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As It Was: 20 Outfits from Art History We’d Pay to See Harry Styles Wear
... for his next tour, music video, magazine cover, or trip to the shops (just as long as we see it!...
Career 10 May 2022

Harry Styles is the man of the moment. His latest single As It Was broke the record for the most streamed track on Spotify within 24 hours by a male artist, adverts for his upcoming starring role in Don’t Worry Darling are flooding the internet, and his Coachella performance with Lizzo will live in all of our hearts forever.

Styles is famous for his flamboyant, playful wardrobe. When the former One Direction heartthrob featured on the cover of US Vogue in December 2020 (the first solo male ever to do so) wearing a dress, conversations about “gendered” clothing flew into the mainstream. In an interview for the Vogue, Styles said:

“When you take away ‘There’s clothes for men and there’s clothes for women,’ once you remove any barriers, obviously you open up the arena in which you can play. I’ll go in shops sometimes, and I just find myself looking at the women’s clothes thinking they’re amazing. It’s like anything—anytime you’re putting barriers up in your own life, you’re just limiting yourself. There’s so much joy to be had in playing with clothes. I’ve never really thought too much about what it means—it just becomes this extended part of creating something.”

Harry also mentioned his personal rock and roll heroes and the fact that they never limited themselves to “masculine” clothing: Bowie, Mercury, Prince. Styles has joined these legends in the fashion hall of fame, for sure.

From the chic, angular patters of Art Deco, to dreamy suits of armour in Pre-Raphaelite masterpieces – we’ve scoured art history to find outfits we would pay good money to see Harry Styles wearing for his next tour, music video, magazine cover, or trip to the shops (just as long as we see it). Which is your favourite?

Vanity Fair Cover – Georges Lepape, 1919

Portrait of Prospero Alessandri – Giovanni Battista Moroni, 1560

Young Man with a Flower Behind His Ear – Paul Gauguin, 1891

Flaming June – Frederic Lord Leighton, 1895

Portrait of a Cavalier – Cesare Auguste Detti, 19th Century

The Signal – William Powell Frith, 1858

Acrobats – Glyn Philpot, 1935

Young Man Among Roses – Nicholas Hilliard, c. 1585

Boy With a Pipe – Pablo Picasso, 1905

Lorenzacchio – Alphonse Mucha, 1896

Venus Between Terminal Gods – Aubrey Beardsley, 1895

The Kiss – Gustav Klimt, 1908

Dr. Pozzi at Home – John Singer Sargent, 1881

Arrangement in Black, No. 5 – James McNeill Whistler, 1882

Portrait of a Young Man – Jan Lievens, c. 1631

Monet Painting in his Studio – Édouard Manet, 1874

Vogue Cover – Andre E Marty, 1927

Tristan and Isolde – John William Waterhouse, 1916

Two Comedians – Edward Hopper, 1965

The Artist’s Sister at a Window – Berthe Morisot, 1896

Author: Verity Babbs

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