One of the major highlights of our trip to the US (alongside visiting my xoJane sisters in their HQ of course) was going to see Fleetwood Mac in concert at Madison Square Garden. This was one of those once in a lifetime experiences which I will never forget, and after this tour is over, may never happen again.
Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham and Mick Fleetwood were reunited on stage for the first time in years (sadly Christine McVie isn’t part of this tour) and the chemistry was electric. There was so much warmth and affection between them, particularly Stevie and Lindsey and they were clearly as emotional as the crowd at times.
I have to say, Lindsey is looking miiiiighty fine at the moment, but setting aside my lust for middle aged men in tight jeans, deep v-neck tees and leather thong necklaces aside for a moment, let me concentrate on Stevie.
Ever since Florence Welch wafted onto the scene, all floaty sleeves and whirling cloaks and flower crowns, Stevie Nicks has come back to the surface of the public consciousness as a serious reference point for fashion. Catwalk shows have shown more than a hint of Stevie’s influence in recent seasons, from the clothes themselves to the hair, make-up and, of course, music.
Gucci’s Frida Giannini designed a Stevie-style stage wardrobe for Florence Welch’s tour using pieces from the gothic romantic AW/11 collection and Stevie’s distinctive look – a combination of white witch, gypsy, pre-Raphaelite and Laurel Canyon hippy with a hint of goth – is referenced over and over again in magazine editorials, ad campaigns and by every hipster teen with a blog or Instagram account.
Everyone loves Stevie’s style – the black, floaty dresses and ruffled petticoats, the shaggy, flowing hair, the top hats, lace-up Victorian boots, tambourines and trailing scarves – and I love it too. In fact she is one of my ultimate style icons, but NOT because I want to dress like her. Let me elaborate: my style is about as far from Stevie’s as you could possibly get, but nevertheless I admire her and want to emulate that utterly fearless, uncompromising attitude.
Let’s face it, after Fleetwood Mac’s glory years and the height of her solo career, when Stevie disappeared from the scene, her look became unfashionable. It’s all very well for everyone to be all like “ohmygod I lurvvve Stevie Nicks” now, but for a time she was – whisper it – uncool.
While everyone else was prancing around in neon rave gear, or shoulder-padded primary-coloured power suits or cargo pants, she steered her own course, never deviating from the unique look she’d perfected that said so much about her personality and beliefs.
Sure, she adapted it as the years went by to suit the times and her body, but the essence remained the same. That’s why when she returned to the stage for yet another encore wearing her trademark top hat the crowd cheered even louder – because she is so completely and utterly herself.
In a way, she is the American Kate Bush - eccentric, unselfconscious and so much cooler than all her contemporaries because she really couldn't care less about what people think of her. And that’s why I look up to her; from time to time I’m tempted to abandon all the clothes I love and try to ‘reinvent’ myself as someone else and she reminds me it's not worth it.
I might buy a new pair of earrings that go with nothing I own, in the hope that by wearing them I might instantly and magically become one of those cool girl style bloggers who wear heels as easily as they wear their dazzling white sneakers (mine are greyish-yellow). Or I’ll try growing my fringe out, imagining that I’ll suddenly morph into a cool Laurel Canyon-esque hippie chick with shiny, swinging curtains of hair. It never works.
The lesson I learned from Stevie in New York, watching her twirling on stage, completely and utterly unselfconscious, believing in herself and knowing that her style represented her perfectly, as it always has, is that it’s best to stick to your guns, don’t waver or try to be someone you’re not – it doesn’t matter if you’re out of fashion or don’t look ‘cool’ – integrity is always a good look.
Oh, and as if I needed another reason to love her, she's mates with Beyonce (see her talking about her at 8:20...)