LONDON – Harry Styles is back home in the U.K. for his “Love On Tour,” and it could be his most fashionable outing to date.
In the past five years Styles has transformed his appearance with the help of the celebrity super-stylist Harry Lambert. Lambert also dresses “The Crown’s” Josh O’Connor and Emma Corrin, who will be co-starring opposite Styles this October in “My Policeman.”
The British musician’s style evolution has seen him go from head-to-toe Saint Laurent grunge numbers to flamboyant Gucci pieces, making him a poster boy for the Italian brand’s push to reach Millennials and Gen-Z.
On his way up the style ladder, Styles co-hosted the Met Gala’s “Camp: Notes on Fashion” ball with Lady Gaga in 2019.
Every era has had its own stylish musical icons: David Bowie, Elton John and Prince are still synonymous with pushing boundaries. Styles is no exception. Sartorially, he’s been embracing gender fluidity, which young fans love, and his growing social media following reflects that.
“What is interesting about Harry’s fashion voyage is that he has managed to tread a credible sartorial path from a very young age and in the blinding spotlight at that.
“His outfits follow the trajectory of the wardrobes of music icons and, as with everything in the 21st century, it’s a post-post-modern take on what’s come before,” said Terry Newman, author of “Harry Styles: and the Clothes He Wears,” and “Legendary Authors and the Clothes They Wore.”
Newman said the style book was his lockdown project, “and, as nobody was going out, it was a vicarious way for me to wallow in some wonderful dressing-up research,” she said, describing the book as the history of music’s relationship with fashion.
Styles’ third studio album cover, “Harry’s Home,” shows him wearing a white linen shirt with a peter pan collar and pink stripes. He’s paired it with loose, flared jeans from British designer Molly Goddard’s spring 2022 collection.
It’s subtle signalling, and references the transgender flag which features the same colors.
“Kurt Cobain wore frills and pearls in the 1990s and was a huge advocate for gay rights. Styles is following in some wonderful footsteps,” said Newman.
The Styles effect has had huge influence.
British designer Steven Stokey-Daley shot to international fame after Styles wore his pieces in the music video for “Golden.” It recalls Bowie’s relationship with the Japanese designer Kansai Yamamoto who dressed the late rock star for his “Ziggy Stardust Tour.”
Styles has a natural affinity with the brands he wears, from established luxury houses that are in tune with his values to supporting young up and coming designers such as Bianca Saunders, Palomo Spain and Bode.
He understands the power of fashion and what it means in making a statement. It’s no coincidence that Styles was the first man in a dress on the cover of American Vogue — drawing criticism, and adulation.