Heading

This is some text inside of a div block.

Charlotte Ryan on the unique style of New Zealand music

Above: Marlon Williams, photographed by Derek Henderson.

Music, like fashion, is a way of self expression. For many musicians, their style is essential to help create their identity, and sometimes, create attention.

I love seeing what musicians choose to wear at award ceremonies, in photoshoots, on stage and in their music videos. In recent years at the Aotearoa Music Awards, artists have made political statements through fashion - like Tami Neilson’s gender equality dress at last year’s event and Mara TK’s Ihumātao leather jacket.

For Te Marama Puoro OAotearoa NZ Music Month, I'm excited to share a small sample of some of our most fashionable musicians and their video moments - with the exception of Lorde and Benee, who we know always look amazing.

• Look out for Charlotte’s music column on Stuff each Thursday, where she shares weekly picks of the best new videos from local musicians – and one blast from our music video past.

Aldous Harding - Fever 

Directed by Aldous Harding and Martin Sagadin

Aldous Harding has just released her fourth album Warm Chris, and is about to take off on a worldwide tour, with some fantastic outfits no doubt. 

I remember one tour she did around 2018, when she wore only white on stage; usually white jeans, a white T-shirt and jacket. It worked so well, she looked effortless, comfortable and completely cool.

Aldous is very involved with everything she wears, sourcing costumes and sometimes creating things specifically. For her it's about feeling comfortable, but also using clothes to help get into character while performing. 

She always appears so effortless. In the music video for the song Fever, she reminds us how good a crisp white shirt can look, and of the beauty of wool. Her turned up hat - along with her dancing in one particular scene - reminds me of the 90s TV character Blossom and I love it. Carefree and fun, with a tinge of darkness. 

The 3Ds - Hey Seuss

Directed by Andrew Moore

This video, in all its colour, takes us back to the 90s. I love the printed and patterned shirts that the band are wearing, and the hats. Lead singer David Saunders took me straight back to cold Cashel Street days in Christchurch with his tall beanie that flops about as he plays the distorted guitar. Denise Roughan shows the influence of the song's title by wearing a very 90s, Dr Seuss-inspired hat. 

Rumour has it that The 3Ds influenced Stephen Malkmus of Pavement not only in sound, but fashion too! I can see it. 

Moana & The Tribe - AEIOU

Directed by Kerry Brown

Any Moana & The Tribe video from the 90s is iconic, and treasured in NZ music history. The lyrics and message in AEIOU are still incredibly relevant today - encouraging all to educate ourselves about our culture and learn and celebrate the Māori language. Music videos from this era also capture a moment in fashion history. In AEIOU the fashion is bold and colourful Māori and Pasifika prints and imagery. Moana Maniapoto, Mina Ripia and Teremoana Rapley are wearing amazing outfits from Zambesi and Street Life (now Helen Cherry). Spot the cameos by Temuera Morrison, Mika, MC OJ and Rhythm Slave.

Erny Belle - Hell Hole

Directed by Erny Belle & Matt Hunter

Erny Belle released her debut album Venus is Home this year, and it has made an impression on me and many others. She sings about her home in Northland,  Maungatūroto and the juxtaposition of city life in Auckland. I love her style and character too.

Marlon Williams - My Boy 

Directed by Martin Sagadin & Marlon Williams

Marlon Williams is bringing back the classic Fred Dagg style very well. He is not wearing red top gumboots (musician Troy Kingi seems to have taken up this look), but the plain white singlet and stubbies he wears in his latest video for the song My Boy are representing Kiwi style like no other. 

Tami Neilson - You Were Mine

Produced by Valiant Creative Agency 

Tami Neilson grew up in the country music scene in America, so admits she has always loved dressing up - especially for performing on stage. She takes inspiration from country singers like Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn with lots of tassels and ‘diamonds’. She works closely with local dressmaker Judy Moughton and Wellington artist Xoë Hall who decorates and bedazzles the beautiful dresses to give Tami even more of a shimmer than she naturally has.

Shona Laing - (Glad I’m) Not A Kennedy  

Directed by Bruce Sheridan

In 1988 Shona Laing returned from London to record her brilliant album South, and had great success with her song (Glad Im Not) a Kenneddy. The video has dark overtones, naturally because of the lyrics and perhaps the headspace Shona was in. I love her earrings and black trench coat. This could all be worn today and still be very fashionable - timeless, like the song. 

Fur Patrol - Lydia 

Directed by Jonathan King

As a teenager of the 90s, I was one of many struck by the fashionable style and amazing haircuts of Julia Deans, frontwoman of Fur Patrol. She wore a classic Zambesi halterneck dress in the video for Lydia, and educated me in the skirt over wide leg pants look of the time. 

Fur Patrol has just announced new dates to celebrate 21 years of their debut album Pet, touring in August. I imagine Julia, who is still very much into fashion, will wear Tanya Carlson - a local designer who has dressed her for the red carpet and all her videos in recent years. 

