“A big Scottish pop fashion monster”: Looks inspired by Rip It Up

On the evening of 16 November 2018, the doors of the National Museum of Scotland opened to visitors for Museum Late: Rip It Up. This evening extravaganza, based around the Rip It Up: The Story of Scottish Pop exhibition, featured live music, silent disco tours, themed activities and the opportunity to admire the work of Fashion Communication students from Heriot-Watt University.

In a previous post, I explained how they used the exhibition and its rich archival reference points to inspire and underpin new ideas for contemporary fashion imagery and styling. In their own words, the students have now shared the inspiration behind their looks:

Jack Shanks

Q: Which musician(s) in the Rip It Up exhibition inspired your look?

Fay Fife from The Rezillos and Jesse Rae

Q: Which elements of their style did you use?

Fay Fife and me seem to share a love of green. I was also inspired by her use of PVC, which I used for my overalls. I really relate and aspire to her individual and slightly odd image! I also just loved Jesse Rae’s absolute commitment to armour which is where the chainmail hood came from.

Q: How did you mash this up with other elements to create your own unique and contemporary look / fashion statement?

The two artists I used dress very differently which helped create something unique. Taking the way they dress up and the pageantry around what they do, I think I added my personal touch by making it even more extreme. So alongside what I got from the artists, I added long red nails, dyed green eyebrows, green hands, and red lips. I’m a big fan of more is more in contemporary fashion. I took inspiration from the two artists and twisted them until I was a big Scottish pop fashion monster.

Bluebell Ross

Q: Which musician(s) in the Rip It Up exhibition inspired your look?

I was inspired by Annie Lennox, Strawberry Switchblade and Primal Scream.

Q: Which elements of their style did you use?

My original inspiration came from Annie Lennox’s famously androgynous style. I knew I wanted to create a look that incorporated highly masculine and feminine garments to create a juxtaposition of styles.

Strawberry Switchblade inspired my pink tulle skirt which I decided to wear as a dress and my black chain belt to contrast the feminine qualities of the skirt.

Primal Scream inspired my use of multiple blazers as I was initially inspired by an image of the band all wearing different patterned and coloured blazers and couldn’t decide which one I preferred.

My hair and makeup was inspired by Lennox.

Q: How did you mash this up with other elements to create your own unique and contemporary look / fashion statement?

I combined all of the references above and also referenced the late fashion stylist Judy Blame in my styling.

The use of pearls outlining my facial features was symbolic of both the masculine and feminine qualities of my look, playing with notions of gender, as though I had two identities. It also represented the Club Kid ethos of coming alive and creating a new version of yourself at night.

Heather Morgans

Q: Which musician(s) in the Rip It Up exhibition inspired your look?

My look was inspired by Strawberry Switchblade, The Bay City Rollers and Billy MacKenzie from The Associates.

Q: Which elements of their style did you use?

My main inspiration was Strawberry Switchblade, I incorporated their famous polka dot aesthetic through my choice of skirt and roses used throughout, as a choker and nipple cover accent. The Bay City Rollers inspired my oversized checked red t-shirt to represent their infamous tartan aesthetic. Finally, I took inspiration from Billy Mackenzie through his beret which added a classic and effortless styling to my look.

Q: How did you mash this up with other elements to create your own unique and contemporary look / fashion statement?

Strawberry Switchblade always represented strong women which is something I also wanted to portray in my look and the nipple cover of a fake rose worn underneath a sheer long sleeve bodysuit added to my fashion statement. I wore the tartan shirt on one arm and draped down my back, cinched in with a thick black belt for a contemporary aesthetic.

I researched contemporary fashion styling to inspire ideas for the overall aesthetic and added details like fishnet tights worn with black trainers with a white sole inspired by Vetements  to pull the outfit together.

Joanna Holtom

Q: Which musician(s) in the Rip It Up exhibition inspired your look?

The DJ Duo Optimo

Q: Which elements of their style did you use?

I focused on their Halloween club night ‘Espookio’ which is a play on words from their debut club night ‘Espacio’ at Sub Club in Glasgow. The posters made to promote the night have such strong and bold graphics; they really stood out to me at the exhibition and I wanted to incorporate these as part of my outfit.

As a regular at Sub Club the history of the club really appealed to me, I think we owe a lot of today’s current techno scene to Scotland’s impressive past.

Q: How did you mash this up with other elements to create your own unique and contemporary look / fashion statement?

I printed the poster onto cotton from which I made a T shirt dress, which I covered with organza.

Through researching current club kids and drag artists I mashed up the elements of Sussi and Aquaria who regularly convey ethereal, veiled looks. The work of stylist Ib Kamara, who I have previously met at the Museum, also uses the notion of veiling and further inspired the design of my outfit.

Isabella Soliman

Q: Which musician(s) in the Rip It Up exhibition inspired your look?

