There was a time not so long ago when artists were as concerned about their performance, their persona, and their outfits, in addition to the funky grooves that they were sending out into the airwaves. The Revivalist shares with you our favorite images of funk fashion royalty, artists who have carried trends over the decades, and pioneered aesthetic choices and started trends, while simultaneously audaciously declaring their identity through their choice of clothing.

Betty Davis, Miles’ former wife, and the person who introduced him to the music of James Brown and Jimi Hendrix, and ultimately influenced his experimentation into a new genre coined “fusion.”

Earth Wind & Fire, the band who’s dynamic sound encompassed Latin and African influences, alongside rock, soul and funk music.

Sun Ra, the Afrocentric avant-garde jazz composer, musician, and band leader influenced the fashion sense of many generations of artists after him by adopting a futuristic aesthetic that implied an otherworldly existence.

George Clinton, a fashion pioneer in his own right, and parallels the earlier futuristic aesthetics of Sun Ra.

Sly Stone, one of the most audacious artists of his time, not only created groundbreaking music, but envelope pushing fashion.

Betty Davis again, ever provocative, always intriguing.

Tina Turner in a rare moment during an Egyptian inspired shoot. Typically she is remembered for her signature big blond teased out hair.

Miles Davis, the Prince of Darkness, and an always fashion forward individual, who took to this era’s trends through the influence of his then wife, Betty Davis.

Chaka Khan, was playing as the lead vocalist for Rufus during this photograph. Her indigenous inspired, flower child style was indicative of the period when women of color reclaimed their natural hair, and declared that black, was in fact, beautiful.

Minnie Riperton’s incredible vocal range is what put her on the map, but her amazing natural that she would gently accentuate with flowers or other subtle accessories was always noteworthy.

An exciting combination of Chuck Berry era rock & roll fashion, and a flashier aesthetic of R&B groups, James Brown brought musical showmanship and stage fashion to the next level.

Fela Kuti, the godfather of Afrobeat music, married Nigerian music and culture with African-American politics and the traditions of American jazz and funk music.

Don’t sleep on Stevie Wonder. From his later signature braids to his velvet three-piece suits, Stevie was one sharp brother.

Curated by Boyuan Gao and Tamara Davidson


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