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Fashion Meets Music: Björk

“The pop landscape, not to mention the fashion scene, is always a duller place without Björk.”

Truthfully, the world would be a little less bright without the quirky sounds and styles of this Icelandic performance artist who brought strange to the mainstream long before meat dresses were in vogue.

This pixie-like siren, with a voice as distinctive as her look, has been bringing her eccentric style to the masses since she was 11 years old. After fronting various bands since the age of 14, Björk finally hit the big time as a member of the Sugarcubes, an alternative rock band that gained a cult following in the states and abroad during the late 80s/early 90s. Post Sugarcubes, Björk moved to London to pursue a solo career where she linked up with producer Nellee Hooper and her first super hit, “Human Behavior,” was born. While “Human Behavior” didn’t get much air time, the video directed by frequent Björk collaborator Michel Gondry went into heavy rotation on MTV and that was pretty much history. Several albums and awards later, this singer-songwriter/composer/producer/occasional actress has earned acclaim across several genres and influenced and mentored several struggling recording artists. While her eclectic sound and three octave vocal range have cemented her as one of the greatest voices of all time (according to NPR and MTV), her striking appearance is as distinguishing as her sound.

Who can forget the impish Björk bopping down the red carpet at the Academy Awards dressed in a swan? Her signature coal black hair framing her face as she baffled every red carpet commentator with her Marjan Pejoski creation. After seeing Gaga carried to the Grammys in an egg, Björk’s 2001 choice seems tame in comparison. As the answer to “What came first: the mama goose or the egg?” Björk’s unconventional style has spawned legions of fans and admirers. She’s collaborated with fashion’s favorite rule breakers -Alexander McQueen and Jeremy Scott – and came up with outlandishly amazing creations more for art’s sake than to shock and garner attention from a crowd. Face paint? Yes. Dresses that are more papier-mache art projects than dresses befitting an in-the-flesh star? Check. Dark hair that adds a certain mystery to her strikingly East-Asian features? Banged and falling around her face or tightly wound in Princess Leia like buns.

While most avant garde, performance artist types from the 90s have fallen into anonymity, Björk has recently released her 8th album, Biophilia, the world’s first “app album” in collaboration with Apple which was partly recorded on iPad. To top 2011 of right, Björk has also collaborated with the Dirty Projectors on their album Mount Wittenberg Orca, due out in late October.

Whether you are a fan of her quirky fashion sense or phenomenal vocal and musical talents, we can all agree that Björk is one iconoclastic performer.

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