Over the years, music videos have become archive footage of some of the best looks to date. Whether you look at East 17's 'Stay Another Day' or Notorious B.I.G.'s 'Hypnotize', you can't deny that music videos have seen some of the most stylish moments in history. Below we round up our top style moments from a whole plethora of music videos, with a lot of them influencing the style of the time and changing the way that fashion was going.
Popular culture has been a huge influence on the fashion industry and continues to be so. Over the years this has never been truer than when it comes to music videos. Whether you look at those put out by Britney Spears or Michael Jackson, music videos have been influencing the way we dress since MTV first started back in August 1981.
Below we have chosen our favourite videos that have had an impact on the fashion industry and have seen some of the best stylish moments.
East 17 - 'Stay Another Day'
East 17's 'Stay Another Day' has gone down in history as one of the most iconic music videos of all time. Originally released during the festive period back in 1994, the music has become the epitome of Nineties fashion and saw its members repping some of the most iconic trend pieces from back then. Members John Hendy, Terry Caldwell, Brian Harvey and Tony Mortimer were decked out in bright white parkas and black leather jackets. This swiftly became the look of the Nineties in Britain, with everyone including the likes of David and Victoria Beckham repping the style.
Michael Jackson - 'Thriller'
Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' saw the arrival of one of the most famous outfits of all time. Jackson himself donned a red leather two-piece in the 14 minute video (it was the longest video to ever be recorded) and it has since become one of the most copied looks to date. No matter where you go on Halloween, you can guarantee that someone will be donning the 'Thriller' outfit. The video itself has been heralded as one of the most groundbreaking moments the music industry has ever seen, and in 2009 the video was inducted into the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress - the first music video to ever receive this honour, for being "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant.
Wham - Club Tropicana
'Club Tropicana' is hailed as one of the most stylish music videos to date. George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley became the faces of the Eighties thanks to this video, which saw them don short shorts, Hawaiian and open denim shirts. The video is one of the campest videos every released, but it has become one of the world's most cherished. After all, Joey Essex has essentially based his whole wardrobe on Wham, with those short shorts becoming his staple go-to.
Notroious B.I.G. - 'Hypnotise'
Not only is Notorious B.I.G.'s 'Hypnotise' one of the best songs ever made, the video itself has gone down in history as one of the best to ever be directed. In the video, Biggie Smalls and P Diddy don an array of Versace shirts while living the high life, cruising about in a speed boat. The whole thing was very Miami Vice and epitomised the time when you showed your wealth through fashion - big chains and elaborate clothing (Versace is exactly this). The whole thing was flash and over the top, but really became a stalwart of American Hip Hop.
ASAP Rocky - 'Fashion Killa'
ASAP Rocky is a certified fashion icon himself, but his video for 'Fashion Killa' is quite literally something else. Not only does it feature fashion's leading woman Rihanna, but it displays a whole array of top designer brands. The whole song itself is dedicated to a 'Fashion Killa' who walks around in the likes of Jean Paul Gaultier, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Escada, Balenciaga, Helmut Lang, Alexander Wang, Ann Demeuelemeester, Visvim, Lanvin, Balmain, Goyard, Isabel Marant, Linda Farrow, Dior, Tom Ford, Versace, Rick Owens and Raf Simons, to name just a string of the famous designers Rocky raps about.
The video which was directed by Off-White maverick and mastermind Virgil Abloh (says it all really), who sees these designer looks come to life, with Rihanna wearing a zebra full length dress, while other people in the video don the likes of Hood By Air and Supreme. Rihanna is seen in a pair of Versace sunglasses as she and Rocky embark an extravagant shopping trip across New York City.
Stormzy - 'Shut Up'
Stormy's 'Shut Up' has become one of the greatest songs of this generation and has essentially triggered the reprisal of Grime in the United kingdom. While this is all well and good and is essentially why the song has become so famous, we can't help but notice the fashion choices taking place in the video. Stormy's look itself has become an icon of fashion in the past few years and it is instantly recognisable. He is seen wearing a full red Adidas tracksuit and has basically made it acceptable to wear a full tracksuit again.
So Solid Crew - '21 Seconds'
This was one of the biggest songs of the Noughties and when it was released in 2001, it epitomised Garage fashion. The members of So Solid Crew were seen in all black, leather outfits in a kind of The Matrix meets London Underground type of way. So Solid Crew was made up of the likes of Lisa Mafia, Romeo, and Oxide & Neutrino and they quickly became the faces of the British music scene, especially in London. They were so popular that they even managed to blag themselves a BRIT Award. Like Biggie Smalls did in 'Hypnotise', So Solid Crew were clever with what they wore and showed their wealth through their outfits. They grew up on council estates, but essentially showed that you can come from nothing to something, with diamonds around their necks.
Kanye West - 'Runaway'
Any Kanye West video is basically a stylish moment for music, but in 'Runaway' he looks pretty epic in a tuxedo. Donning a beige jacket and black trousers, it's one of the smartest we've ever seen the rapper. The video for the song is essentially a short film and has become one of his best videos and songs to date - when he began playing the song at Glastonbury a couple of years back the crowd went wild like never before.
The best thing about the suit and video? It's by acclaimed designer Philip Lim of course. He also enlisted the notable costume designer Martin Izquierdo to create the unique, custom feather wings that Selita Ebanks wore throughout the film. Of the video Lim has spoken about his designs for West, notably the colour palette he chose - 'They were just colours that I was interested in. I am really feeling colours that exist in shadows – non-obvious [colours]. I think it is very culturally interesting. It brings together music, fashion, and art, which isn’t a new concept, but it is also something which is quite challenging to do.'
Kris Kross - Jump
This is one of the most recognised songs of all time, but you may not realise that the video is probably one of the most fashion forward ever made. Long before Vetements did back-to-front jeans, Kris Kross and his crew were donning them in the 'Jump' video. It is one of the best Hip Hop videos to date, sitting up there with the like of Notorious B.I.G.'s 'Hypnotise'. Chris Kelly and his Kris Kross partner Chris Smith found notoriety for wearing their clothing backwards in the 1990s, and in 2013 when Kelly died, mourners wore backwards clothing to his funeral.
On That Note
Above we have shown you some of the most stylish music videos to date, from the likes of Notorious B.I.G. to Wham. While they may not seem that stylish now (a lot of these are from way back when), at the time they basically set the trend for how men everywhere began to dress. We have selected the most stylish music videos over the years that we think have earned themselves a spot on this list.