He stood in the Purple Rain and under the Cherry Moon, bathed in the waters of Lake Winnatonaka and partied like it was 1999 (never gets old). In the movie of my life (starring Sanaa Lathan as moi) Prince’s music provides the bass pumping, sex-infused soundtrack. Besides being a living musical legend (and bonafide F-O-X) Prince Rogers Nelson is a fashion GAWD! He’s the pioneer of 80’s glam and a champion for male heels and what’s not to love about a man who wraps his hair before bed. Talk about swagger.
With the recent Prince tribute at the BET awards, I’ve been reflecting on the things Prince, in all his splendor, has taught me about style.
Bell bottom flares never go out of style
Prince knows his proportions and flared bell bottoms seem to work for a man of his stature, go figure. He’s worn them for over 3 decades, now that’s commitment. In crafting a signature style, knowing what works and sticking with it is key. The lesson: The Brady Bunch may be gone, but bell bottoms are here to stay
Your facial expressions are the ultimate accessory
Prince is notorious for his shifting eyes and sexual expressions, like he’s undressing you with mind control. Whether you adopt some kooky eyewear or lip pout, your face should be a shinning beacon to your inner moist most thoughts. The lesson: Face, face, face give them FACE!
Lake Minnetonka is the fountain of youth
And speaking of face, Prince’s skin is like supple buttermilk. The man doesn’t age. Maybe it’s bathing in the waters of Lake Minnetonka or Pond’s cold cream but flawless skin is the ultimate in poised presentation.The lesson: If Prince says get naked and jump in lake, I’ll be the first one in line
Imitation is the sincerest form of Imitation
Prince is an original and while there’s an army of imitators (Rihanna, Keri Hilson, Me) there’s only one Prince Rogers. But do you think he’s sweating these imitators, hell naw. He loves it and even cleverly crafted the personae of Vanity 6 to be a female likeness of himself. The lesson: Imitate and interpret away
You can never have enough ruffles
This is a no-brainer. A ruffled blouse is a go-to staple for any burgeoning sex gawd and it takes a real man to wear an Edwardian blouse to rival Henry VII. The lesson: Ruffles=Style
Heels are mandatory
A champion for male heels (or lifts as they’re referred to in the orthopedic community) Prince defied convention long before Gaga had her male stiletto army. Can you imagine Prince asking for a higher heel on his boots and the female clerk looking perplexed? The lesson: We all need a little Lift in life.
Assless pants, yes please!
I remember watching the 1991 MTV music awards when Prince did an about-face to the camera bearing his ASSests. Talk about balls, which thankfully were concealed. For better (or worse) the image is etched in my brain and while Gaga is raising flags with blurred crotch, Prince is the originator in this thing called Shock, no censorship needed. The lesson: “Showing your ass” can be a good thing
Let your clothes do the talking, so you don’t have to
When not shrieking on a track, Prince’s speaking voice is particularly soft-spoken. His style speaks volumes so he doesn’t have to. The lesson: A crushed velvet onesie doesn’t need much explaining
Consistency is key
From the early 80s to today, not much as changed in the way of Prince’s style. He’ll always been the Glam King and guess what: it works! Sure he’s traded his lace for matching two-piece bell bottom suits, but his ensembles are always indelibly Prince. The lesson: Be consistent in your kookiness
Be Yourself but if you can’t, be Prince
And that brings me to the biggest lesson the Artist Formerly known as Prince has taught me. True style comes from being yourself or referencing someone much cooler and stylish like him and calling it inspiration. Whatever works. The lesson: Be yourself, but borrow heavily from Prince’s repertoire.
Do you love Prince’s style? What off-the-wall star inspires your style?