Behind the music
Four rocker-created clothing lines give you the chance to dress like a celeb. But are these hot topics any good?
For musicians, it’s no longer enough to rock an ax or become a regular on Total Request Live. Whether it’s due to surplus creativity, unbridled ego or simply a thirst for more profits, more and more rock stars are adding “designer” to their résumés. We enlisted Norah Utley, keyboardist for poppy new-wave locals Headache City (and baby-bib designer), to weigh in on these four clothing lines. Will they be smash hits or poseur uniforms? We report, you decide.
1. Born uniqorn
The lineup Taryn Manning (first from left), singer for dancey duo Boomkat, and a collaborator friend.
The look Punky Brewster does Ecstasy in Los Angeles. The line’s dominated by off-the-shoulder tees, tube tops and silk-screened tanks.
Norah says “Maybe the glut of pregnant celebrities has fooled this designer into thinking mock maternity wear is all the rage, but I ain’t buying it.”
Hall of fame potential Low. Manning’s hipster-lite designs are trendy, and the fashion flock is fickle. Another potential pitfall:Ruched short shorts paired with belly-baring tube tops are dangerously close to hoochie-mama aesthetics.
Our pick This incredibly soft, garment-dyed minidress (www.bornuniqorn.com) pairs well with skinny jeans.
2. Adeline street
The lineup Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong (second from left) and his wife, Adrienne.
The look Riffs on Billie Joe’s punk-pirate stage style: Peg-leg trousers, black-and-white contrast and skulls. Dressed-up options include men’s blazers and women’s curve-hugging pencil skirts.
Norah says “I actually think these clothes are kinda cool. I like the cut. They are pretty stylish and even pretty punk, yet not over the top—you could even wear these to work.”
Hall of fame potential High. Of all four lines, Adeline Street has the most variety and best styling.
Our pick The good-girl detailing on this rockabilly-esque dress (www.steadyclothing.com) looks bad-ass in black.
3. Clandestine industries
The lineup Fall Out Boy singer, bassist and emo dreamboat Pete Wentz (third from left).
The look Variations on an MTV2 theme. Bleached tees and hot-pink ties stand out from the ho-hum hoodies, white belts and knee socks.
Norah says “Don’t get me wrong, I’m the screened T-shirt’s biggest fan, but these shirts have no charm, style or humor. Just boring, senseless, ugly designs.”
Hall of fame potential Medium. The mall punks will eat it up, but only because of Wentz’s celebrity. We hate to hate on a local boy, but flashy metallic bat motifs and ’80s colors are hideous and passé, respectively.
Our pick This polo ($32, www.clandestineindustries.com) rips off Louis Vuitton’s classic logo print, but somehow it works.
The lineup Mark Hoppus of synth-rock band (+44) and Angels and Airwaves rocker Tom DeLonge (far right)—you may know them as poop-obsessed pop-punkers in blink-182.
The look Named after the noble lawyer in To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus focuses on polos, sweaters with broken-heart appliqués and boxy jackets. Most items have a discreet logo of a flopped-over (okay, dead) mockingbird.
Norah says“Ah, first grade. When everyone else was getting mesh shirts, I was still stuck in polyester hand-me-downs with butterfly collars. For some reason, this line reminds me of both, but in a good way.”
Hall of fame potential High. Atticus is already a stalwart among the mall-punk crowd, and the bird logo looks cooler than the alligator alternative.
Our pick You can’t go wrong with this polo ($30, www.skateamerica.com).