Wednesday, 6 March 2013

March Menswear Month: Johnny Marr

(Image Source: tumblr)

I will admit that I forgot about 'March Menswear Month' (or whatever else I planned to call it) until today. I was planning to write about Johnny Marr tweeting me then I realised how well this could all tie in.

Marr is one of those musicians who lends himself so incredibly well to fashion posts. Turning 50 later this year, his style is still far from boring and his age means that we have 30 years of photographs to look at for fashion inspiration. Yay.

As a teenager Marr got his ears pierced which either makes you a target for bullies or it makes you a super cool punk and if you have the guitar skills to back up the statement, like Marr did, then the status of cool punk is firmly securedm and, if it wasn't, by the time The Smiths became national treasures and had loads of chart records, it was. The second most defining features of the young Johnny Marr were his hair cuts. Whether he was sporting a '50s style quiff or that messy style with a fringe or (perhaps most well know) that very rounded bob, his jet black hair always looked awesome which is why he was the front man for some of the bands he was in before The Smiths. That's what he said by the way; that it was because of the hair cuts. Even now, his hairstyle is still lovely. 

Let's just gaze at this incredibly beautiful photograph for a few hours seconds:

His most obvious accessory that has clearly stayed with him throughout his career is the electric guitar. He is always very comfortable with a guitar round his neck and the photographs show this. In the earlier days his guitars often seemed to look slightly more acoustic which reflects the folk-like influence in his rock based riffs. However, now they seem to possess a more classic rock look with white being the most popular colour in recent photos.

In The Smiths, Marr seemed to be the most fashion conscious. Maybe that was because Morrissey was usually half naked on stage but I think Marr's somewhat quirky style shone through. He often wore polo neck tops with necklaces. Jewellery was often worn by both Morrissey and Marr which relates to the use of flowers that have become synonymous with the legendary band. Both Morrissey and Marr were very much into the androgynous punk rock scene that dominated the '70s but they made the decision not to be too much of a 'gay band' so did not go all out like The New York Dolls and other such bands. Whilst Morrissey always seemed quite effeminate, Marr's wearing of jewellery seemed more rebellious; a rock and roll statement or something of that variety.

In many photographs of The Smiths, Marr is like the cool guy slightly behind Morrissey in sunglasses like 'and what?' This reflects the cool punk/rock and roll image that he still maintains today. Johnny Marr formed The Smiths and made the conscious decision for Morrissey to be the front man and the member to represent the band in interviews. Whilst Morrissey is the sort of socially awkward intellect who many, many people can relate to, Marr seems like he would have been one of the cool kids at school who was always cracking practical jokes and smoking marijuana and forming bands. I think the sunglasses demonstrate this in his nonchalantly cool character. Sorry for the overuse of the word cool but it is undoubtedly synonymous with Marr.

Smiths Era Johnny Marr

£26 -

Kain striped top

Rag bone v neck cardigan
£230 -

Toast button shirt

Chanel vintage shirt

AX Paris slouchy top

Ted Baker skinny jeans

Layered necklace
£13 -

Pim + Larkin stud earrings
£7.24 -

Short necklace
£3.36 -

Ray Ban ray ban optical
£82 -

Circle sunglasses
£6.93 -

Today, Johnny Marr still has it, if we are using the word it in the same way as Dean Moriarty in On The Road uses it. Marr has it. He keeps his jet black hair but trades the polo necks and necklaces for blazers and t-shirts. He reminds us that blazers are not purely boring office wear but can also be worn by 'godlike geniuses' with stylish electric guitars.

Johnny Marr

T shirt
£15 -

Topshop knit shirt
£47 -

Black jacket

Rag bone tuxedo jacket

Ted Baker quilted coat

J Brand j-brand jeans
£185 -

J.Crew wayfarer sunglasses
£95 -

POLICE mirrored sunglasses

The Messenger- A Review

I cannot neglect to feature a review of Johnny Marr's debut solo album The Messenger which was released just last month. It took Morrissey just six months to release a solo album after The Smiths split in 1987. However, since then Marr has played with a number of different bands and maintained his position as a guitar legend and professional musician. Marr's solo album really shows off his skilled guitar playing and seems to go in a very rock and roll direction that he seems to like and he has more freedom than some of the slower Smiths songs. My favourite track is the single Upstarts because like I said it is very danceable and I think the lyrics in this song are better than any of the others~ 'The underground is overground, the overground will pull you down, It's how it goes in these times, How we know it's in our eyes.' Lyrically, Morrissey is sorely missed but I really don't want to dwell on that because I think the focus of this album is the guitar and that really shines through. The lyrics are difficult to hear but the more I listen to this album, the more I adore Johnny Marr's voice. I think that a lot of people assumed that he couldn't sing because he didn't sing in The Smiths but he probably made that decision when he decided to make Morrissey the face of the band. My other favourite tracks from this album are Right Thing Right, I Want the Heartbeat, European Me, Lockdown and Generate Generate in that order. I think my favourite song based on just the guitar is probably European Me.

Here is the single Upstarts and below that is a Smiths dancing GIF because, come on, you can never have enough Marrissey dancing GIFs.

(Source: tumblr)

To conclude this fashion based music post let's summarise Johnny Marr's style. During the '80s the colour pallet of his clothes seem to be rather neutral but obviously there are exceptions. Today, the most popular colours are various shades of blue and burgundy. Marr staples are stud earrings, necklaces, polo necks, jeans, plain t-shirts, blazers and, obviously, an electric guitar. If you want to go all out, dye your hair black. #YOLO. 

As far as male style icons go, Johnny Marr is definitely in my top ten. I will compile an official list of these well dressed men before my French exchange arrives because after that I won't have time to blog again until after Easter. I will end with this: Johnny Marr replied to my tweet asgvfkhgbkgjwbfve. Bye x

P.S. I just realised it's this blog's 2nd birthday tomorrow. Oops I forgot. Didn't get it a present. I'm sure I'll think of something to do. Aww. Two years old. It should be walking by now :')


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  2. How awesome he replied to your tweet! Wonderful post, love the outfits.

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