The Mint Chicks - She's a Mod

Directed by Mitchell Hawkes

The Mint Chicks were known for their amazing music, live shows, creative art and original style. They usually wore full black, but for special occasions, like videos, photoshoots and special shows, the band wore all sorts of interesting suits and designs - including gold two-piece suits, with frontman Kody accessorising with a chainsaw at the Big Day Out in 2005.

In 2009 Ray Columbus & The Invaders were inducted into the NZ Hall Of Fame as part of the NZ Music Awards, and The Mint Chicks were asked to rework one of Ray's classic songs. For the performance, all members of the band went classic mod wearing black suits that showcased that iconic style - and a fantastic song that transcends and is loved by young and old.

Bic Runga - Something Good

Directed by Chris Graham 

Bic Runga celebrates local fashion in many of her photo shoots, events and music videos. In an early bold moment in 2000, she wore Nom*D’s half-cut dress in her music video for Something Good while walking through Cuba Street, past the bucket fountain and various shops. She has also worked with Zambesi, Kate Sylvester and in recent years, collaborated with Kristine Crabb (Miss Crabb and now Gloria). 

Margaret Urlich - Escaping

Margaret Urlich, along with four other amazing wahine musicians Annie Crummer, Debbie Harwood, Kim Willoughby and Dianne Swann, was inducted into the NZ Music Hall of Fame last year as When The Cat's Away - known for their hit cover Melting Pot.

For Margaret, the band was a fun side project with girlfriends as she also had a very successful solo career in music - and in my eyes, fashion too. This video shows Margaret wearing amazing 90s fashion, initially dark and moping about a lost love - but she later pulls out the dance moves and more from her amazing wardrobe.

For your listening pleasure:

No items found.

Above: Marlon Williams, photographed by Derek Henderson.

Music, like fashion, is a way of self expression. For many musicians, their style is essential to help create their identity, and sometimes, create attention.

I love seeing what musicians choose to wear at award ceremonies, in photoshoots, on stage and in their music videos. In recent years at the Aotearoa Music Awards, artists have made political statements through fashion - like Tami Neilson’s gender equality dress at last year’s event and Mara TK’s Ihumātao leather jacket.

For Te Marama Puoro OAotearoa NZ Music Month, I'm excited to share a small sample of some of our most fashionable musicians and their video moments - with the exception of Lorde and Benee, who we know always look amazing.

• Look out for Charlotte’s music column on Stuff each Thursday, where she shares weekly picks of the best new videos from local musicians – and one blast from our music video past.

Aldous Harding - Fever 

Directed by Aldous Harding and Martin Sagadin

Aldous Harding has just released her fourth album Warm Chris, and is about to take off on a worldwide tour, with some fantastic outfits no doubt. 

I remember one tour she did around 2018, when she wore only white on stage; usually white jeans, a white T-shirt and jacket. It worked so well, she looked effortless, comfortable and completely cool.

Aldous is very involved with everything she wears, sourcing costumes and sometimes creating things specifically. For her it's about feeling comfortable, but also using clothes to help get into character while performing. 

She always appears so effortless. In the music video for the song Fever, she reminds us how good a crisp white shirt can look, and of the beauty of wool. Her turned up hat - along with her dancing in one particular scene - reminds me of the 90s TV character Blossom and I love it. Carefree and fun, with a tinge of darkness. 

The 3Ds - Hey Seuss

Directed by Andrew Moore

This video, in all its colour, takes us back to the 90s. I love the printed and patterned shirts that the band are wearing, and the hats. Lead singer David Saunders took me straight back to cold Cashel Street days in Christchurch with his tall beanie that flops about as he plays the distorted guitar. Denise Roughan shows the influence of the song's title by wearing a very 90s, Dr Seuss-inspired hat. 

Rumour has it that The 3Ds influenced Stephen Malkmus of Pavement not only in sound, but fashion too! I can see it. 

Moana & The Tribe - AEIOU

Directed by Kerry Brown

Any Moana & The Tribe video from the 90s is iconic, and treasured in NZ music history. The lyrics and message in AEIOU are still incredibly relevant today - encouraging all to educate ourselves about our culture and learn and celebrate the Māori language. Music videos from this era also capture a moment in fashion history. In AEIOU the fashion is bold and colourful Māori and Pasifika prints and imagery. Moana Maniapoto, Mina Ripia and Teremoana Rapley are wearing amazing outfits from Zambesi and Street Life (now Helen Cherry). Spot the cameos by Temuera Morrison, Mika, MC OJ and Rhythm Slave.

Erny Belle - Hell Hole

Directed by Erny Belle & Matt Hunter

Erny Belle released her debut album Venus is Home this year, and it has made an impression on me and many others. She sings about her home in Northland,  Maungatūroto and the juxtaposition of city life in Auckland. I love her style and character too.

Marlon Williams - My Boy 

Directed by Martin Sagadin & Marlon Williams

Marlon Williams is bringing back the classic Fred Dagg style very well. He is not wearing red top gumboots (musician Troy Kingi seems to have taken up this look), but the plain white singlet and stubbies he wears in his latest video for the song My Boy are representing Kiwi style like no other. 

