— December 13, 2010 —
In this column, AnOther takes a retrospective look at the style icons of the past
Bianca Jagger celebrating her birthday at Studio 54 in 1977 by Rose Hartman
Supermodel, muse and wife of a Rolling Stone for the majority of the decade, Bianca Jagger defined the decadent 1970s. With her tall frame, high cheekbones and full lips, the similarities with her husband didn’t end with her striking looks. She was a popular cultural force in her own right, a muse to fashion designers and artists alike, such as Roy Halston and Andy Warhol. The former was responsible for the dreamlike image of Jagger riding into Studio 54 on a white horse when he hosted her 30th birthday party.
The long draping hooded dresses and jumpsuits not only defined Jagger’s look, but an entire era of disco decadence – something which fashion is having a nostalgic romance with of late. The most recent offerings from Chloé, in particular, have prompted fashion historians to speculate about the design house’s reference points, drawing comparisons with the ethereal all-in-ones and Grecian gowns Halston dressed Jagger in during the 1970s.
At their wedding in 1971, Bianca successfully outshone her groom, arguably the most charismatic Rolling Stone, when she wore a slinky maxi skirt suit by Yves Saint Laurent — not a trouser suit as is commonly understood. In her book How to Party, Yasmin Mills describes the model’s outfit choice as “perhaps the most inspired alternative wedding classic of all time”. YSL also designed Mick’s suit for the big day, although this bypasses most commentators, such was the impact of Bianca’s outfit.
Jagger greatly respected YSL’s insightful understanding of the psychology of dressing the modern woman. Musing on his work after he died for The Observer, she explored her lifelong passion for the pioneering designer, writing:
“To see his influence you just have to look at the women who now wear trouser suits, influenced by his classic designs - everyone from Hillary Clinton to French justice minister Rachida Dati. It was part of my liberation to be able to wear trouser suits because it makes life so easy. Trouser suits are practical, but they are only elegant when they are well cut, and Yves's were very well cut. Yves to me was a great architect. I've been dressed by many designers in my life, but no one understood women's bodies and how to make clothes in the same way.”
Text by Laura Havlin