BEST OF 2014: 10 Musicians Killing the Fashion Game This Year

Let’s admit it: 2014 has been a rough year for news. Missing planes, police killings and various states’ decisions to limit women’s access to health care (all together now, deep breaths) are just a few things that happened. So, to brighten things up, I’ve rounded up my favorite style icons from the music world. These ladies go outside the circle of accepted streetwear to find their own unique looks that we all should aspire to.

zola jesus

Zola Jesus/Nika Danilova

Zola Jesus is one of my personal style icons. Her style is dark and minimal, yet still edgy and cool. My favorite of her looks this year was the promotional photo passed around for her album Taiga. In it, she’s wearing a black dress that has what looks like a leather corset and this huge plate that looked like she cut out a circle and stuck her head through. Straight, long dark hair and dark red lipstick. Perfect.


annie clark

St. Vincent/Annie Clark

Annie Clark has always had a cool style, but when she died her hair white/lavender/gray to serve as the look for her new album and tour, things got even better. The best way to describe her look is futuristic rocker chic. Even just the album cover of her latest release has her looking regal as she sits on her thrown, wearing a long sleeved, floor length dress. Even when she was featured in Time Out New York wearing a simple crew neck black dress, she still looks dazzlingly otherworldly. If her look is of the future, then I’m on board.


Grimes/Claire Boucher

No matter her hair color this year, Grimes kept it fresh. From cutting her hair into a super short straight bang to wearing sparkly gold blazers, a Simpson’s themed sweatshirt or a yellow fuzzy sweater, her style is always keeping our attention. She wears what makes her happy and that is that. She’s one of several younger female musicians who aren’t afraid to be adventurous with her outfits. And thank goodness.


Charli XCX

All I really need to say about Charli and her look is “pussy power.” She’s tough and fearless and sexy, in the best way. She’ll wear bomber jackets and platform heels and whatever the hell she wants. So much black fishnets, leather, choker collars, plaid miniskirts, fringe and two-piece matching outfits. And she has a sour-but-sweet attitude to top it all off. We’re so in love.



Lucky for us, when the Haim sisters get dressed, we get three times the style. All of them have different taste altered to their liking, but it’s the same aesthetic: girl rockers who are here to kick some ass. Lots of black leather and denim jackets. You’re likely to find Este sporting either a dress or a skirt/crop combo. Alana has a more edgy look, more likely to pair leather with neon colors. Danielle pulls off the menswear look with button ups and blazers. Each of their looks compliments the others. It’s almost like they have some sort of sisterly telepathic energy that runs through them, keeping their styles together.



Is there a year that Beyonce doesn’t run the fashion game? This year she kicked it up with her concert outfits with her On The Run Tour with Jay Z. Leotards for days. And Bey is the one to rock them all. The 7/11 music video where she wore variations of underwear and sweatshirts, and even an upside down visor that looked like a crown. Then there was the gold sequin Tom Ford jersey. Really, there’s nothing left to say.



Do I really need to explain why the 2014 CFDA Style Icon Award winner is on this list? From baring it all at the awards ceremony in an Adam Salman dress to kicking it in a tee and cuttoffs in her ever-changing hair colors, RiRi has a fearless attitude when it comes to how she dresses herself. Vogue praised her style and put her on their March fashion cover and W did the same with the coveted fall fashion September issue. And she was recently named creative director of Puma. She truly shined this year and we should all be paying attention.


Taylor Swift

I don’t care for Taylor Swift. Not my music, not my thing. But I do have to admit that the girl really upped her style when she ditched her former permanent uniform of sundresses and long curls for a more retro style and long bob. She really came into her own. When she’s not wearing glittery crop tops and high-waisted skirts while performing, you can find her strutting around New York in shirtdresses, button ups, and even… pants. Maybe hanging out with Karlie has rubbed off on her? Whatever it is, it’s working. So props to you, Tay Tay, even if you hold you purse really weirdly.