Not just a pretty Blondie

Emily Rose Jackson tells us Debbie Harry has had influence on her style...

Emily Rose Jackson
3rd December 2018

Since the 1970’s Debbie Harry has paved the way for female rockstars; her striking platinum bleached hair, incredible bone structure and penchant for effortlessly cool outfits made her a punk icon overnight. Oh, and because she was and is the lead singer of World-Famous band, Blondie.

Blondie’s new wave musical style was groundbreaking, and Debbie’s attire certainly tore down a few barriers as well. Debbie has been turning looks for decades, she is the first name I image search when I’m in a style rut and as soon as I do, I fall in love with fashion all over again.

[pullquote]When I think of Debbie’s style I instantly think of that head of voluminous bleach blonde hair. [/pullquote]When I think of Debbie’s style I instantly think of that head of voluminous bleach blonde hair. She certainly made being blonde seem a lot more fun and influenced me the first time I reached for the box dye bleach (although my hair turned out to be less icy cool, more banana yellow - thank god for toner). Style-wise, I think of her fabulous statement sunglasses, from the classic pink framed oval pair worn with a matching baby pink beret -as dreamy as it sounds- to being one of the first woman to rock the classic wayfarer style.

Debbie turned the casual elements of the everyday look into an ensemble worthy of its own stadium tour. Her ease in making the staple item unique inspired me to stock up on my own collection; a vintage worn leather biker jacket, the breton striped long sleeve t-shirt and of course a pair of classic blue denim jeans.

But just how does she make these simple clothing pieces punk? Well, attitude is the first step. Debbie Harry wears her clothes, they never wear her. Confidence is key, and if you don’t have that confidence right away, just fake it until you make it. In the past I have stepped out the house in looks so garish that I’d best belong in a Cbeebies series, but when I’ve held my head high I’ve found that nobody questions it, and you start to believe in yourself more too. Another way to make your look more Debbie-esque punk is with a strong makeup look, I certainly wasn’t blessed with Debbie’s sharp cheekbones but with a little bronzer applied carefully I can pretend! Debbie was a big fan of a statement eye; dark metallic shadows, thick eyeliner the lot (especially moving into the 80s, when more was certainly more!) and you can easily recreate her seductive smokey eye at home on any budget.

An iconic look I just have to mention is her phenomenal leopard print midi dress (pictured). With a sweetheart neckline, ¾ sleeves and ruching all down the middle creating a sexy silhouette, this dress would sell out today in a heartbeat - find similar styles at Monki, ASOS and Topshop. This was 1979, and she wore it like a true rockstar. Although, time is pretty irrelevant when it comes to Debbie Harry’s style. Not only does she now look unbelievable for 73, but her look is timeless. Not timeless in that boring “a basic trench coat will never go out of fashion” way, instead as being one of the original fashion and musical rebels. Blondie’s music style may have morphed from their punk roots, but the punk attitude can be traced throughout the years in Debbie’s wardrobe choices as one of the coolest women alive.


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