Tami Neilson - You Were Mine

Produced by Valiant Creative Agency 

Tami Neilson grew up in the country music scene in America, so admits she has always loved dressing up - especially for performing on stage. She takes inspiration from country singers like Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn with lots of tassels and ‘diamonds’. She works closely with local dressmaker Judy Moughton and Wellington artist Xoë Hall who decorates and bedazzles the beautiful dresses to give Tami even more of a shimmer than she naturally has.

Shona Laing - (Glad I’m) Not A Kennedy  

Directed by Bruce Sheridan

In 1988 Shona Laing returned from London to record her brilliant album South, and had great success with her song (Glad Im Not) a Kenneddy. The video has dark overtones, naturally because of the lyrics and perhaps the headspace Shona was in. I love her earrings and black trench coat. This could all be worn today and still be very fashionable - timeless, like the song. 

Fur Patrol - Lydia 

Directed by Jonathan King

As a teenager of the 90s, I was one of many struck by the fashionable style and amazing haircuts of Julia Deans, frontwoman of Fur Patrol. She wore a classic Zambesi halterneck dress in the video for Lydia, and educated me in the skirt over wide leg pants look of the time. 

Fur Patrol has just announced new dates to celebrate 21 years of their debut album Pet, touring in August. I imagine Julia, who is still very much into fashion, will wear Tanya Carlson - a local designer who has dressed her for the red carpet and all her videos in recent years. 

The Mint Chicks - She's a Mod

Directed by Mitchell Hawkes

The Mint Chicks were known for their amazing music, live shows, creative art and original style. They usually wore full black, but for special occasions, like videos, photoshoots and special shows, the band wore all sorts of interesting suits and designs - including gold two-piece suits, with frontman Kody accessorising with a chainsaw at the Big Day Out in 2005.

In 2009 Ray Columbus & The Invaders were inducted into the NZ Hall Of Fame as part of the NZ Music Awards, and The Mint Chicks were asked to rework one of Ray's classic songs. For the performance, all members of the band went classic mod wearing black suits that showcased that iconic style - and a fantastic song that transcends and is loved by young and old.

Bic Runga - Something Good

Directed by Chris Graham 

Bic Runga celebrates local fashion in many of her photo shoots, events and music videos. In an early bold moment in 2000, she wore Nom*D’s half-cut dress in her music video for Something Good while walking through Cuba Street, past the bucket fountain and various shops. She has also worked with Zambesi, Kate Sylvester and in recent years, collaborated with Kristine Crabb (Miss Crabb and now Gloria). 

Margaret Urlich - Escaping

Margaret Urlich, along with four other amazing wahine musicians Annie Crummer, Debbie Harwood, Kim Willoughby and Dianne Swann, was inducted into the NZ Music Hall of Fame last year as When The Cat's Away - known for their hit cover Melting Pot.

For Margaret, the band was a fun side project with girlfriends as she also had a very successful solo career in music - and in my eyes, fashion too. This video shows Margaret wearing amazing 90s fashion, initially dark and moping about a lost love - but she later pulls out the dance moves and more from her amazing wardrobe.

For your listening pleasure:

Creativity, evocative visual storytelling and good journalism come at a price. Support our work and join the Ensemble membership program
No items found.

Charlotte Ryan on the unique style of New Zealand music

Above: Marlon Williams, photographed by Derek Henderson.

Music, like fashion, is a way of self expression. For many musicians, their style is essential to help create their identity, and sometimes, create attention.

I love seeing what musicians choose to wear at award ceremonies, in photoshoots, on stage and in their music videos. In recent years at the Aotearoa Music Awards, artists have made political statements through fashion - like Tami Neilson’s gender equality dress at last year’s event and Mara TK’s Ihumātao leather jacket.

For Te Marama Puoro OAotearoa NZ Music Month, I'm excited to share a small sample of some of our most fashionable musicians and their video moments - with the exception of Lorde and Benee, who we know always look amazing.

• Look out for Charlotte’s music column on Stuff each Thursday, where she shares weekly picks of the best new videos from local musicians – and one blast from our music video past.

Aldous Harding - Fever 

Directed by Aldous Harding and Martin Sagadin

Aldous Harding has just released her fourth album Warm Chris, and is about to take off on a worldwide tour, with some fantastic outfits no doubt. 

I remember one tour she did around 2018, when she wore only white on stage; usually white jeans, a white T-shirt and jacket. It worked so well, she looked effortless, comfortable and completely cool.

Aldous is very involved with everything she wears, sourcing costumes and sometimes creating things specifically. For her it's about feeling comfortable, but also using clothes to help get into character while performing. 

She always appears so effortless. In the music video for the song Fever, she reminds us how good a crisp white shirt can look, and of the beauty of wool. Her turned up hat - along with her dancing in one particular scene - reminds me of the 90s TV character Blossom and I love it. Carefree and fun, with a tinge of darkness. 

