Siouxsie Sioux, inside and out
Text Luciano Lapadula
Ethereal skin, eyes as deep as an abyss, a gloomy and transgressive style and a voice as grave as the night complete the figure of Siouxsie Sioux, English singer icon of the suburban Post-Punk trend. At the beginning she was a renown face in the London’s underground clubs, a model for Vivienne Westwood and member of the Bromley Contingent, a group of fan of the Sex Pistols. She made her debut on the music scene with the band Siouxsie and The Banshees in 1976, at the 100 Club in Malcom McLaren. She was a forerunner of trends and musical atmospheres, her showy makeup, which reminds Pola Negri’s makeup at the times of silent cinema, has inspired contemporary creations of the make-up artist Pat McGrath. A quick-change actress and a rare bird, she switched between androgynous appearance and bondage outfits, circus and other ethnical costumes, crests and Nazi symbols challenged social conventions, while the gloves with fake nails as long as claws were a revival of the surrealistic creations by Elsa Schiaparelli.
With her looks, Siouxsie evoked faraway worlds and forgotten times: among the others, she was a tragic Cleopatra, a frightening geisha, a melancholy Lousie Brooks with her powdered face framed by a black bob. Vintage and deconstruction spread also thanks to her art déco dresses, whose sectioned edges were united by big safety pins, symbol of the punk style. The image of the singer advanced Rei Kawakubo and Alexander McQueen’s creations, seducing the fashion world: evident mentions firstly came by Moschino, then by Versace, to get to Rodarte in 2010 and to the punk-chic atmospheres of Saint Laurent in 2015.
Siouxsie, born in the twilights of the London clubs, has emancipated the feminine figure by transforming the glamour concept universally. When a journalist asked her the reason of such an exasperated look, she answered: «I do not dress myself to avoid other people’s gazes, I prefer to feel uneasy while being myself».
Re-edited image cover from the album MantaRay – ph. Fiona Freund