:: Divas' Dress Code ::

In Style, Sept 1998

by Heidi Sherman

You love their voices--you can't ignore their style. Ever since Cher flashed her torso in the sixties, music goddesses have shared the spotlight with their clothes, sparking copycat looks and trends. "Women in rock use fashion as self-expression," says Alisa Bellettini, executive producer of MTV's House of Style. "Any designer will say he or she looks to these women for inspiration." And as an artist's music evolves, so does her costume. Some are trailblazers--like Courtney Love, who watches the runway as well as the street; others, like Stevie Nicks with her cloaks and boots, create a myth around a look. From Tina's flashy heat to Jewel's understated cool, divas rock the fashion universe.

As the crow flies: When Crow began her career as backup singer to Michael Jackson and Rod Stewart in the mid-eighties, it was with an eclectic, less kempt look than the one she radiates today. Onstage, she sported cropped tops, heavy accessory artillery, teased hair; on her own, low-maintenance folkishness--flowing flannels, loose jeans, cowboy boots. if it makes her happy: As Crow came into her own, she experimented with styles ranging from second-skin hot pants to teeny skirts with boots. Then she discovered high fashion: Manolo Blahnik shoes, Prada and Dolce & Gabbana. new release: These days, the Missouri native is collecting cowboy hats and swinging back to her roots. "It's a purer style," says stylist Maryam Malakpour. "Beautiful curls, great eel-skin pants, a T-shirt, boots--it's what she carries so well."

The gypsy that remains: Beyond all those icons who change looks with every new moon stands Stevie Nicks. Unchanging, she's emerged as an archetype of personal style. leather and lace: "When Fleetwood Mac first started, she was so small, you had to look for her onstage," says stylist Kim Brakeley, who has worked with Nicks for 12 years. "And she wanted to be a romantic, Dickensian figure." Nicks adopted the layered shawls, flowing dresses in exquisite fabrics and unstructured jackets, and added custom-made platform boots for height. The vibe still suits her. landslide of love: With her resurgence, Nicks's billowing gypsy-girl getups are as in-the-moment as ever. Richard Tyler approached her, offering to create special pieces, like the wine-colored satin gown she wore to ex-beau Don Henley's Stormy Weather benefit last May. Recently, designers Anna Sui and Isaac Mizrahi have both declared that Nicks is one of their inspirations. And forget simple chic. "You'll never see Stevie in a tailored jacket and tight trousers," says Brakeley. "She's not an Armani person."

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