Music and Meat Dresses: A performer’s personal take on dressing to impress

Most people turn to the runway to find attention-grabbing style, but lately I’ve been looking at the stage. Just as a designer has a model, limited steps, and a few quarter turns to get people to love their clothes, up-and-coming musicians have one set list—and one outfit—to make an impression. Don’t believe me? Think Lady Gaga, Madonna, Kiss. All of them dressed outrageously, sold millions of records, and made a huge impression on up and coming fashion. Now, we’re not all wearing dresses made of meat or black and white face paint, but one cannot deny the relationship between fashion trends and music.

The majority of musicians aren’t as extreme as Gaga or Kiss, but most are making conscious decisions about what they wear on stage. Zack Dyer, a 23-year-old musician with one album under his belt and an image to rival John Mayer’s guitar-playing, teenage-girl wooing look, agreed to let me in on his personal style. Showing up to the interview in a leather jacket, a button-down shirt, a tie (tie-clip included), a knit beanie with some casual kicks, Dyer spilled the beans on his music and how he fashionably represents it.


Explain your music style.

ZD: That’s such a hard question. I’d say acoustic pop, rock, sunny-day music.


How long have you been performing?

ZD: I started my own band in the 5th grade, so since then. It consisted of my two friends and I. We wrote all our own music, and played in my basement. We were pretty badass. Eventually I started playing gigs at coffee shops in high school, and most recently had my CD release show at the Loring Theater in Minneapolis.


Explain your personal style.

ZD: Five o’ clock shadow, short sleeve button-downs, tie clips, and beanies. I wear a lot of casual and dressy mixed together, like shirts and ties with jeans.


Is your style on stage different than your everyday style?

ZD: I want to wear light stuff when I’m on stage, since it gets pretty hot up there. I want to wear something that feels comfortable. I like to dress like I didn’t really think about what I was wearing, but I really did.


What’s a typical outfit you wear on stage?

ZD: Jeans, some cool kicks, T-shirt, usually a V-neck. I try dressing really simply, but [the process] is way more complicated.


Do you have a musician style that you particularly idolize?

ZD: James Morrison for sure. And Jason Mraz, he’s always changing it up.


How important do you think it is for musicians to have a distinct style on stage?

ZD: It should matter. I compare this to Lady Gaga. She has a ridiculous appearance at her shows, and where would she be without that? If you want to stick out you have to have neat style.


-Ashley Aram