Grammywatch fashions

February 8, 2008 6:27:42 PM PST
Deep inside, we all want to be rock stars. That's why musicians have done so well with their fashion lines, said Hal Rubenstein, fashion director for In Style magazine and curator of the "Grammy Salute to Fashion" event at Hollywood nightclub Boulevard 3.

"Music has always been an enormous influence on how we look and how we dress," he said, citing the Beatles' haircuts and Lenny Kravitz's hippie style. "There are over two dozen Grammy-nominated artists who have their own clothing line."

Thursday's event put the spotlight on collections by six of them: Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Sean Combs, Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Simpson.

Their lines were chosen because "they had the widest selection, they had the highest profile, they had great distribution, and people know who these people are," Rubenstein said. "These are people who not only make clothes people want, but people know who they are and everyone loves the way these people look."

The show opened with Lopez's Just Sweet collection, which was all about colorful sundresses. Next came Jay-Z's Rocawear line, mostly multicolored hoodies modeled by shirtless hunks with perfect abs.

From Timberlake's William Rast brand came a series of skintight jeans and bright tank tops, while Simpson's line included a half-dozen bright bikinis covered with '60s-inspired graphic prints.

Combs' Sean John and Beyonce's House of Dereon brought the eveningwear. The Sean John collection included short shifts in satin and chiffon and a scene-stealing purple halter dress with a swingy pleated skirt. House of Dereon had embellished gold and silver minidresses that screamed "Vegas," plus elegant offerings such as an empire-waist chiffon gown in a bright aqua blue.

The 10-minute fashion show was followed by a sexy eight-song set by Rihanna, who is up for four awards at Sunday's Grammys. The 19-year-old pop star also dabbles in clothing design. She will be contributing her creations to the H&M "Fashion against AIDS" effort.

None of the night's featured designers made an appearance at the "Grammy Salute to Fashion," where the Recording Academy introduced its own Grammy brand. At least two of the event's celebrity guests said they planned to launch their own clothing lines.

Ludacris said he has a collection in the works, though he wouldn't offer any details, and "Dreamgirls" star Keith Robinson said he was planning a men's line of jackets and T-shirts in "vivid colors."

Musicians have long set fashion trends, Robinson said.

"We dictate style. We dictate the cool," he said. "If you got a great song but a dirty T-shirt and that song is a hit, believe it or not, you keep wearing that dirty T-shirt, it will sell at the store; $900."

Recording Academy President Neil Portnow said musicians are well-suited for fashion design because they're renaissance people.

"Part of what they do is music, part of what they do is art, part of what they do is visual, part of what they do is musical and I think it's a natural," he said. "It's an additional expression of an artist who has that ability."

Grammy-nominated stars will likely make another fashion statement Sunday when the 50th annual awards air live from the Staples Center on CBS.


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