Life since blue suede shoes

It’s a sort of chicken or egg question: Which came first — rock stars or rock-star fashion? Either way, music has been influencing dress for decades, from Elvis’ choice footwear and Gram Parsons’ suits during the Flying Burrito Brothers years to current trendsetters like Franz Ferdinand reviving nerd-sexy trousers and fitted jackets. During the mid-’70s, James Mangrum of Black Oak Arkansas took to wearing tight white spandex pants on stage, later inspiring David Lee Roth and Axl Rose to follow suit (as it were). In 1992, designer Marc Jacobs took grunge style to the runway — and was promptly fired from Perry Ellis. But, as history has proven, Jacobs was right: These days grunge fashion (and music) is making a comeback as the ’90s — at least the early part of the decade — turn retro. This fall, Xpress revisits vintage rock looks, as modeled by local musicians.

Hair and makeup by Christine DiBenedetto and Gilda Santiago of Wink Heads & Threads. Photos shot at Echo Mountain Studio unless otherwise noted.

When you want to get funked up

Al-Al Ingram

Model: Al-Al Ingram from Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band. Vintage corduroy suit and patterned button-down shirt from Ragtime. Goorin Brothers plaid hat from the MadHatter. Set courtesy of the Handcranked Letterpress.

California (country rock) dreaming

Kimberly Summer

Model: Singer-songwriter Kimberly Summer. Vintage suede jacket with fringe from Rags Reborn. Blue cotton Ella Moss dress from Wink. Goorin stitched leather hat and felt hat with floral applique from the MadHatter.

Easy rider

Didgeridoo player John Vorus

Model: Didgeridoo player John Vorus. Western-styled shirt with pearl snaps and retro leather jacket from Hip Replacements. Leather belt with silver buckle from Ragtime.

Sergeant Pepper’s lovely daughter

Long red jacket with white braid trim, handmade black-and-white striped top with mismatched buttons and black boots with brass bullet detail from Honey Pot.

Torch song trilogy

Molly Kummerle of Ruby Slippers

Model: Molly Kummerle of Ruby Slippers. Red-and-white polka dot Stop Staring! dress from Wink.

It don’t mean a thing

Al-Al Ingram

Model: Al-Al Ingram from Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band. Vintage white cord jeans, black button-down shirt and white leather belt from Ragtime. Corduroy patchwork hat from the MadHatter. Set courtesy of the Handcranked Letterpress.

Solid gold (isn’t just for Saturday)

Model: Angella Blanton from Monsters of Japan. Straight-leg J Brand jeans, striped Ella Moss sweater and citrine By the Stones earrings from Wink. Retro gold stiletto boots from Madame Butterfly. Gorin leather and wool hat from the MadHatter.

Rock-star shopping, made simple:

Hip Replacements, 72 N. Lexington Ave., 255-7573
HoneyPot, 86 N. Lexington Ave., 225-0304
Madame Butterfly, 102 N. Lexington Ave.
The MadHatter,, or shop for hats at the ScreenDoor, Kris Klassics, Interiors of Asheville and Sanctuary of Stuff.
Rags Reborn Eco Chic Boutique, 1 Walnut St., 253-4488
Ragtime Vintage Clothing, 20 E Walnut St., 225-8889
Wink Heads & Threads, 18 Brook St., Suite 103; 277-4070

They’re not just pretty faces. Here’s where to catch these local musicians in the act:

• Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band plays The Orange Peel on Friday, Oct. 6, 11 p.m. $10/advance, $12/door. 225-5851.

• Ruby Slippers appears at the French Broad Brewery on Saturday, Oct. 7, 6 p.m. 277-0222.

• Kimberly Summer performs at the Encouraging Cup in Fletcher on Friday, Oct. 13, 8 p.m. 684-2871.

• John Vorus plays Bobo Gallery with drummer River Guerguergian on Saturday, Oct. 28. 254-3426.

• Monsters of Japan puts on a Halloween show at Stella Blue on Sunday, Oct. 29, 9 p.m. 236-2424.

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