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The 16 Most Shockingly Flamboyant Fashion Icons of All Time

Fashion
The 16 Most Shockingly Flamboyant Fashion Icons of All Time

Via Bigstock Images

It seems that just like a fingerprint, each person has their own individual sense of style. Now whether they have the means or attention to devote to developing their own unique or signature look is another story, but the persons on this list have done just that, and in some cases taken the idea of being “original” to the extreme.  These sixteen celebrities have carved out their very own niches in the world of fashion that will likely never be forgotten. These are the celebs with the weirdest senses of fashion this side of Oz.

16. Riff Raff

shutterstock_Riff Raff

This up and coming rapper is absurdly colorful. Aged 32 and hailing from a suburb of Houston, Texas, the “neon icon” constantly name BOMBS his songs with designers like Dolce & Gabbana, Versace, etc. He also has a habit of continuously repping some very fine cornrows for a white guy. His clothes and accessories are  colorful and off the wall and create a bit of a psychedelic rap experience.

15. Andre 3000

Via factmag.com

Via factmag.com

This kind of gentleman is rare; a dapper soul seen strolling along with a hat and cane circa the 1930s. Put a couple of modifications on a barbershop quartet uniforms’ suspenders and bow-ties, and you’ve got Andre 3000. His love of ’30s fashion no doubt played a large roll in the creation of Idlewild, but it’s also led to the more serious endeavor of Andre’s clothing line release, Benjamin Bixby. If you’re a fan of being dapperly dressed, then stroll on down to your nearest retailer and get ready to be one of very few people appreciating the style of the 1930s. At least you’ll stand out.

14. Russel Brand

shutterstock_Russel Brand

Say what you want about Russel Brand‘s philosophy, but the man is styled like that of a bohemian prince.

Vests, mala beads, long hair, bell bottoms, boots, and top hats; when Brand shows up, it’s hard to decide whether to laugh, or to abandon all your worldly possessions and follow him into the wilderness. Buying bohemian is very in right now, and Brand throws in the occasional curveball by saying something that makes so much sense, you have to stop a moment, drop your judgement of him, and take him seriously.

13. Rihanna

Via hollywoodreporter.com

Via hollywoodreporter.com

Rihanna‘s see-through Swarovski dress was quite the show-stopper at the CFDA Awards because it was possible to see her entire body through the dress, and what was once hidden from sight is now revealed. (Let us also be reminded of Rose McGowan’s even more see-through dress from the MTV Awards in ’98, so it’s not like Rihanna did anything new). But Rihanna’s utter disregard for modesty has set her apart on almost an entirely different level. She’s continually transforming herself from beautiful Barbadosian singing queen, to overtly sexual songstress quite seamlessly. Some may say her hyper sexuality is overkill, but her jams keep running up the charts, so obviously America is not shunning her for her lack of values.

12. Nicki Minaj

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In a few short years, Minaj has risen to the top of the female rap game, and is considered by some to be one of the most influential female rappers of all time. Her fashion persona however resembles someone who has just fallen out of a Willy Wonka gumball machine. She proudly dons brightly colored makeup, technicolor costumes and wigs, and a Cockney accent when the mood strikes. Minaj’s bold attire is an off-shoot of her “alter egos,” which she developed during her childhood to deal with a tumultuous home life. Whatever works, Nicki.

11. Elton John

shutterstock_Elton John

Speaking of flamboyant, Elton John has long been hailed as a forerunner of the out and proud set, and is a pillar of AIDS activism. He’s well-known for wildly outlandish performance costumes, (like giant feather ensembles, sequin jumpsuits, etc.) and he’s admitted that his bold stage attire was a way of breaking free after a childhood of restrictions. So many people’s sense of style is a reaction to their childhood, whether peaceful or terrible.

10. Elvis

Via newsstainment.blogspot.com

Via newsstainment.blogspot.com

The velvet-voiced King of Rock & Roll dressed relatively conservatively when he was young, but eventually fame set in, and the King began to dress like a sequin-covered ninja. His high-collared rhinestone and sequined jumpsuits are a trademark of his legacy and are indeed based upon traditional martial arts uniforms, because Elvis had spent the better part of his life practicing karate after being introduced to it during his time in the army. While his legacy may have been somewhat tarnished by his deterioration towards the end of his career, Elvis’s sense of style remains one of the most unique in music history.

9. Michael Jackson

Via businessinsider.com

Via businessinsider.com

Michael Jackson‘s tragic story is the culmination of a lifetime in the spotlight, and with a gazillion dollars at one’s disposal, one would no doubt dress like a sparkling Motown diplomat. His outfits often consisted of rhinestone-encrusted blazers and slim straight leg pants with black loafers and white socks, and in the early ’80s Jackson donned a single rhinestone-encrusted glove that became his trademark. The glove was developed to cover the beginnings of a stunning case of vitiligo, which eventually covered most of his body.

