When Taylor Swift walked onto the Manus x Machina Met Gala red carpet, it signaled the arrival of a new Taylor. Gone was the cute, mousy blonde bob and floor-length satin pink gown she had sported in years past. In its place, we saw a tousled platinum blond cut, striking black lips, a Louis Vuitton snakeskin metallic mini and black knee-high gladiator sandals. Sassy, to say the least.
Taylor Swift at the 2016 Met Gala, wearing Louis Vuitton.
Meet Rock-Chick Taylor—a look that draws a line under the 1989 tour and her T-bar shoe-clad, flippy miniskirt, twee collar–wearing girlhood. It debuted an edgier, adventurous and more exciting stage of style for the songstress. But where did it come from? Not inner angst (we presume), but the front cover of U.S. Vogue—her cover of U.S. Vogue. Naturally, Anna Wintour has reportedly been instrumental in this wardrobe overhaul.
Of course Taylor isn’t the only A-lister to embark upon a style revolution by championing the rock-chick look. Some might see this phase as a rite of passage into fashion stardom, and there's a definite correlation between actioning it and celebrities pushing forward into high-fashion places once it's done with. So we delved back through the archives to bring you our favourite rock-chick makeovers from the past decade or so—from Kim Kardashian West only a few weeks ago through to Angelina Jolie in 2001.
Go through the gallery to see these girls before and after their rock-chick epochs, then keep going to shop some relevant pieces that nail the vibe now…
Taylor Swift's 2015 look was significantly cuter than today's. Last year, she was most commonly pictured wearing the sweetest frocks while strolling out of her NYC apartment, often with a kitten in hand.
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With a patent leather jacket, high-heeled hiking boots and a plaid dress (all from Louis Vuitton), Taylor Swift is every inch the designer-clad rebel.
Miley's bad-girl persona has taken over headlines so much n recent years, it is easy to forget that there was a time of Miley pre-rock. A time where she was Disney's Hannah Montana, wore pretty floral frocks, like this one from 2011, and even once chose to wear a classic Jenny Packham gown to the Oscars...
One need only think of Wrecking Ball (and the various performances of it) to know that Miley Cyrus is very much in the midst of her rocker phase. From the moment she unveiled her shaved undercut in 2012, it's been ripped denim, crop tops and piercings a-go-go.
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It's 1999 and Angelina Jolie is the picture of Hollywood glamour, resplendent in a shimmering halter-neck gown for the Golden Globes red carpet.
The early noughties were all about rebellious dressing for Angelina. Black and leather featured heavily in her wardrobe, she was immortalised as Tomb Raider's Lara Croft and let's not forget she married Johnny Lee Miller in black rubber pants and a white T-shirt with his name written in blood on it. As you do.
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Pre-Umbrella, Rihanna’s style was relatively conventional—jeans with a cropped top, body-con dresses, flouncy minis, knee-high boots and hoop earrings. Here she is in 2006 looking like butter-wouldn't-melt in a pink bandage dress from Hervé Leger.
Then she dropped the album Good Girl Gone Bad in 2007, and life began to imitate art. Out came the PVC and patent leather. The knee-high boots upgraded to thigh-highs, and outfits were accessorised with leather gloves and plenty of studs. RiRi has never really looked back, pulling out her rock-chick persona from time to time ever since.
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Think Kim, and body-con automatically springs to mind. A tube skirt is never far away, and there's always been a slight risk of any outfit falling off/apart at any moment. Only last year was her look firmly set with the glam factor dialed up.
Remember that black leather jacket—emblazoned with images of her own face and the word SLAY—that she debuted back in February this year? And the Raf Simons A/W 01 men's camo bomber that she's been sporting recently? And let's not forget the black choker paired with ripped skinny jeans… This has all been a departure for our Kim in recent months, and we like it.