regular-article-logo Sunday, 24 September 2023

Harry Styles and his eye-catching outfits

British singer-songwriter who performed at the Grammys is a fashion icon but he has also been accused of queerbaiting

Deutsche Welle Published 06.02.23, 10:51 AM
Harry Styles, man in a green suit surrounded by other people milling about

Harry Styles, man in a green suit surrounded by other people milling about Deutsche Welle

Harry Styles, 28, is extremely successful. Many fans know his songs by heart.

With three singles from the 2022 "Harry's House" and a fourth song, he is the first British solo artist to have four top 10 hits in the US charts, a feat last accomplished by The Beatles in 1964, according to German magazine Musikexpress.


The former One Direction band member is also known for his eye-catching outfits. He doesn't shy away from the occasional feather boa, glittery belt or shiny pink pants on stage either.

Styles at the 2023 Grammy Show

On Sunday, Harry Styles sings at the Grammy Gala, where he is also nominated in six Grammy categories, including best album of the year ("Harry's House") and best song of the year ("As It Was").

Mary J. Blige, nominated for as many Grammys as Styles, and music greats from the queer community will also be performing: Lizzo, Kim Petras and Sam Smith.

Harry Styles known for his gender-fluid outfits, has been accused of queerbaiting — when one benefits from appearing as queer without openly claiming an LGBTQ identity. Styles insists that his sexual orientation is nobody's business.

He is not the first male pop superstar to wear bright colors, feathers, rhinestones and painted nails; Elton John, Marc Bolan, David Bowie and Mick Jagger were also music icons who popularized the style.

On his Instagram account, Harry Styles has posted photos of himself in colorful pearl necklaces, tight-fitting retro underwear, a black feather coat and in a pin-up pose on a motorcycle.

First man on US Vogue cover

Harry Styles was the first man to appear on the cover of Vogue's US edition in its nearly 130-year history. He wore an elegant light gray Gucci dress, with a black jacket. Between his fingers, which are adorned with rings bearing his initials "S" and "H," he held a baby blue balloon that could also be bubble gum.

"When you take away 'There's clothes for men and there's clothes for women,' once you remove any barriers, obviously you open up the arena in which you can play. I'll go in shops sometimes, and I just find myself looking at the women's clothes thinking they're amazing. It's like anything — anytime you're putting barriers up in your own life, you're just limiting yourself," he told Vogue.

A controversial fashion campaign

Harry Styles is friends with Gucci's former creative director Alessandro Michele. Just before Michele left Gucci in November 2022, they presented a collection entitled "Gucci HA HA HA."

The timing was not great. Gucci collaborated with the Balenciaga luxury fashion brand, which faced an extremely unfortunate advertising campaign at almost the same time "Gucci HA HA HA" launched — ads showing children with teddy bears in bondage gear. The Balenciaga campaign sparked disgust and outrage worldwide. And Harry Styles got caught up in the controversy when he presented himself on Instagram wearing Gucci.

From Louis Vuitton to Yves Saint Laurent, designer labels are Harry Styles' passion. Daring cuts, a wild mix of patterns, frills, glitter and a feather boa, orange or pink, queer or not — Harry Styles' style certainly muddies the boundaries between male and female fashion.

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