8. David Bowie

Via papermag.com

Via papermag.com

Bowie was an icon of the ’70s with his creation of androgyny as a fashion statement, but like all icons, Bowie immediately reinvented himself and continued on with his personal development as an artist. However, the popularity of Ziggy Stardust was  groundbreaking for the time, and the bizarre skintight space-age suits made both men and women feel confused by the tingly feelings they were experiencing. Bowie may have faded from the spotlight somewhat in the 21st century, but the impact he had on the entertainment industry can certainly still be felt.

7. Marilyn Manson

shutterstock_Marilyn Manson

Marilyn Manson was always a disaster, as though the cranky, sullen teenager that stayed at the back of all your classes suddenly fell into money and started dressing himself like a Black Mass pimp. His style was about unresolved insecurity…Thick-soled shoes, oddly printed suits, stringy, greasy hair, white-out contacts and black eye shadow, basically anything that would irritate a parent, which is actually a brilliant marketing scheme because there is so much money to be made off helping weird, disgruntled teenagers feel like they relate to something.

6. Katy Perry

shutterstock_Katy Perry

Though Katy Perry‘s tunes are sometimes catchy, her costumes often come across as a parody and don’t quite garner the same reaction as someone like Lady Gaga. Perhaps it’s because Katy Perry straddles the line between wanting to look chic and wanting to look like a cartoon, and never quite hits the right mark with her attempts at the avant-garde. It just translates a bit like a half-hearted attempt at kooky high fashion because her soul just isn’t in it. Think of people like Cher and compare the sense of effort…a lifetime versus just sometimes.

5. Madonna

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Madonna helped women of the ’80s take responsibility for their sexual freedom and became a fashion icon for a whole generation of budding young ladies. Her signature look of fishnets, Capri leggings, tulle skirts, black clothing and bleached hair was developed by a jewellery designer as a way for Madonna to set herself apart from other artists, but her blatant sexuality was in retaliation to the death of her mother and her expanding disgust with her father. Even in grade school she was known for flashing her underwear at the boys, a behavior that she carried with her into stardom.

4. Björk

shutterstock_Bjork

This Icelandic pixie has long been known for her forward-thinking approach to music and for her utterly bizarre taste in fashion. One of her best-known outfits is the Swan Dress she wore to 73rd Annual Academy Awards in 2001 (the dress even has its own Wikipedia page). But Björk has worn many, many bizarre costumes in her day; things that look space age, or like gum balls, or like she’s wearing a volcano, but never really any outfit that’s made you turn your head in disgust like some of the other artists here. Björk has always danced on the boundaries of reality, and one can never be sure if she’s real, or the only real mythical creature left in existence.

3. Lady Gaga

shutterstock_Lady Gaga

Stefani Germanotta, better known as Lady Gaga, is famous for her über-strange outfits, headdresses, shoes and makeup. Does anyone recall the raw meat dress, or the bubble dress, or an outfit crafted from Kermit the Frog dolls? Life is about a constant flow of big flamboyant art, not just insanely popular pop tunes that she writes and produces herself in most cases. She has said that she invests in constantly “reinventing herself,” just like Madonna, the artist to whom Lady Gaga is most often compared.

2. Cher

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Cher is absolutely a breed all her own. She epitomized female independence at a time when America was on the brink of change and provided a strong, drug-free role model for generations of young women. Her gender-neutral voice is one of her trademarks, as is her decades-long partnership with Bob Mackie (which recently ended very suddenly due to Mackie’s “scheduling conflicts”). Mackie has been styling Cher’s crazy getups since the seventies, many of which revolve around lots of exposed leg and midriff, tons of sequins and sparkle, as well as elaborate headdresses. Cher’s bold costumes will forever be a symbol of fashion iconography thanks to the talents of Bob Mackie.

1. Liberace

Via nytimes.com

Via nytimes.com

The celebrated pianist was the very definition of elegant flamboyance, wearing an ever-changing procession of rhinestone and sequin-encrusted blazers and capes. The man’s outfits were gloriously elaborate, like a little King, and though everyone in the world suspected it, Liberace denied being homosexual until the bitter end when he finally succumbed to an AIDS-related illness. Just imagine the futile counterbalancing act of being so outwardly flamboyant but in constant denial of who you are. Perhaps his extravagant outward appearance was just a massive mask with which he hid the inner turmoil he no doubt suffered from on a daily basis.

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