Besides being one of the most important artists in the music industry, Prince (along with David Bowie) redefined what it meant to be a man onstage. Just as crucially, he showed us how to truly craft a unique style identity. His anything-goes mentality influenced and transformed fashion's relationship with music. Be it head-to-toe lace, feather boas, or even a raspberry beret, his style — along with his music — hit hard. And it's because of artists like Prince that we can truly relish wearing whatever the fuck we want today.
Listening to Prince's music was a ritual for many of us, just like (and often accompanying) the ritual of getting ready to go out. "U got the look / U musta took a whole hour just to make up your face," he told us as we sat there wondering if we should do the sequins or not. Prince's songs made us think and inspired us to live bigger (and dress that way, too). Most importantly, they made us feel understood.
Part of that universal appeal is that there wasn't just one version of Prince: The guy was a chameleon. You can't say "I love Prince" without asking yourself which one first. His every style era brought something different to music, and with each style shift, so changed the way we perceived the man behind the microphone. But no matter what the details encompassed, they came together with confidence — and there is no confidence like Prince confidence. Now, that is what fashion is supposed to do. If there was no one look for Prince, does there have to be one look for anybody? As an ode to the giant we lost one year ago today, here are some of his best.
2 of 17
Prince is as regal as ever in a frilly white blouse during the Purple Rain tour in 1984. (There are many other great ruffle moments from his sartorial history, but this one — with sparkly high-waisted pants — feels particularly memorable to us.)
15 of 17
Prince (the artist) wears a blouse with Prince (the portrait of his likeness) at the 2010 BET Awards, where he received a lifetime achievement award.