The 3Ds - Hey Seuss

Directed by Andrew Moore

This video, in all its colour, takes us back to the 90s. I love the printed and patterned shirts that the band are wearing, and the hats. Lead singer David Saunders took me straight back to cold Cashel Street days in Christchurch with his tall beanie that flops about as he plays the distorted guitar. Denise Roughan shows the influence of the song's title by wearing a very 90s, Dr Seuss-inspired hat. 

Rumour has it that The 3Ds influenced Stephen Malkmus of Pavement not only in sound, but fashion too! I can see it. 

Moana & The Tribe - AEIOU

Directed by Kerry Brown

Any Moana & The Tribe video from the 90s is iconic, and treasured in NZ music history. The lyrics and message in AEIOU are still incredibly relevant today - encouraging all to educate ourselves about our culture and learn and celebrate the Māori language. Music videos from this era also capture a moment in fashion history. In AEIOU the fashion is bold and colourful Māori and Pasifika prints and imagery. Moana Maniapoto, Mina Ripia and Teremoana Rapley are wearing amazing outfits from Zambesi and Street Life (now Helen Cherry). Spot the cameos by Temuera Morrison, Mika, MC OJ and Rhythm Slave.

Erny Belle - Hell Hole

Directed by Erny Belle & Matt Hunter

Erny Belle released her debut album Venus is Home this year, and it has made an impression on me and many others. She sings about her home in Northland,  Maungatūroto and the juxtaposition of city life in Auckland. I love her style and character too.

Marlon Williams - My Boy 

Directed by Martin Sagadin & Marlon Williams

Marlon Williams is bringing back the classic Fred Dagg style very well. He is not wearing red top gumboots (musician Troy Kingi seems to have taken up this look), but the plain white singlet and stubbies he wears in his latest video for the song My Boy are representing Kiwi style like no other. 

Tami Neilson - You Were Mine

Produced by Valiant Creative Agency 

Tami Neilson grew up in the country music scene in America, so admits she has always loved dressing up - especially for performing on stage. She takes inspiration from country singers like Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn with lots of tassels and ‘diamonds’. She works closely with local dressmaker Judy Moughton and Wellington artist Xoë Hall who decorates and bedazzles the beautiful dresses to give Tami even more of a shimmer than she naturally has.

Shona Laing - (Glad I’m) Not A Kennedy  

Directed by Bruce Sheridan

In 1988 Shona Laing returned from London to record her brilliant album South, and had great success with her song (Glad Im Not) a Kenneddy. The video has dark overtones, naturally because of the lyrics and perhaps the headspace Shona was in. I love her earrings and black trench coat. This could all be worn today and still be very fashionable - timeless, like the song. 

Fur Patrol - Lydia 

Directed by Jonathan King

As a teenager of the 90s, I was one of many struck by the fashionable style and amazing haircuts of Julia Deans, frontwoman of Fur Patrol. She wore a classic Zambesi halterneck dress in the video for Lydia, and educated me in the skirt over wide leg pants look of the time. 

Fur Patrol has just announced new dates to celebrate 21 years of their debut album Pet, touring in August. I imagine Julia, who is still very much into fashion, will wear Tanya Carlson - a local designer who has dressed her for the red carpet and all her videos in recent years. 

The Mint Chicks - She's a Mod

Directed by Mitchell Hawkes

The Mint Chicks were known for their amazing music, live shows, creative art and original style. They usually wore full black, but for special occasions, like videos, photoshoots and special shows, the band wore all sorts of interesting suits and designs - including gold two-piece suits, with frontman Kody accessorising with a chainsaw at the Big Day Out in 2005.

In 2009 Ray Columbus & The Invaders were inducted into the NZ Hall Of Fame as part of the NZ Music Awards, and The Mint Chicks were asked to rework one of Ray's classic songs. For the performance, all members of the band went classic mod wearing black suits that showcased that iconic style - and a fantastic song that transcends and is loved by young and old.

Bic Runga - Something Good

Directed by Chris Graham 

Bic Runga celebrates local fashion in many of her photo shoots, events and music videos. In an early bold moment in 2000, she wore Nom*D’s half-cut dress in her music video for Something Good while walking through Cuba Street, past the bucket fountain and various shops. She has also worked with Zambesi, Kate Sylvester and in recent years, collaborated with Kristine Crabb (Miss Crabb and now Gloria). 

Margaret Urlich - Escaping

Margaret Urlich, along with four other amazing wahine musicians Annie Crummer, Debbie Harwood, Kim Willoughby and Dianne Swann, was inducted into the NZ Music Hall of Fame last year as When The Cat's Away - known for their hit cover Melting Pot.

For Margaret, the band was a fun side project with girlfriends as she also had a very successful solo career in music - and in my eyes, fashion too. This video shows Margaret wearing amazing 90s fashion, initially dark and moping about a lost love - but she later pulls out the dance moves and more from her amazing wardrobe.

For your listening pleasure:

No items found.
Creativity, evocative visual storytelling and good journalism come at a price. Support our work and join the Ensemble membership program

Charlotte Ryan on the unique style of New Zealand music

Above: Marlon Williams, photographed by Derek Henderson.

