The concept of movement is all around us. It is in everything we do and because of this, it can lose its meaning, its fluidity, its grace. There is so much beauty in the raw movement of the body, and this even further enhanced through fashion. With fashion added in, movement transforms into performance. People often associate performances with music, but performance can be taken a step further.
Since the core of performance movement is music, it would only be right to first acknowledge those musicians who have enhanced their movement intricately through the different performance costumes they wear, often designed specifically for them and their art.
Michael Jackson, the unanimously acclaimed King of Pop, can also be considered the King of Style, as evidenced through the innovative performance costumes he wore. At the time, music was an art form that radiated simplicity. Musicians would be set up on the stage with their instrument and a microphone, ready to showcase their talent. However, Michael Jackson took his art a step further, choosing to embody and enhance his movement with intricate costumes. Leather, military inspired jackets, sequins and metalwork had audiences entranced by the performances given by the King of Pop himself. Fashion is an expression of self, as is a musician's art, so what better way to fully embody their art than by conveying every aspect of their self to audiences. Michael Jackson was creative, innovative, revolutionary, strong and mysterious, and he embodied all of these aspects through his intricate movements, his memorizing performances, and his iconic style.
Fast forward to today, the King of Pop has now met a worthy match, Queen Bey. Beyoncé, on top of mastering her art and having an incredible voice, has taken music a step further. No longer just for the ears, she has escalated the movement that Michael Jackson once embodied. Her performances are fast, energized, filled with attitude, and very true to her ideals and beliefs. Proving that leotards are not just for ballerinas, Beyoncé has brought a strength and fierceness to her performances, while still remaining glamorously entertaining. It is hard to be a fashionable female performer in this age where women in racy outfits are judged and criticized, however Beyoncé’s costumes, as well as her performance movement, are sexy, strong and show the true versatility of a woman: dominance, vulnerability, strength and beauty.
Though living in the disillusioned fantasy of being God, Kanye West takes pride in his art and his performances can objectively be described as fantastical. His aura of transcendence while he raps is complemented by his style while preforming. Wearing simple flowing shirts and sinister and mysterious masks, coupled with vast stage sets, he adds to this idea that he is inhuman and like a god. While often deemed eccentric and unorthodox, his performance has a movement all its own.
In addition to concerts and Superbowl half-time shows, performance is in sport. Athletes are not unlike musicians in that they will express themselves through endorsing certain apparel by wearing it during their competitions.
Tennis players in particular showcase themselves by endorsing various brands. However, apart from the traditional tennis attire, the athletic-wear movement has taken hold and new styles from jean skirts, leopard printed dresses, metallic embellishments and earrings are being seen all over the tennis court. Maria Sharapova is also one to make a statement during her matches. She has donned fitted dresses with silhouettes like that of a corset. With bold patterns, rhinestone embellishments and even sheer mesh material, Sharapova’s athletic ability is made more personal by allowing her own touches to shine during her performance.
Movement is everywhere, however it remains lackluster without the extra adage to it, without personal and gripping fashion choices, movement falls flat in the face of the memorable performance it could be.