any major fashion magazine editorial.
Johannes Klingebiel – For Now
Instrumental music often comes with an extra narrative challenge. What is it about? Stylist Rachel Colless aptly tasks the whimsical clothes by UY Studio to express our confusing and conflicted zeitgest. The resulting “now” is chaotic yet poetic. Also, dancer Maksim Avdeev first caught our Post-Paris eye in a seminal Russian queer music video We Will Become Better in 2021. P.S. Check out UY’s truly quepic (queer + epic?) campaign here.
Zoe Wees – All I Want (For Christmas)
Despite its clickbait title, this winter wonderland track is uncharacteristically honest about the season’s mixed messages and complex emotions. Honest lookbook styling by Fenna Lang holds up assuredly well in the snowfall, the candlelight, and the metaverse. “If we can make it through December maybe we make it to forever” … ooph, yeah I felt that. And yes-yes-yes, please-please-please!
Meanwhile … celebrate the year’s endings and beginnings, stay tuned, stay styled!
Check out previous installments of my Style the Beat series here.