Roxanne Tellier: A Victim of Fashion

Roxanne DBAWISAfter writing about fall’s wonders two weeks ago, it was odd to wake up that Monday to the beginning of a week of Indian summer. Sunny and mild, the weather was perfect for the celebrities and guests swarming Toronto’s streets for TIFF. The beautiful people and their entourages swanned in and out of event venues in their little black dresses, smart cocktail gowns, and Manolo Blahnik shoes.

TIFF actorsBut overall, it wasn’t nearly the fashion parade of earlier years. Even the musicians were dressed down, sticking to their basic blacks and fedoras. I’m not sure if it’s the economy, or the proliferation of cameras catching our every fashion faux pas. All I know is that there aren’t as many dramatically daring outfits on view as there used to be.  It’s tragic when the journalists covering the event spend more time choosing their wardrobes than the actual screen stars. (TIFF actors)

Cher stageAs excessive as Cher’s over the top outfits may have been over the last (gasp!) five decades, you have to admit that there’s a certain “wow factor” missing in most of the wardrobes of current performers. (Cher onstage)

Elton DuckGranted, my formative years coincided with the sex and drug fueled music epoch, but it surely seems like most actors and musicians are playing it too safe sartorially, both on and off the stage. Hey, I’m not saying that everyone has to be totally over the top – I’m looking at you, Elton Duck – but it’s starting to seem like the bubble of fun couture has burst. (Elton Duck)

miley buttAnd no, Miley – skin tight, flesh coloured underwear does not a stage outfit make, especially when your giblets escape their bindings. Twerking hard or hardly twerking? (Miley butt)

Even Lady Gaga seems to be walking a sterner line these days. The meat dress is in a museum, and it seems like ages since she’s graced us with Lady Gagathe best that Paris couldn’t sell to anyone else. (Lady Gaga)

Speaking of Gaga, there’s a lady who knows how to lift a look … and a tune. I’ve never been a big fan of Madonna … but she did know fashion. And “Express Yourself/Vogue” set the bar for the Lady’s own song on walking the walk. Born this way, with a little help from Madonna.

The delightful Bjork has always known how to liven up a red carpet. People still talk about her 2001 swan dress. (Bjork)


In 2012, Rihanna, Florence Welch and Beyonce strutted in style at the Met Gala. (Met Gala 2012)

Met Gala 2012

Made a nice change from what we usually get from the boys. (Rock of Ages boys)

Rock of Ages boys

And it’s way better than what John Mayer’s offering in this pic. (John Mayer swim)

john mayer swim

I’m gonna caution against this look as well.

keith moon nazi

But OK GO sure knew how to work a Grammy photo shoot – have a seat, boys, (OK GO Sofa.jpg) and take some advice from those fashion icons, the sharp dressed Z Z Top.

Actress Juliette Lewis likes to play musician a little. She brings a touch of flair to her stage look. Love the outfit, but lose the hat, Juliette. (juliette Lewis hat)

juliette lewis hat

Yeah, that’s more like it. (Juliette Lewis pose)

juliette lewis pose

Comediennes Margaret Cho and Sandra Bernhard both dabble in music as well. But Sandra takes it very seriously.

Honestly, changes in fashion and life are inevitable. If you are lucky enough to live long enough, there are going to be some bad photos floating around. Elvis got fat, (fat Elvis)

fat elvis

Mark Knopfler got smart… (Mark Knopfler robes)

mark knopfler robes

…and Lou Reed got old. (Lou Reed glasses)

Lou Reed glasses

And then there’s the Stones … (Rolling Stones cover)

Rolling Stones cover

(Rolling Stones 2013)

rolling_stones 2013

Only Iggy Pop stays the same, and I’m not sure that’s a good thing. (Iggy Pop)

Iggy Pop

And do you really want this man supporting a presidential nominee? (Nuge with weapons)

Nuge with weapons

Hey, I’m a Montrealer – women from Montreal breathe fashion. It is absolutely not true that we are all microchip implanted at birth, with instructions on “what not to wear.” In fact, we learn by simply walking down Sherbrooke or St. Catherine Street, and taking our lessons from what we see around us. It’s nurture AND nature.

Which may or may not excuse my own fashion crimes in the eighties, when big hair and animal prints ruled. In some bands, the boys were prettier than the girls. It was a tossup in my group, Performer. Rather than argue about who wore the spandex pants in the family, Shawn and I shared them.  (Performer or Benatar?)

performer or benatar

Whether it’s my Montreal-imbued taste, or my wasted rocking youth, the truth is that I’m never impressed with musicians who saunter on stage, looking like their audience. I know that the days of green rooms, or even dressing rooms, may be over for local players, and that you’re more likely to spend your pre-show or break between sets bellying up to the bar with everyone else who’s waiting for a pint, but I still believe that there should be some way to tell the performers from the audience. A little flash, a little flair, something that says, “I’m here to rock your night!”

To me, there’s just something about getting stage ready that ups your game a notch. Even the most jaded performer must surely feel that little “oomph” that comes from knowing that all eyes are upon you, because you are looking terrific. As Fernando once told us, “it is better to look good than to feel good, dahling!”

Tell me, would KISS have had quite as much success if they had played it straight? (Kiss unmasked)

Kiss unmasked

Would Van Halen’s David Lee Roth have been such a lady’s man without the chaps? (Roth assless chaps)

Roth assless chaps

Did Axl Rose really waste all of that time fine tuning Chinese Democracy and then show up at the 2006 MTV Video Awards looking like this? (Axl Rose cornrows)

axl rose cornrows

Like Rough Trade’s Carole Pope sang, “We’re all victims of fashion – and accessories.”

= RT =

Roxanne’s column appears here every Sunday 

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DBAWIS ButtonRoxanne Tellier has been singing since she was 10 months old … no, really. Not like she’s telling anyone else how to live their lives, because she’s not judgmental, and most 10 month olds need a little more time to figure out how to hold a microphone. After years of doing things she didn’t want to do, she’s found herself working with a bunch of crazy people who are as batshit crazy and devoted to music as she is, and so she can be found every Monday at Cherry Cola’s, completely unable to think of anything funny to say, as the co-host of Bob Segarini’s The Bobcast. Come and mock her. She’s good with that. And she laughs. A lot. But not at you.

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