It was mainly a combination of Annie Lennox and Orange Juice. I also drew inspiration from bands such as the Skids, as well as Franz Ferdinand.

Q: Which elements of their style did you use?

It is Annie Lennox’s masculine lilt and Orange Juice’s boyish silhouettes that primarily embody this look. Lennox’s signature take on tailoring paired with a bustier top is a look that captures her powerful air, accentuated with statement jewellery she often sported during performances.

Her love for lingerie is also subtly mirrored through the usage of diamante briefs, poking out of the waistline of the trousers. She famously stated she wanted to “appear as powerful as a man”, which this outfit celebrates.

Oversized tailoring is something Orange Juice also wore, with a slightly youthful twist. Their characteristic look consisting of a patterned shirt, tucked into loose cut trousers and mismatched with a tailored suit jacket is one that inspired my outfit.

Q: How did you mash this up with other elements to create your own unique and contemporary look / fashion statement?

I researched contemporary stylists and designers who all have contrasting aesthetics, to create a unique look.

My aim was to include juxtaposing elements that would complement each other. For example, the stylist Ib Kamara has a highly lavish and decorative trademark look, subverting gender stereotypes and exploring masculinity in an opulent way.

These inspirations are visible throughout the ensemble, particularly in the jeweled braces, which also references one of Lennox’s stage costumes.

The stylist Judy Blame’s punk aesthetic is also visible through the usage of the safety pin, for functional purposes, as well as a styling component. The tailored jacket is cropped and held together using a large cluster of differently sized safety pins, contrasting against the glamour of the diamantes.

The look is paired back with white eyelashes and eyebrows and slicked back hair, paying homage to Lennox’s striking androgyny. For a personal touch I had to include my favorite green lipstick!

Waris Nasim

 

Q: Which musician(s) in the Rip It Up exhibition inspired your look?

My look was inspired by The Skids and The Rezillos.

Q: Which elements of their style did you use?

The Rezillos were unique in their visual style with glam, mod and Sci-fi fashions fused together. I was particularly inspired by the elements in Fay Fife’s magnificent outfit which incorporated bright hues of yellow and purple in its materials of PVC and metallic Lamé. I was inspired by the bands retro space age aesthetics and graphics from their critically acclaimed Destination Venus vinyl.

The Skids, to me, exhibited a rebel cross between biker cool and geek chic. It was this that made them highly distinctive and I wanted to extract simplistic elements from their look, be it a white shirt, a tie, or skinny jeans to contrast with the image of the Rezillos.

Q: How did you mash this up with other elements to create your own unique and contemporary look / fashion statement?

Graphics sourced from both bands’ album covers and typography were transfer printed onto an acquired distressed denim jacket. I added sleeves in fabric inspired by Fay Fifes iconic outfit.

I also used a range of assorted badge imagery to really define the influential punk style.

I felt that this empowered my punk fashion statement and paid homage to these pioneering Scottish bands. I accessorized my look with heavy chains and studs, and greasepainted my face to resemble aesthetics from sci fi movies such as Blade Runner 2049.

My visually appealing contemporary, punk look was complete. And I was very pleased.

Rebecca McFarlane

Q: Which musician(s) in the Rip It Up exhibition inspired your look?

Four different musicians from the exhibition inspired my look: Strawberry Switchblade, AC/DC, The Rezillos and Lulu.

Q: Which elements of their style did you use?

I took inspiration from Strawberry Switchblade’s hair flowers, Angus Young’s striped tie, an AC/DC exclusive T Shirt, Faye Fife’s bright tights and Lulu’s high boots.

Q: How did you mash this up with other elements to create your own unique and contemporary look / fashion statement?

I combined all of my research and inspiration from the above artists and mashed this together with research into contemporary fashion styling and stylists in publications such as i-D.

Karis Simms 

Which musician(s) in the Rip It Up exhibition inspired your look?

My final outfit for the Rip It Up exhibition event was mainly inspired by The Beta Band, Mogwai and Annie Lennox.

Which elements of their style did you use?

I took inspiration for my garment from the flight suit that was worn in The Beta Band’s Hot Shots II 2001-2002 tour by drummer, Robin Jones.

I then incorporated Mogwai’s Young Team album cover which pictured a Japanese bank sign.

The overall aesthetic of my garment took inspiration from Annie Lennox’s androgynous style.

How did you mash this up with other elements to create your own unique and contemporary look / fashion statement?

After learning The Beta Band covered their flight suit in patches from every place they visited while on their tour I wanted to create the same idea.

To create a contemporary fashion piece, I painted the symbols inspired by Mogwai’s album cover onto an oversized workwear boiler suit under which I wore a black bra. I wore the boiler suit half open which references Annie Lennox’s iconic androgynous style.

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