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Style icons: Bjork

February 13, 2010

I’ve been watching the Bjork Volta tour in Paris as part of Bjork night on Sky Arts with boyfriend this evening, and while he’s geeking out over the music tech I’m drooling over the amazing costumes. (Although having said that, the Tenori-On and the Reactable are both just really cool)

Despite never having been a hardcore Bjork fan like my boyfriend is, I’ve always admired the consistent aesthetic she has going on. The Volta tour is a brilliant example – her backing band are all dressed to match her (first) costume, the light display is phenomenal and also in fitting with the colour scheme and it’s just a complete spectacle. I’m feeling pretty excited and inspired by it all and so I’ve looked up a few of her best oufits for ideas. It’s also inspired me to steal Alex’s back catalog of her music and give her more of a chance- this concert is incredible!**.


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I want a pom pom wig/hat/headdress. Beautiful. This was designed by Soren Bach, a graduate of the Royal College of Art and who originally began life as a hairdresser before moving into millinery. I’ve been having a weird craving to make hundreds of felted pom poms and glue them to everything I own. This has not helped. I’ve not been able to discover who made the pink dress, but I love how (like many of her costumes) the dress emphasizes her movements on stage – the loose sleeves/ruffles down the front really work with her crazy arm movements and the fabric catches the light as she twirls around.


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Free form crochet! I had a go at this once and it did not end well though it was brilliant fun. It’s designed by the Icelandic Love Corpation, who also collaborated with her and photographer Bernhard Kristinn Ingimundarson on these stunning images. These are so inspiring – I’m aching to pick up my hook & yarn and experiment with some colours and shapes. Crochet is amazing for just seeing where you go in a way you can’t possibly with knitting – one hook makes for more flexible adventures.


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This embodies three of my big clothing loves: feathers, sequins and bright red. Worn during a 2001 gig in Toronto, this costume again fitted in with the overall aesthetic of the show, including the lighting display. Those feathers must have looked incredible when she moved – as a former dancer I really appreciate the way a costume can enhance movement during performance. It’s important! And I really fucking love sequins.


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I couldn’t very well write about Bjork’s style without mentioning the swan dress, could I now? Causing pretty much a media storm when she wore it to the Oscars in 2001 (and later on stage in a tour of the same year) this dress embodies everything I think about when it comes to Bjork’s style: fearless, eccentric and completely, insanely, mindblowingly brilliant. I don’t even have words.

I know Bjork isn’t everyone’s idea of a style icon, considering she’s a bit ‘wacky’(ugh) etc, but to me style is all about having fun, dressing up and most importantly of all; expressing yourself, which you just can’t do in jeans and a hoody (of course I’m not deriding those who don’t want to dress like a giant swan every day – it’s just not for me and I feel hugely uncomfortable when I go out without any thought into what I’m wearing). I’d much rather look like a crazy colourful eccentric than just another person any day of the week – what’s the point? Bjork, I salute you for being one of the most inspiring, interesting dressers out there. I’m watching the Volta tour in Reykjavik now and there’s a harpsichord and a choir. It’s official, I’m in love & I’m going to add a little touch of madness to every outfit next week in tribute, be it bright pink tights, a huge sequined hair bow or the cat ears I am inexplicably wearing right now (perhaps not for work though, eh?)

*I was going to link to the Records on Ribs website to show you El Heath, an artist who uses the Tenori-On, but I forgot that it’s currently down for it’s relaunch. Exciting! Odd that I forgot seeing as all my boyfriend has done for the last few weeks is sit programing the site (PhD, what PhD?) but the holding page is pretty sexy…)

**OK, so I knew this before and I still love Natasha Khan, but Bat for Lashes really is heavily influenced by Bjork, isn’t she? The costumes, the headdresses, the music, the dancing..she’s just a poppier, more mainstream/accessible version. Still thought she was brilliant at Primavera 2009 in Barcelona though and Daniel is a cracking tune.

My sidebar has gone italic. It didn’t used to be, I have no idea what’s happening. Oh wordpress. Everyday with you is another annoying adventure in CSS.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Malaka74 permalink
    June 18, 2010 10:47

    Great article. I’m a longtime fan of both Bjork’s music and her amazing sense of style. She totally inspires me to dress to express myself in a way that’s both fun and fearless.

    F.Y.I., the pink foil dress (and all the other dresses she wore on the Volta Tour) was designed by Bernhard Willhelm.

    The red feather dress was Alexander McQueen.

    • missbeliever permalink*
      July 7, 2010 15:36

      Thank you! And thank you for the information – I definitely need to look Bernhard Wilhelm up now.

      • Malaka74 permalink
        August 3, 2010 11:42

        Also, about that red Alexander McQueen dress…it DID move beautifully when she danced, it waved back and forth like a big bell. The top part is actually made from hundreds of hand tinted microscope slides, so it was very “tinkly” when she moved. I can’t imagine it was very comfortable to wear, but it looked lovely.

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