Deconstructing Stevie Nicks' Style, Hatred Of Technology

I have a love-hate relationship with Stevie Nicks. I mock, but if I said there's something she's worn that I haven't owned or coveted at some point in my life, I'd be lying.

Ruth La Ferla in today's The New York Times points out how Stevie's iconic style influenced people (even people like me, who lacked cable television until the age of 21) and designers.

Anna Sui, who dedicated an entire collection to Ms. Nicks in the late '90s and turns out Stevie-inspired handkerchief hems almost every season, admires her consistency. "She's the iconic California woman," Ms. Sui observed. "Everyone has their version of her."

These days Ms. Nicks is the inspiration for Web sites like gypsymoon.com, which offers Nicks-style top hats and shawls; and enchantedmirror.com, which sells tambourines, fringed shawls and a musky fragrance in homage to the singer. In February, Jill Stuart paraded Nicksian feathers, leather and lace on her fashion runway.

Yeah, I have handkerchief hemmed skirts, a couple of fringed shawls (one in burnt velvet with beaded fringe) and even a couple of feathered hats. Don't judge me.

Her initial wardrobe stylings were something she developed in concert with her designer Margi Kent.

At the time, her brief to Margi Kent, who still designs much of her wardrobe, was to create "something urchinlike out of ‘Great Expectations' or ‘A Tale of Two Cities,' " a chiffonlike, raggedy skirt that would still look beautiful with black velvet platform boots.

"We came up with the outfit: a Jantzen leotard, a little chiffon wrap blouse, a couple of little short jackets, two skirts and boots," Ms. Nicks said as she reminisced in her suite at the Waldorf Towers last week. "That gave us our edge."

Velvet platforms, leotards with long skirts and short jackets basically describes my wardrobe circa 1995.

Hers has changed slightly over the years, though.

She was limber enough, though, to lay out on the carpet three variations of her favorite stage turnout: a cutaway jacket, a ruched and ruffled dress and chunky boots. Missing was the airy shawl that is part of her concert uniform.

Yes, yes, and yes. I might as well give into this.

But Stevie Nicks didn't set out to be an iconic dresser, per se — she just wanted to hide some version of herself away from the world when she started touring.

"I'll be very, very sexy under 18 pounds of chiffon and lace and velvet," Ms. Nicks promised herself as a teenager. "And nobody will know who I really am."

And, according to La Ferla, no one really still does.

Today she remains a woman under wraps, her legend as carefully tended as her wardrobe, which she stores in her home in Los Angeles. That legend encompasses the shaky vicissitudes of her romantic life - fans still speculate about the nature of her relationship with Lindsey Buckingham, Fleetwood Mac's guitarist and her long-ago lover - and her risen-from-the-ashes saga of drug abuse and rehabilitation.

Yes, goodness knows why anyone would be not keen to talk about 20-year-old romances and or addiction.

Stevie's out doing a press tour to promote her new concert CD and DVD, which is kind of ironic for someone who tells the AP's Nakesa Mumbi Moody that she hates technology.

"I believe that computers have taken over the world. I believe that they have in many ways ruined our children. I believe that kids used to love to go out and play," Nicks says in her famously smoky voice.

"I believe that social graces are gone because manners are gone because all people do is sit around and text. I think it's obnoxious."

You might imagine, she's also not a fan of music pirates.

People are stealing our music. That's all there is to it. In the old days ... they would help you to develop into the artist that they knew you were going to be. In the last 10 years, the record companies don't have the money to do that. I don't know what the answer is to it. The only thing I can say to people is, "Buy music, do not steal music." If you do, you won't have any new music later on.

And don't even think about pulling your cell phone out of a big bag, even if it does match your Stevie-outfit.

I'm gonna put my hand on your hand and say, "Turn it off, for now. Just give me an hour, of you, I really want an hour of just you, and your heart. I don't want you talking to someone else while we're having lunch."

I'd give her an hour of my time, but I guess I can admit I'd probably rather go shopping.

Still Dressing for Stevie [New York Times]
Q&A: Stevie Nicks Explains Why She's A Technophobe [Associated Press]

Earlier: Help Me Choose An Outfit To Keep George Bush Away From My Womb