Music videos act as cultural clips, which make us reminiscence on previous periods of our lives. The fashion becomes iconic enough, that it can even overpower our memories of the song.

Since the Beatles in the 60’s, to MTV being launched in 1981, artists have used video form to transform their lyrics into visual pieces. Watching a music channel was like catching up on your favourite show. The frustration of waiting for the video you wanted meant “Total Request Live” (TRL) could reach six-figure daily views in the late 90’s.

Now that YouTube has taken over from what was really dominated by MTV and VH1, this video frustration is no longer an issue. Despite the launch of VEVO, with the decline of T.V viewing, videos have lost a huge portion of their budgets. In addition, social-media seems to be the new place to be influenced and to share fashion inspiration. It begs the question, are music videos still influencing style?

According to a VEVO report this year, the answer is yes. Summarised by the question: “How influential are music videos on beauty and style?” they found that people are “still driven by music videos to create looks of their own”.

Growing up, The Spice Girls, Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez and Destiny’s Child, all impacted my outfits. Being born in the early 90’s, I grew up with the cheesy pop generation which promptly switched to R&B and Hip-Hop. That was the mainstream that I knew and I begged my parents to help me comply.

Courtesy of special collections at university of Houston libraries.

Image courtesy of special collections university of Houston libraries.

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Michael and Janet Jackson, David Bowie, TLC, Madonna, Run DMC, LL Cool J, Nirvana and George Michael, are just a minor percentage of musicians over the years that have made trendsetting impacts across the globe – simply by what they wore. Be that as it may, truthfully, any recording artist from any genre with a hit, can affect a person’s thoughts, on what they decide is trendy.

It’s hard to forget, that it was in 1990 when MC Hammer released “U Can’t Touch This”.  Yes you remember the song, but it’s the harem pants that really conjure up your brain. For me, it was Jennifer Lopez singing “If you had my love”, that had me desperate to dye my hair lighter and to literally wear just white. Of course, neither happened (I was only a child), so the closest I came to copying, was purchasing some items from her clothing line.

Due to the budget cuts and the disappearance of music being played across T.V channels, music videos have been on a deadly decline. Nevertheless, the fashion has never departed in them and could potentially climax further as stars are once again turning them into discussions. This happened with videos such as Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” and Beyonce’s “Lemonade”, where the visuals became the focus.

Blogs and social-media may have us checking out whose wearing what; music videos will continue to influence us on fashion. They sum up the mood of the season, the outfits which we will one day cringe at and for me, when I want to see an icon performing and looking at their best, I will watch what they upload and forever be inspired.




Laura Bradbury


Laura is a journalist, model and makeup-artist, who has had experience with film, fashion and editorial. Her blog: Lauzieslifestyle, documents her passion for beauty, health and style. She currently resides in London.

Post expires at 11:39am on Tuesday February 20th, 2018