SXSW Fashion Retrospective
It’s almost time for the 2013 installment of SXSW, Austin’s annual five-day fete of beer, live music, tacos, more live music, burritos, tequila and even more live music. While the event centers on sounds and tastes, it’s also about looks. Park yourself on Sixth Street at any point during the festival, and you’re sure to get a fashion show. Leather-loving metalheads mingle with plaid-clad alt-country dudes. Cowboys shoot the shiz with chic Brooklyn synth-poppers. Everyone tries to keep their figurative and literal cool, particularly as the midday sun blazes down. In honor of SXSW 2013, we’re taking a look back at some notable sartorial choices from years past. Before you take off for Texas, peep the artists featured in our SXSW Fashion Retrospective and make sure you’re packing the proper gear.
The New Romantique
Everybody’s favorite ‘Natural Born Killer’ Juliette Lewis hit the stage of SXSW 2009 backed by the New Romantiques, topped with a bouquet of lilies and wrapped in a feathery ensemble she must have bought from Brandon Flowers’ shoulder pads supplier. Sadly, the performance didn’t earn her a role in ‘Black Swan.’
‘C-Diddy’ Goes Hello Kitty
Former Air Guitar World Champion David “C-Diddy” Jung harnessed the awesome power of Hello Kitty while shredding on his invisible ax at the 2006 Austin gathering.
Morningwood’s Chantal Claret twisted off her best “stank face” at SXSW 2006, where she learned a valuable lesson: Never swap clothes with a hobo, no matter how stylish his black jacket is.
Tamil-British alt-rapper M.I.A. showed off her swagger and flashed her stripes while rocking the mic at SXSW 2005. Her guerilla-fab fashions have since grown more outrageous, but there’s a simple no-fuss charm here. Long before flipping the world off the world at the Super Bowl, M.I.A. proved plenty fierce with just a sequined track jacket and graffiti tee.
Life’s a Drag
At SXSW, sensible shoes are a must. Just ask Semi Precious Weapons’ Justin Tranter, who pranced around Austin last year in these impressive kickers. Paired with purple leggins and copious eyeliner, dude’s footwear may seem feminine, but it takes a real man get around in those heels.
The Sullen Schoolgirl
U.K. rapper Lady Sovereign rocked a schoolgirl blazer back in 2006, adding a dash of British teen angst to the Texas fest. Ten seconds after this photo was taken, Sov went on slang-laden rant about Austin’s brutal heat and woeful lack of tea and crumpets. Fortunately, no one understood a word she was saying.
Sunglasses at Night
Jason Stollsteimer and Leann Banks of Detroit garage mainstays the Von Bondies donned some stylin’ tees — and flashed some rockin’ signs — at SXSW 2009. Note to South By revelers: Indoor shades are a must — particularly if you don’t plan on leaving the club until sunup.
The Look of Love
Triple threat rocker/producer/designer Christian Berishaj of Love Arcade celebrated the incredible whiteness of being in the Lone Star State at SXSW 2006. Think he made it through the entire week without spilling salsa on his angel getup? That would be miraculous.
The Prepared Prepper
Ricky Wilson flaunted the prep-school boy look while onstage with then-buzzed-about U.K. rockers the Kaiser Chiefs back in 2005. He and Lady Sov should totally sneak off after homeroom and share a fag. (That’s Brit slang for cigarette, yanks.)
The dainty and delectable Yvonne Lambert of Austin-based indietronica outfit the Octopus Project displayed her original throwback style while playing theremin at SXSW 2006. Hair that freakin’ cool is only possible with the use of electromagnetic waves. It’s true. Look it up.