Alexander Fury: I've long been obsessed with Rhythm Nation

Wear, what, why, when?

I've been attending fashion shows for half a decade, but even in that relatively short time I've learnt a few things. Namely, don't open the goodie bag in the venue, don't be on time, and don't rubberneck the celebrities.

Nevertheless, I think that for every hardened fashion journo, there's one star sighting that makes them crack. There's usually a frisson of excitement among the fashion press when, say, the septuagenarian designer Azzedine Alaïa attends a show, the fashion equivalent of a papal blessing.

Mine, however, is much less cool. And much less "fashion". It was Janet Jackson front row at Versace, clasping the hand of her future husband, Wissam Al Mana, and seated next to the new Versus designer Jonathan Anderson. He waved hello to me; unfortunately, I couldn't return the gesture as I was mid-hyperventilation.

Let me explain: for me, this is the fashion celebrity sighting. Jackson is a style icon to me. Don't laugh – though I understand why you might. But the artwork created with Eighties illustrator Tony Viramontes for Control stands the test of time, as does the video for 1989's "Rhythm Nation".

OK, my tongue is slightly in my cheek there, but for about 20 years I've been obsessed with that ironic-iconic "Rhythm Nation" get-up of quasi-military uniform accessorised with a single key on a hoop earring. During his tenure at Bottega Veneta in 2001, the British designer Giles Deacon controversially revived that Janet era, earring and all. He designed record boxes in solid silver, patent guitar cases, and plenty of excessive Eighties shoulder lines. It's probably the best collection I've seen.

Fast-forward to Versace last month, and it was a "Rhythm" redux. Janet wasn't just watching these clothes, she was inspiring them, too. Two-inch nails piercing a single ear reminded me of that key, the oversized coats in primary mink were very mid-Eighties "Nasty" (a Janet single, rather than a style judgement), and as for the dog collars, latex and studs? They felt like a great chunk out of the infamously malfunctioning wardrobe JJ sported for the 2004 Super Bowl. She deserves a place in the fashion hall of fame for that, if nothing else.

Alexander Fury is editor of Love magazine

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Electricians - Fixed Wire Testing

    £28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a result of significant cont...

    Recruitment Genius: Experienced Mechanic

    £17500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Auto centre is based in We...

    Recruitment Genius: Vehicle Technician

    £20000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This long established dealer gr...

    Recruitment Genius: Contact Centre Team Manager

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Company is the UK's leading...

    Day In a Page

    Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

    Greece referendum

    Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
    Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

    7/7 bombings anniversary

    Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

    Versace haute couture review

    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
    No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

    No hope and no jobs in Gaza

    So the young risk their lives and run for it
    Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

    Fashion apps

    Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
    Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

    'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

    Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
    Compton Cricket Club

    Compton Cricket Club

    Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
    London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

    Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

    'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

    It helps a winner keep on winning
    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate