6 Things We Love About Patti Smith’s Style

Patti Smith’s upcoming sequel biography ‘M Train’ will be hitting bookstores this month after the phenomenal success of her first memoir ‘Just Kids’ that documented her life with artist and photographer Robert Mapplethorpe. The Godmother of Punk, now 69, is still striking in her effortless bohemian androgyny, her grey shaggy shoulder length mop ubiquitously hidden under a hat to match her mannish ensembles.

Seemingly, Patti Smith the poet/singer-songwriter does not give a second thought to her fashion sense;  in an interview for the The New York Times she set the record straight: “My style says ‘Look at me, don’t look at me’…’It’s, I don’t care what you think.'”. 

Yet the star has many ties with the fashion world, namely her long-term collaboration with Belgian punk designer Ann Demeulemeester (Smith had even walked down her Parisian catwalk for the AW’06 collection). She has also been a source of sartorial inspiration for brands including Balmain, Yohji Yamamoto and Saint Laurent.

We sifted through her laid-back wardrobe and picked six of our favourite items.

patti-smith-style-womanBeaten-up Boots

Stomping on stage, Smith has a brilliant collection of boots. Combat styles lace-ups, worn untied with the tongues splayed out and Doc Martens with laces wrapped around the ankle or snaking up her pegged trousers. Smith also has many styles sourced through her long-term designer friend Demeulemeester and admits that she loves to traipse through Salvation Army stores for the perfect styles. One of her pairs were a gift from actor Johnny Depp, who gave her the boots he wore as the Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland – how cool is that?!

patti-smith-style-woman4Mannish Shirts

The most iconic example of Smith’s dress code would be her white shirts, specifically the one she wore on the cover of her 1975 Horses album shot by Mapplethorpe that is a landmark look in her career. In her memoir Just Kids she recalls that on the day of the shoot he asked that she wear a clean shirt with no stains, so she went and bought a stack of men’s white shirts and cut the cuffs off, as a tribute to a photograph Brassaï took of novelist and political activist, Jean Genet. Smith has also ne known to tie her shirts around her waist or around her chest as a nod to Ava Gardner.

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patti-smith-style-woman6Boxy Blazers

Roomy androgynous tailoring completes Smith’s layered shredded styles almost like an armour; either in tweeds or wool, double-breasted or single, pinned with badges on the lapels and rolled up at the sleeves in a combination of Parisian debonair and rocker cool – Parfait!

patti-smith-style-woman2Headwear

A vast list indeed! Homburgs, Fedoras, oversized-berets, straw styles, bandanas (Keith Richard’s-like) and beanies just add to Patti Smith’s nonchalant edge.

patti-smith-style-woman3Jewellery

Dripping in chains, multiple rings, crosses and talismans that Smith would wear layered, small and dainty when she was younger and now big and bold (one of her current favourite pieces is a 200 year old Ethiopian cross). Worn with her androgynous black-on-black draped uniforms, the necklace can almost make her look priestly…

patti-smith-style-woman5Graphic Tees

And last but not least, Smith’s awesome collection of flimsy perfectly washed-out graphic T-shirts featuring bad-ass slogans such as “Fuck the Clock” and “Eat the Rich” or with Keith Richards mug sucking on a cigarette splashed across the singers chest.

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