NEW YORK – The fusion of fashion and music has created the latest look on and off the runways -- rock star style.
This co-ed look, influenced by garage-style bands like The Strokes, The Vines, The Hives, and The White Stripes, has jumped from the stage to the street.
And their style -- low-rise jeans (for women and men), ties tossed around the neck (who has time for knots?), Sgt. Pepper-style jackets and bedroom hair -- has practically been dished about more than their music.
"What's fun is that rock is back but back in a new way," said Jim Moore, creative director of GQ. "It's not the big hair of the '80s or the grunge of '90s. It's new and fresh."
Today's rocker style is laissez-faire with clothes cut slim and accented with hard-edged accessories.
"It's not head-banging rock, it's more sensitive, and the way they look is more sensitive … but a little haphazard," Moore said.
But don't ask the new kids on the block about their look.
"The funniest thing is the band will not do any fashion press, and won't talk about style," Jim Merlis, The Strokes' publicist said via e-mail. But Moore said the look is calculated more than they'd have fans believe.
"It looks like they got dressed in the dark but it all kind of works," he said. "It's an act of looking disheveled that is being practiced. The first time I saw The Vines I thought they look just out of a Marc Jacobs fashion show."
Of course, the interchange between fashion and music often has a what-came-first-the-chicken-or-egg cycle.
Cloak, a men's clothing line based in New York City, gives customers a variety of rocker influences to don. Their shirts are a new take on jacquard-stripe and seersucker, trousers are slim cut through the hips and slouchy at the bottom, teamed with maitre d'-style jackets.
"We're noticing guys wearing things a little bit more trim now across the board," said Moore. "Men are wearing slimmer suits than they used to wear, which means a slimmer shirt, a slimmer tie."
To get the rock star look Moore suggests donning beat-up Converse sneakers, pointy-toed boots, military jackets and Members Only-style jackets with a stand-up collar.
And the look for men's hair is the "faux hawk." Not as severe as the punk Mohawk, this style has slightly longer hair swept into a messy point.
"It has an Adam Ant feeling from the '80s," said Moore. "Messy is in. Men love hair products … All that hair gel and mousse give endless possibilities."
The ladies of rock are also influencing fashion. Kate Dimmock, market director for Marie Claire said the influences have shifted from pop tarts like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera to Meg White (one-half of band The White Stripes) and singer-cum-skater chick Avril Lavigne.
"At the VMA's [MTV Video Music Awards] we're supposed to be shocked [by Spears and Aguilera] but it was like ho-hum, I'm bored, I don't care if you are naked," said Dimmock.
But newcomers Lavigne and White are more interesting fashion influences, said Dimmock. "They're not classic leather rocker. They are sharper and edgier ... Avril has this unique sexy style, she borrows from masculine looks but is feminine."
The key item to own according to Dimmock is, "very sexy jeans worn with high heels or pointy boots."
She also recommends a tight tank top, cargo pants and accents from the '80s like one long earring, an arm cuff or a wide low-slung belt to look rocking.
"Everybody loves a sexy pair of jeans. That's the basis for a rock star look, and has become a staple in everyone's wardrobe," Dimmock said.
And, she added, the style fulfills a fantasy most people share.
"It's fun, everybody has this hidden desire to be a rock star."