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
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
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

    Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property Solicitor - Exeter

    Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - A great new opportunity with real pot...

    Austen Lloyd: Senior Private Client Solicitor - Exeter

    Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: EXETER - An outstanding senior opportunity for...

    Sauce Recruitment: Retail Planning Manager - Home Entertainment UK

    salary equal to £40K pro-rata: Sauce Recruitment: Are you available to start a...

    Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - London - up to £40,000

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Creative Front-End Developer - Claph...

    Day In a Page

    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower