- Heavy metal fashion
Heavy metal fashion is the style of dress,
body modification, make-up, hairstyle, and so on, taken on by fans of heavy metal, or, as they are often called, metalheads.
The clothing associated with heavy metal has its roots in the biker, [ [http://books.google.com/books?id=D6tGaphXVlEC&pg=PA127&dq=%22heavy+metal+fashion%22+biker&sig=_0kjqf2ih-wPCwS9tj8a-vzILCM#PPA30,M1 "Heavy Metal: The Music and Its Culture"] rocker, and leather
subcultures. Heavy metal fashion includes elements such as leather jackets; hi-top basketball shoes (more common with old school thrash metallers); blue or black jeans, camouflage pants or shorts, and denimjackets or kuttevests, often adorned with badges, pins and patches. As with the bikers, there is a peculiar fascination with Germanic imagery, such as the Iron Cross. [ [http://books.google.com/books?id=FV3ES6HZhTMC&pg=PA19&dq=%22heavy+metal%22+nazi&sig=PTM0ci-XS27-vt13s_vhWOnMtnc "Design Culture"] ] [ [http://books.google.com/books?id=CnVj_ZOBa-MC&pg=PA133&dq=%22heavy+metal%22+nazi&sig=eaKU-xepplYXCci0pVuD_BcNvKo "Popular Music: The Key Concepts"] ]
Distinct aspects of heavy metal fashion can be credited to various bands, but the band that takes the most credit for revolutionizing the look was
Judas Priest, primarily with its singer, Rob Halford. [ [http://books.google.com/books?id=D6tGaphXVlEC&pg=PA127&dq=%22heavy+metal+fashion%22+biker&sig=_0kjqf2ih-wPCwS9tj8a-vzILCM#PPA30,M1 "Heavy Metal: The Music and Its Culture"] Halford wore a leather costume on stage as early as 1978 to coincide with the promotion for the " Hell Bent for Leather" album. In a 1998 interview, Halford described the gay biker and leather subcultureas the inspiration for this look. [ [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1589/is_n759/ai_20830600/pg_1 Interview with Rob Halford] ] Shortly after appropriating the leather look, Halford started appearing onstage on a roaring motor bike. Soon, the rest of the band followed.
It was not long before other bands appropriated the leather look;
Iron Maiden's original singer Paul Di'Annobegan wearing leather jackets and studded bracelets, [ [http://books.google.com/books?id=hHXOfG_AMUsC&pg=PT35&dq=%22iron+maiden%22+metal+leather&sig=z_0pS2YAoM6uEVPSzkYfnTvtiHY "Hell Bent for Leather"] ] [ [http://books.google.com/books?id=eWRv3E59V0YC&pg=PT62&dq=%22iron+maiden%22+metal+leather&sig=z6UYymCZpwxkkBi05QPPZQax8eM "Sound of the Beast"] ] Motörheadinnovated with bullet belts, and Saxon introduced spandex, as AC/DC's Angus Young wore his signature schoolboy outfit on stage and album covers [ [http://books.google.com/books?id=2xjxp2SlsXIC&pg=PT84&dq=saxon+metal+spandex&sig=4HQKroidP16oY4-GD-dz_4ANBa4 "Hell Bent for Leather"] ] This fashion was particularly popular with followers of the NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) movement in the early 1980s, and sparked a revival for metal in this era.
hippielook with satinshirts and bell-bottom pants was out; some believed Halford's style of dress more appropriate to the music. The studded leather look was extended in subsequent variations, to the wearing of combat boots, studded belts and bracelets, bullet belts, spiked gauntlets, etc. The codpiece, however, appears to have been less popular among the general public.
The style and clothing of metal has absorbed elements from influences as diverse as the musical influences from which the genre has borrowed. It is from this linking of different sub-styles of clothing and music influences that one can sometimes determine a person's specific taste in music simply from overall appearance. However, such signs are not hard and fast rulings in the majority of cases. This uncertainty is what makes the first key aspect of the metalheads' identity below so important.Some of the influences of modern military clothing and the
Vietnam Warcan be seen by the fans and bands of thrash metal, with the members of thrash metal bands of the 1980s like Metallica, Destruction, and Megadethwearing bullet belts around their waists on stage [ [http://books.google.com/books?id=2xjxp2SlsXIC&pg=PT84&dq=saxon+metal+spandex&sig=4HQKroidP16oY4-GD-dz_4ANBa4 "Sound of the Beast"] ] [ [http://books.google.com/books?id=9--qAVrfxukC&pg=PA36&dq=%22heavy+metal%22+%22bullet+belts%22&sig=0Z_y7Pluea7c9ynvpvbt6TGDgbA#PPA36,M1 "Extreme Metal"] ] (it is likely that the thrash metal bands got the idea of wearing bullet belts from NWOBHMbands such as Motörhead, who have incorporated the bullet belt as part of their aesthetic since their inception, since many thrash metal bands in the 1980s were influenced by Motörhead).
The imagery and values of historic Celtic, Saxon,
Vikingand Chivalricculture is reflected heavily in metal music, by bands such as Blind Guardian, and has its impact upon the everyday fashion and especially the stagegear of metal artists. The independence, masculinity and honor of the warrior ethos is extremely popular amongst metalheads, as is the rejection of modern day consumeristand metrosexualculture. Folk metal, viking metaland to a lesser extent black metaland power metalfans often grow long thick hair and beards reminiscent of a stereotypical Viking, Saxonand Celt, wear Thor's Hammerpendants and other neopagansymbols and carry meadhorns. On stage, in photoshoots and in music videos it is very common for bands of these genres such as Turisasand Moonsorrowto wear chain mail, animals skins, warpaint (such as woad) and other Dark Agesthemed battle gear. Power metalfans and musicians such as Rhapsody of Fireoften wear attire reminiscent of the Renaissanceand the Middle Agesincluding tight black or brown leather trousers and wide sleeved, buttonless shirts of various colors. The imagery of bardsand minstrelsas well as knightsis a popular part of power metalfashion.
* [http://www.tshirtslayer.com Community gallery of heavy/black/thrash metal T-Shirts from collectors]
* [http://www.metal-rules.com/hell/hell_Feb2001.htm "Is Image Important For Metal?"]
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