Ever wonder who passed that cone bra to Madonna in the dressing room? Or who was like, "Hey Beyoncé, I was thinking...leotards for the 'Single Ladies' video?" In the book Fashion + Music: Fashion Creatives Shaping Pop Culture ($50, Laurence King), author Katie Baron spotlights the fashion geniuses responsible for music's most iconic looks. Meet three super-stylists who have shaped our favorite pop stars' images, and check out some exclusive photos from the book, below.
The Clients: Madonna, Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Lady Gaga, Laleh
The Look: Swedish stylist B. Akerlund considers herself a "fashion activist," and while her home country may be famous for its minimalist designs, Akerlund's calling card is sexy, bondage-and-superhero-inspired excess, with some royal and military iconography thrown into the mix.
The Claims to Fame: Beyoncé's 2013 ads announcing her Mrs. Carter world tour, Lady Gaga's robot-tinged looks in her 2008 video for "Paparazzi," Madonna's Roman Empire-themed 2012 Super Bowl halftime show.
The Style Motto: "I push and I push and I think that comes from being in the school of Madonna. She taught me that when you think it's good it could be better, and when you think it's better it could be the best. Ultimately, I want to provoke and make people think. I want to beat the system."
Where to Follow Her: Follow her on Snapchat and Instagram at @bcompleted.
The Clients: Kanye West, Pet Shop Boys, Lily Allen, Miley Cyrus
The Look: Grand and theatrical, costume and set designer Es Devlin cites a visit to the English National Opera at age 12 and the arrival of MTV in the '80s as the two key events that kicked off her love of the stage. Clients who come to her do so because they want to be amplified, whether that's through sliding into an arena through a cutout of their own face (Miley Cyrus) or plugging themselves directly into an electrocardiogram machine to visualize their heartbeats mid-performance (Wire).
The Claims to Fame: The 2012 London Olympics Closing Ceremony, the 2016 Rio Olympics Opening Ceremony, Kanye West's Glow in the Dark (2008), Watch the Throne (2011), and Yeezus (2013) tours, Miley Cyrus's 2014 Bangerz tour.
The Style Motto: "Some pop music clearly doesn't merit anything, but then some opera doesn't, either, just as some fashion doesn't warrant looking at twice and some does. It's not genre that defines whether you should look again. The point of anything you look at in terms of art is that, once you've seen it, your mind will not be able to look at the world, or apply itself to any task, in the same way."
Where to Follow Her: Keep up with Es on Instagram at @esdevlin.
The Clients: Jennifer Lopez, Gwen Stefani, Mary J. Blige, Puff Daddy
The Look: Early 2000s hip-hop glam. Think Juicy Couture tracksuits, Manolo Blahnik, Timberland-style stiletto boots, Lurex cargo pants, and mini-puffer jackets.
The Claims to Fame: Styling Jennifer Lopez's "Jenny from the Block" video (2002) and Gwen Stefani's "Let Me Blow Ya Mind" video (2001), dressing Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs and his production collective, The Hitmen, for Vibe, putting J. Lo in that Versace dress at the 2000 Grammys.
The Style Motto: "I'm obsessed with cultures, with rituals and adornment, and the reasons why people wear what they wear. How these things manifest themselves is something I've
always found amazing."
Where to Follow Her: See the latest from Andrea's fashion line, A.L.C., on Instagram at @alc_ltd.
Fashion + Music: Fashion Creatives Shaping Pop Culture, $50, laurenceking.com.