Music, like fashion, is a way of self expression. For many musicians, their style is essential to help create their identity, and sometimes, create attention.

I love seeing what musicians choose to wear at award ceremonies, in photoshoots, on stage and in their music videos. In recent years at the Aotearoa Music Awards, artists have made political statements through fashion - like Tami Neilson’s gender equality dress at last year’s event and Mara TK’s Ihumātao leather jacket.

For Te Marama Puoro OAotearoa NZ Music Month, I'm excited to share a small sample of some of our most fashionable musicians and their video moments - with the exception of Lorde and Benee, who we know always look amazing.

• Look out for Charlotte’s music column on Stuff each Thursday, where she shares weekly picks of the best new videos from local musicians – and one blast from our music video past.

Aldous Harding - Fever 

Directed by Aldous Harding and Martin Sagadin

Aldous Harding has just released her fourth album Warm Chris, and is about to take off on a worldwide tour, with some fantastic outfits no doubt. 

I remember one tour she did around 2018, when she wore only white on stage; usually white jeans, a white T-shirt and jacket. It worked so well, she looked effortless, comfortable and completely cool.

Aldous is very involved with everything she wears, sourcing costumes and sometimes creating things specifically. For her it's about feeling comfortable, but also using clothes to help get into character while performing. 

She always appears so effortless. In the music video for the song Fever, she reminds us how good a crisp white shirt can look, and of the beauty of wool. Her turned up hat - along with her dancing in one particular scene - reminds me of the 90s TV character Blossom and I love it. Carefree and fun, with a tinge of darkness. 

The 3Ds - Hey Seuss

Directed by Andrew Moore

This video, in all its colour, takes us back to the 90s. I love the printed and patterned shirts that the band are wearing, and the hats. Lead singer David Saunders took me straight back to cold Cashel Street days in Christchurch with his tall beanie that flops about as he plays the distorted guitar. Denise Roughan shows the influence of the song's title by wearing a very 90s, Dr Seuss-inspired hat. 

Rumour has it that The 3Ds influenced Stephen Malkmus of Pavement not only in sound, but fashion too! I can see it. 

Moana & The Tribe - AEIOU

Directed by Kerry Brown

Any Moana & The Tribe video from the 90s is iconic, and treasured in NZ music history. The lyrics and message in AEIOU are still incredibly relevant today - encouraging all to educate ourselves about our culture and learn and celebrate the Māori language. Music videos from this era also capture a moment in fashion history. In AEIOU the fashion is bold and colourful Māori and Pasifika prints and imagery. Moana Maniapoto, Mina Ripia and Teremoana Rapley are wearing amazing outfits from Zambesi and Street Life (now Helen Cherry). Spot the cameos by Temuera Morrison, Mika, MC OJ and Rhythm Slave.

Erny Belle - Hell Hole

Directed by Erny Belle & Matt Hunter

Erny Belle released her debut album Venus is Home this year, and it has made an impression on me and many others. She sings about her home in Northland,  Maungatūroto and the juxtaposition of city life in Auckland. I love her style and character too.

Marlon Williams - My Boy 

Directed by Martin Sagadin & Marlon Williams

Marlon Williams is bringing back the classic Fred Dagg style very well. He is not wearing red top gumboots (musician Troy Kingi seems to have taken up this look), but the plain white singlet and stubbies he wears in his latest video for the song My Boy are representing Kiwi style like no other. 

Tami Neilson - You Were Mine

Produced by Valiant Creative Agency 

Tami Neilson grew up in the country music scene in America, so admits she has always loved dressing up - especially for performing on stage. She takes inspiration from country singers like Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn with lots of tassels and ‘diamonds’. She works closely with local dressmaker Judy Moughton and Wellington artist Xoë Hall who decorates and bedazzles the beautiful dresses to give Tami even more of a shimmer than she naturally has.

Shona Laing - (Glad I’m) Not A Kennedy  

Directed by Bruce Sheridan

In 1988 Shona Laing returned from London to record her brilliant album South, and had great success with her song (Glad Im Not) a Kenneddy. The video has dark overtones, naturally because of the lyrics and perhaps the headspace Shona was in. I love her earrings and black trench coat. This could all be worn today and still be very fashionable - timeless, like the song. 

Fur Patrol - Lydia 

Directed by Jonathan King

As a teenager of the 90s, I was one of many struck by the fashionable style and amazing haircuts of Julia Deans, frontwoman of Fur Patrol. She wore a classic Zambesi halterneck dress in the video for Lydia, and educated me in the skirt over wide leg pants look of the time. 

Fur Patrol has just announced new dates to celebrate 21 years of their debut album Pet, touring in August. I imagine Julia, who is still very much into fashion, will wear Tanya Carlson - a local designer who has dressed her for the red carpet and all her videos in recent years. 

