Hautepop: A Hyperpop Fashion Column — 10/31/21

First, an explanation

The world of music and the world of fashion are closely and constantly related. Although the pseudo-genre slash cultural moment of hyperpop relies on a heavy dose of irony and an embrace of the corny, cheesy, and unexpected, its use of a carefully curated online aesthetic creates a perfect opportunity to embrace high fashion alongside its music.

Hyperpop artists like Charli XCX and SOPHIE in fashion campaigns.

Graphic by Zoe Axelrod

Sonic pioneers that helped to shape the sound of hyperpop like Arca and the late SOPHIE have been called upon numerous times by fashion houses to model and star in campaigns. SOPHIE, in particular, played a huge role in French fashion brand Louis Vuitton’s Spring-Summer 2020 runway show, with the “It’s Okay To Cry” music video serving as a backdrop for their models on the catwalk. A browse of Arca’s Instagram page boasts a number of brand collaborations, the artist’s stunning face in campaigns for Ray-Ban, Bottega Veneta, Loewe, and Calvin Klein.

Hyperpop mother Charli XCX has been a frequent New York Fashion Week patron since she’s been in the music industry, and was even a first-time attendee in 2020 to the Met Gala. Charli pushes boundaries both sonically and aesthetically, which makes her an ideal candidate for coverage by Vogue, campaigns for luxury lingerie brand Agent Provocateur, Ray-Ban, and Venezuelan fashion designer Carolina Herrera.

There’s a huge vein to mine here. Shygirl is a muse for Burberry, and frankly outshines professional model Kendall Jenner in a shared campaign photoshoot. Bladee and Ecco2k have lent their faces to collaborations with Marc Jacob’s Heaven brand and the catwalk for luxury brand Alyx, respectively. Alice Longyu Gao was invited and styled by Dior for the opening of their Designer of Dreams exhibition at the Brooklyn museum. Angelus modeled for French brand Joel Mank.

Of course, any music style that intends to subvert the very ideals of what make a popstar will include intense visual curation. “The look” is an essential part of any musician’s branding and success. Hyperpop, which blends the unserious and the very serious, is also heavily influenced by rap music, another genre with close ties to fashion. There is a very real fashion culture within this community, and I hope to explore it fully in upcoming columns.

It’s my aspiration that this monthly column will provide coverage, analysis, and interviews with artists and stylists creating the fashion landscape of hyperpop. There’s a lot to tackle, so join me each month with a new edition of Hautepop here at Ringtone.

About the columnist

I’m a Kansas-City based music journalist with a heavy interest in fashion that stems from watching Project Runway at a very early age. My own style is highly influenced by the artists I listen to, so I feel it’s only fair to really dig into their aesthetics and impact.

I have been wanting to write about the intersection of hyperpop and the fashion world for a long time, so I am very grateful for the opportunity to write this column. If you have any interview requests, topics for coverage, or questions, don’t be afraid to shoot me an email at allisonharris028@gmail.com or reach out to Ringtone at ringtonemagazine@gmail.com. See you next month!

Yours,
Allison

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