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Fashion Meets Music: Debbie Harry

Style Icon: Debbie Harry

Style Icon: Debbie Harry

Debbie Harry, the lead singer of the New Wave pop band, Blondie was a defining pioneer reveling in the 1980’s New York scene when fashion, music, art, and bustling downtown culture was fusing together to create a style that ultimately illustrated the decade.

Her friends included voyeuristic artist Andy Warhol and his protege; fashion whiz kid from Halston, Stephen Sprouse. Debbie and Stephen lived in the same apartment building in the Bowery section of NYC and they became great friends. He would construct all of her outfits from items in Debbie’s closet, thrift store finds, vintage gems, and in the end it was an unfiltered Sprouse creation.

At night they would have dinners and go dancing with Andy and Sprouse’s right hand man, now famed fashion photographer, Steven Meisel. Debbie credits Sprouse for tailoring her look and would wear his designs in music videos. He directed the video for Blondie’s “Heart Of Glass” and the fabulous “scan line” dress that she is wearing, he made that from a photo he took of a television set. Much like Warhol’s Factory, Sprouse’s studio was full of models,  musicians, and art stars who fed off of each other.

In the eighties music videos were catapulting the careers of otherwise faceless bands. After Debbie Harry made it onto the screen with the disco crossover hit, “Heart Of Glass”, Blondie arrived onto the mainstream music scene. This upset many of Blondie’s New Wave/Post Punk underground contemporaries, but the band responded with the statement that Debbie had always wanted to try different genres of music. Her popularity tended to overshadow the band, and even though she has done solo work as of late, she still credits her band for her success.

Debbie gets the Stephen Sprouse treatment

Debbie gets the Stephen Sprouse treatment

Debbie’s most identifiable feature is surely that tousled blond bob. I find her wide set angled (usually rimmed with black liner) eyes to be the most intriguing, or perhaps it’s the high cheekbones. In any case her entire look, tough yet physically stunning, is appealing to this day. Her style is completely rock star status; mixing prints and textures, bright red lipstick, and mini skirts. She’s like the fairy godmother of the punk princesses.

Some current Debbie Harry news:

-Barbie created a line of dolls called “Ladies of the 80’s” it includes Debbie Harry, Joan Jett and Cyndi, Lauper.
-Photographer Brian Aris compiled an exhibition of photos of the iconic singer currently on display in London. (BBC video)
-Currently she is on tour with Blondie with new music to come out this year!

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5 Responses to “Fashion Meets Music: Debbie Harry”

  1. Queen of Bows Stella says:

    She is definitely an icon and rock & roll style forever captured. I may never go blond, but I do try to channel her style a lot. :)

  2. Joseph Fountain says:

    LOL, I had a crush on her when I was a kid… I don’t think I would today.. I wonder if there are mixes of this kind today.. A Warhol kind of guy hanging out with Lady Gaga?

  3. Gee Gee says:

    AHH! Those shades! I saw her at an event about 2 years ago and she was still so much more bad ass than pretty much everyone else in the room! Good choice as usual!!

  4. doll says:

    she is the epitome of cool*

  5. She is the female version of Evil but with the coolest wardrobe in the world. for f***k sake she was the first to wear a bin bag in the 1980 video for Atomic video. No one can hold a candle to her she even give Joan Jett lessons in applying make’up. Madonna has said “she is the coolest woman in the world” men and women are influenced by her and long my she reign.


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