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The Rock Stars’ Guide to SXSW Style

  • Najib Benouar

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You may have heard: a little music festival by the name of South by Southwest is happening in Austin, Texas, this week.

Over the past couple of decades, the annual gathering has brought together a motley crew of stylish musicians—spanning the eras of grunge to rap to whatever it is we’re calling that thing where a skinny guy playing a tambourine wears a trilby and suspenders with a white T-shirt—so we thought we’d take a look back at the festival’s illustrious history of onstage fashion.

Consider it the rock stars’ guide to SXSW style...»

Emily Ruhl Is Angry at Her Curtains

Emily Ruhlvia The Ones To Watch

In Praise of Thom Sweeney: A beautiful British-cut jacket, courtesy of Thom Sweeney and Simon Crompton. [Permanent Style]

The Pain Ray Is Now a Real Thing: An intrepid defense blogger has a firsthand encounter with DARPA’s new “pain ray,” also known as the Active Denial System. [Wired]

Nice Pants: A preview of Dockers’ new K-1 khakis, due out this summer. [Selectism]

The Killer App That Wasn’t: A tour of SXSW turns up surprisingly few game-changing apps. Here’s what you need to know about...and what you don’t. [FWD]

Kempt Man of the Hour: Donald Glover

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It’s hard to host a party. You want everyone to enjoy themselves, which means keeping track of dozens of little details, but it also means having fun yourself. And if your guests happen to be a crowd of cred-obsessed, possibly shrooming college kids, you also don’t want to come off like a square.

The answer, courtesy of Donald Glover, is to wear a tie. He hosted MTVu’s Woodie Awards at SXSW this past week, in an outfit remarkably similar to an i-banker at happy hour. Granted, the tie’s a little longer than we'd like (that’s what he gets for loosening it on the fly), but otherwise it’s just about perfect: sleeves rolled up to just below the elbow and repp stripe just playful enough to feel young.

It’s still a suit, but he’s done everything possible to dress it down. And if you scan the crowd, there’s no mistaking who’s in charge of the show.

Amanda Seyfried Is Communicating By Bird

Women at Work: Women at work, during the Rosie-the-Riveter days. Ladies? [Archival Clothing]

Brace Yourself: An ode to leather suspenders. We’d definitely like to see more of these. [Men’s Flair]

Ok, This Is The Last SXSW Post: Musings on less-than-credible hip-hop and indie pop, as the festival matures. [Vulture]

And Just Because It’s Friday: Wilson Pickett, soul man and owner of a spectacular pair of loafers, would have been 70 years old today. [YouTube]

Kempt Endorses: Rappers Dressing Like This

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We aren’t entirely up on the new crop of acts emerging out of SXSW, but we know what we like. One thing we like: when rappers wear tie pins.

This is L.A.’s own Shawn Chrystopher, an unsigned, Fiasco-esque rapper who made an impression with an unusually well-dressed performance in Austin. If he keeps up this look, he’s well on his way to being the Thom Browne of hip-hop.

Kempt Man of the Hour: SXSW Edition

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South by Southwest isn’t exactly known for its style. In fact, the Flickr pool suggests a pretty strict uniform of cheap jeans, band tees and flannel. So we thought we’d shine a light on one of the better examples: one Tim Bluhm, of the California psych-pop outfit Mother Hips.

Given the occasion, we’d be hard-pressed to do much better. For one, this is one of the better examples of the work shirt we’ve seen all year. It’s not fancy—and no, it’s not chambray either—but it’s not supposed to be. It’s just a pitch-perfect example of an item that’s on the cusp of trendhood…not that he knows that.

Leighton, Sarah, and Louis

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Girls Gone Somewhat Wild: Terry Richardson redeems himself yet again, providing art for the 18th Gossip Girl-related cover story so far. [Rolling Stone]

Boyish Charm: In case you needed more Band of Outsiders… Sarah Silverman takes over for Kirsten Dunst with Band of Outsiders latest “Boy” shoot. [The Moment]

Westward, Ho: Michael Williams heads to SXSW…and we are jealous yet again. [A Continuous Lean]

Clash of the Titans: Louis Vuitton takes Google to court over copyright infringement. Which side will Kanye choose? [The Cut]