A look at the fab life of Steven Tyler, who turns 70 this March 26.
Whatever pronouncements people make on the Aerosmith frontman and American Idol judge, it’s safe to say that few people have had as much flat-out fun with fashion as he has.
The rocker is known for his taste in clothing, which can be mildly described as a cross between bad boy and hippy. Anyone who’s been to an Aerosmith concert has appreciated the scarves he likes to drape theatrically around his mic stand, quite apart from his own neckline.
“When I found a good shirt, I wore it to death until it turned into a rag, and I hung it from the mike stand,” he explained to Newsweek. “Then I turned it into a scarf, and that scarf turned into something else.”
But don’t be fooled: Tyler takes fashion seriously. Working together with Andy Hilfiger, he helped release a clothing line in 2011. And on a more personal level, he claims to have 300 square feet of clothing from over the course of his career on more than 20 racks.
His love affair with style is life-long. It started with exploring thrift stores before he was famous. “We raided the closets of the hipoisie,” he told The Daily Press. “A mad mix of King’s Road medieval motley … Stones gypsy gear and Carnaby Street kitsch, Janis’ Haight-Ashbury scarf-draped bordello exotica.”
“Early on, it wasn’t Mick Jagger — it was Janis Joplin who was my biggest influence,” he further explained. “I always thought that who I am was inspired by Janis. She just was it. I saw her beads and bangles in the ’60s when hippies came into play, and I loved it. It was me taking what Janis did, wearing it as a boy, and saying, ‘I don’t care, it’s what I like.'”
The “Dude Looks Like A Lady” singer deserves credit for fully embracing the concept of androgyny and really living it through his clothing. “I’ve just got more female energy,” he told Fashionista in 2011. “I like that flowing and nurturing and I’m a songwriter, so I’m into form and fashion and how it all goes together. Always have been, so it’s just perfect.”
As a new star, he fearlessly laced up in patterned jumpsuits, bared his chest, and piled on the jewelry. True to himself, Tyler’s sense of style has basically remained constant from the ’70s through today.
Though that’s not to say he’s not endlessly experimenting. This becomes obvious through anecdotes like the one he himself confirmed to Fashionista concerning his daughter, actress Liv Tyler’s wardrobe: “What happened was, I was living at Liv’s apartment for a month … I went through her closet and I found this crazy shirt. Loved it, put it on, wore it for a month. And then I found out the front was supposed to be the back, but who cares! It was Liv’s shirt and it looks great.”
Suffice it to say, we can all learn a few fashion lessons from Steven Tyler. Among them: have fun, don’t care about what anyone else thinks, and this above all else: you do you. — jas