The Mint Chicks - She's a Mod

Directed by Mitchell Hawkes

The Mint Chicks were known for their amazing music, live shows, creative art and original style. They usually wore full black, but for special occasions, like videos, photoshoots and special shows, the band wore all sorts of interesting suits and designs - including gold two-piece suits, with frontman Kody accessorising with a chainsaw at the Big Day Out in 2005.

In 2009 Ray Columbus & The Invaders were inducted into the NZ Hall Of Fame as part of the NZ Music Awards, and The Mint Chicks were asked to rework one of Ray's classic songs. For the performance, all members of the band went classic mod wearing black suits that showcased that iconic style - and a fantastic song that transcends and is loved by young and old.

Bic Runga - Something Good

Directed by Chris Graham 

Bic Runga celebrates local fashion in many of her photo shoots, events and music videos. In an early bold moment in 2000, she wore Nom*D’s half-cut dress in her music video for Something Good while walking through Cuba Street, past the bucket fountain and various shops. She has also worked with Zambesi, Kate Sylvester and in recent years, collaborated with Kristine Crabb (Miss Crabb and now Gloria). 

Margaret Urlich - Escaping

Margaret Urlich, along with four other amazing wahine musicians Annie Crummer, Debbie Harwood, Kim Willoughby and Dianne Swann, was inducted into the NZ Music Hall of Fame last year as When The Cat's Away - known for their hit cover Melting Pot.

For Margaret, the band was a fun side project with girlfriends as she also had a very successful solo career in music - and in my eyes, fashion too. This video shows Margaret wearing amazing 90s fashion, initially dark and moping about a lost love - but she later pulls out the dance moves and more from her amazing wardrobe.

For your listening pleasure:

Creativity, evocative visual storytelling and good journalism come at a price. Support our work and join the Ensemble membership program
No items found.

Above: Marlon Williams, photographed by Derek Henderson.

Music, like fashion, is a way of self expression. For many musicians, their style is essential to help create their identity, and sometimes, create attention.

I love seeing what musicians choose to wear at award ceremonies, in photoshoots, on stage and in their music videos. In recent years at the Aotearoa Music Awards, artists have made political statements through fashion - like Tami Neilson’s gender equality dress at last year’s event and Mara TK’s Ihumātao leather jacket.

For Te Marama Puoro OAotearoa NZ Music Month, I'm excited to share a small sample of some of our most fashionable musicians and their video moments - with the exception of Lorde and Benee, who we know always look amazing.

• Look out for Charlotte’s music column on Stuff each Thursday, where she shares weekly picks of the best new videos from local musicians – and one blast from our music video past.

Aldous Harding - Fever 

Directed by Aldous Harding and Martin Sagadin

Aldous Harding has just released her fourth album Warm Chris, and is about to take off on a worldwide tour, with some fantastic outfits no doubt. 

I remember one tour she did around 2018, when she wore only white on stage; usually white jeans, a white T-shirt and jacket. It worked so well, she looked effortless, comfortable and completely cool.

Aldous is very involved with everything she wears, sourcing costumes and sometimes creating things specifically. For her it's about feeling comfortable, but also using clothes to help get into character while performing. 

She always appears so effortless. In the music video for the song Fever, she reminds us how good a crisp white shirt can look, and of the beauty of wool. Her turned up hat - along with her dancing in one particular scene - reminds me of the 90s TV character Blossom and I love it. Carefree and fun, with a tinge of darkness. 

The 3Ds - Hey Seuss

Directed by Andrew Moore

This video, in all its colour, takes us back to the 90s. I love the printed and patterned shirts that the band are wearing, and the hats. Lead singer David Saunders took me straight back to cold Cashel Street days in Christchurch with his tall beanie that flops about as he plays the distorted guitar. Denise Roughan shows the influence of the song's title by wearing a very 90s, Dr Seuss-inspired hat. 

Rumour has it that The 3Ds influenced Stephen Malkmus of Pavement not only in sound, but fashion too! I can see it. 

Moana & The Tribe - AEIOU

Directed by Kerry Brown

Any Moana & The Tribe video from the 90s is iconic, and treasured in NZ music history. The lyrics and message in AEIOU are still incredibly relevant today - encouraging all to educate ourselves about our culture and learn and celebrate the Māori language. Music videos from this era also capture a moment in fashion history. In AEIOU the fashion is bold and colourful Māori and Pasifika prints and imagery. Moana Maniapoto, Mina Ripia and Teremoana Rapley are wearing amazing outfits from Zambesi and Street Life (now Helen Cherry). Spot the cameos by Temuera Morrison, Mika, MC OJ and Rhythm Slave.

Erny Belle - Hell Hole

Directed by Erny Belle & Matt Hunter

Erny Belle released her debut album Venus is Home this year, and it has made an impression on me and many others. She sings about her home in Northland,  Maungatūroto and the juxtaposition of city life in Auckland. I love her style and character too.

Marlon Williams - My Boy 

Directed by Martin Sagadin & Marlon Williams

Marlon Williams is bringing back the classic Fred Dagg style very well. He is not wearing red top gumboots (musician Troy Kingi seems to have taken up this look), but the plain white singlet and stubbies he wears in his latest video for the song My Boy are representing Kiwi style like no other. 

Tami Neilson - You Were Mine

Produced by Valiant Creative Agency 

Tami Neilson grew up in the country music scene in America, so admits she has always loved dressing up - especially for performing on stage. She takes inspiration from country singers like Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn with lots of tassels and ‘diamonds’. She works closely with local dressmaker Judy Moughton and Wellington artist Xoë Hall who decorates and bedazzles the beautiful dresses to give Tami even more of a shimmer than she naturally has.

Shona Laing - (Glad I’m) Not A Kennedy  

Directed by Bruce Sheridan

In 1988 Shona Laing returned from London to record her brilliant album South, and had great success with her song (Glad Im Not) a Kenneddy. The video has dark overtones, naturally because of the lyrics and perhaps the headspace Shona was in. I love her earrings and black trench coat. This could all be worn today and still be very fashionable - timeless, like the song. 

Fur Patrol - Lydia 

Directed by Jonathan King

As a teenager of the 90s, I was one of many struck by the fashionable style and amazing haircuts of Julia Deans, frontwoman of Fur Patrol. She wore a classic Zambesi halterneck dress in the video for Lydia, and educated me in the skirt over wide leg pants look of the time. 

Fur Patrol has just announced new dates to celebrate 21 years of their debut album Pet, touring in August. I imagine Julia, who is still very much into fashion, will wear Tanya Carlson - a local designer who has dressed her for the red carpet and all her videos in recent years. 

The Mint Chicks - She's a Mod

Directed by Mitchell Hawkes

The Mint Chicks were known for their amazing music, live shows, creative art and original style. They usually wore full black, but for special occasions, like videos, photoshoots and special shows, the band wore all sorts of interesting suits and designs - including gold two-piece suits, with frontman Kody accessorising with a chainsaw at the Big Day Out in 2005.

In 2009 Ray Columbus & The Invaders were inducted into the NZ Hall Of Fame as part of the NZ Music Awards, and The Mint Chicks were asked to rework one of Ray's classic songs. For the performance, all members of the band went classic mod wearing black suits that showcased that iconic style - and a fantastic song that transcends and is loved by young and old.

Bic Runga - Something Good

Directed by Chris Graham 

Bic Runga celebrates local fashion in many of her photo shoots, events and music videos. In an early bold moment in 2000, she wore Nom*D’s half-cut dress in her music video for Something Good while walking through Cuba Street, past the bucket fountain and various shops. She has also worked with Zambesi, Kate Sylvester and in recent years, collaborated with Kristine Crabb (Miss Crabb and now Gloria). 

Margaret Urlich - Escaping

Margaret Urlich, along with four other amazing wahine musicians Annie Crummer, Debbie Harwood, Kim Willoughby and Dianne Swann, was inducted into the NZ Music Hall of Fame last year as When The Cat's Away - known for their hit cover Melting Pot.

For Margaret, the band was a fun side project with girlfriends as she also had a very successful solo career in music - and in my eyes, fashion too. This video shows Margaret wearing amazing 90s fashion, initially dark and moping about a lost love - but she later pulls out the dance moves and more from her amazing wardrobe.

For your listening pleasure:

No items found.
Creativity, evocative visual storytelling and good journalism come at a price. Support our work and join the Ensemble membership program

Charlotte Ryan on the unique style of New Zealand music

Above: Marlon Williams, photographed by Derek Henderson.

Music, like fashion, is a way of self expression. For many musicians, their style is essential to help create their identity, and sometimes, create attention.

I love seeing what musicians choose to wear at award ceremonies, in photoshoots, on stage and in their music videos. In recent years at the Aotearoa Music Awards, artists have made political statements through fashion - like Tami Neilson’s gender equality dress at last year’s event and Mara TK’s Ihumātao leather jacket.

For Te Marama Puoro OAotearoa NZ Music Month, I'm excited to share a small sample of some of our most fashionable musicians and their video moments - with the exception of Lorde and Benee, who we know always look amazing.

• Look out for Charlotte’s music column on Stuff each Thursday, where she shares weekly picks of the best new videos from local musicians – and one blast from our music video past.

Aldous Harding - Fever 

Directed by Aldous Harding and Martin Sagadin

Aldous Harding has just released her fourth album Warm Chris, and is about to take off on a worldwide tour, with some fantastic outfits no doubt. 

I remember one tour she did around 2018, when she wore only white on stage; usually white jeans, a white T-shirt and jacket. It worked so well, she looked effortless, comfortable and completely cool.

Aldous is very involved with everything she wears, sourcing costumes and sometimes creating things specifically. For her it's about feeling comfortable, but also using clothes to help get into character while performing. 

She always appears so effortless. In the music video for the song Fever, she reminds us how good a crisp white shirt can look, and of the beauty of wool. Her turned up hat - along with her dancing in one particular scene - reminds me of the 90s TV character Blossom and I love it. Carefree and fun, with a tinge of darkness. 

The 3Ds - Hey Seuss

Directed by Andrew Moore

This video, in all its colour, takes us back to the 90s. I love the printed and patterned shirts that the band are wearing, and the hats. Lead singer David Saunders took me straight back to cold Cashel Street days in Christchurch with his tall beanie that flops about as he plays the distorted guitar. Denise Roughan shows the influence of the song's title by wearing a very 90s, Dr Seuss-inspired hat. 

Rumour has it that The 3Ds influenced Stephen Malkmus of Pavement not only in sound, but fashion too! I can see it. 

Moana & The Tribe - AEIOU

Directed by Kerry Brown

Any Moana & The Tribe video from the 90s is iconic, and treasured in NZ music history. The lyrics and message in AEIOU are still incredibly relevant today - encouraging all to educate ourselves about our culture and learn and celebrate the Māori language. Music videos from this era also capture a moment in fashion history. In AEIOU the fashion is bold and colourful Māori and Pasifika prints and imagery. Moana Maniapoto, Mina Ripia and Teremoana Rapley are wearing amazing outfits from Zambesi and Street Life (now Helen Cherry). Spot the cameos by Temuera Morrison, Mika, MC OJ and Rhythm Slave.

Erny Belle - Hell Hole

Directed by Erny Belle & Matt Hunter

Erny Belle released her debut album Venus is Home this year, and it has made an impression on me and many others. She sings about her home in Northland,  Maungatūroto and the juxtaposition of city life in Auckland. I love her style and character too.

Marlon Williams - My Boy 

Directed by Martin Sagadin & Marlon Williams

Marlon Williams is bringing back the classic Fred Dagg style very well. He is not wearing red top gumboots (musician Troy Kingi seems to have taken up this look), but the plain white singlet and stubbies he wears in his latest video for the song My Boy are representing Kiwi style like no other. 

Tami Neilson - You Were Mine

Produced by Valiant Creative Agency 

Tami Neilson grew up in the country music scene in America, so admits she has always loved dressing up - especially for performing on stage. She takes inspiration from country singers like Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn with lots of tassels and ‘diamonds’. She works closely with local dressmaker Judy Moughton and Wellington artist Xoë Hall who decorates and bedazzles the beautiful dresses to give Tami even more of a shimmer than she naturally has.

Shona Laing - (Glad I’m) Not A Kennedy  

Directed by Bruce Sheridan

In 1988 Shona Laing returned from London to record her brilliant album South, and had great success with her song (Glad Im Not) a Kenneddy. The video has dark overtones, naturally because of the lyrics and perhaps the headspace Shona was in. I love her earrings and black trench coat. This could all be worn today and still be very fashionable - timeless, like the song. 

Fur Patrol - Lydia 

Directed by Jonathan King

As a teenager of the 90s, I was one of many struck by the fashionable style and amazing haircuts of Julia Deans, frontwoman of Fur Patrol. She wore a classic Zambesi halterneck dress in the video for Lydia, and educated me in the skirt over wide leg pants look of the time. 

Fur Patrol has just announced new dates to celebrate 21 years of their debut album Pet, touring in August. I imagine Julia, who is still very much into fashion, will wear Tanya Carlson - a local designer who has dressed her for the red carpet and all her videos in recent years. 

The Mint Chicks - She's a Mod

Directed by Mitchell Hawkes

The Mint Chicks were known for their amazing music, live shows, creative art and original style. They usually wore full black, but for special occasions, like videos, photoshoots and special shows, the band wore all sorts of interesting suits and designs - including gold two-piece suits, with frontman Kody accessorising with a chainsaw at the Big Day Out in 2005.

In 2009 Ray Columbus & The Invaders were inducted into the NZ Hall Of Fame as part of the NZ Music Awards, and The Mint Chicks were asked to rework one of Ray's classic songs. For the performance, all members of the band went classic mod wearing black suits that showcased that iconic style - and a fantastic song that transcends and is loved by young and old.

Bic Runga - Something Good

Directed by Chris Graham 

Bic Runga celebrates local fashion in many of her photo shoots, events and music videos. In an early bold moment in 2000, she wore Nom*D’s half-cut dress in her music video for Something Good while walking through Cuba Street, past the bucket fountain and various shops. She has also worked with Zambesi, Kate Sylvester and in recent years, collaborated with Kristine Crabb (Miss Crabb and now Gloria). 

Margaret Urlich - Escaping

Margaret Urlich, along with four other amazing wahine musicians Annie Crummer, Debbie Harwood, Kim Willoughby and Dianne Swann, was inducted into the NZ Music Hall of Fame last year as When The Cat's Away - known for their hit cover Melting Pot.

For Margaret, the band was a fun side project with girlfriends as she also had a very successful solo career in music - and in my eyes, fashion too. This video shows Margaret wearing amazing 90s fashion, initially dark and moping about a lost love - but she later pulls out the dance moves and more from her amazing wardrobe.

For your listening pleasure:

Creativity, evocative visual storytelling and good journalism come at a price. Support our work and join the Ensemble membership program
No items found.