Hit play on Rico Nasty, Lady Gaga, or Anna Dello Russo in the unlikely scenario you get bored of Tina Barrett’s ‘MWAH MWAH’
Fashion season is coming to a close, and, as the houses collectively exhale, the creative directors pop off to their privé islands, the editors return to their lofts in Hackney, and countless people wait it out in quarantine after the virus that shall not be named swept through Milan, you might be wondering: where will I get my fashion fix now?
Never fear, because – and never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d be writing this – Tina Barrett of 00s S Club 7 fame has returned with a verified fashion banger that will keep you stomping down the runway (okay, street) well into next season.
Though Barrett has been performing track “Mwah Mwah” since 2012, it was only last week that she decided to officially bestow a fully realised version and its accompanying video on the world, with the result a truly glamorous (if slightly baffling) state of affairs, featuring lyrics that could put the likes of Keats to shame (that loser couldn’t even get into the Burberry show anyway).
Beginning with Barrett rapping (yes, really) about Gucci, Prada, Dior, and Co-co-co-co-co-co-Chanel, “Mwah Mwah” sees the S Clubber regale listeners with stories of her fashion exploits, as she takes private jets to Hong Kong (mood), sips Cosmos with Anna Wintour (sure), calls up Donatella (she definitely screens), and hangs out with Louis V himself (...do you want to tell her or shall I?).
And while one direction could have seen us writing a cultural critique on the song – about how fashion is kept alive by aspirational capitalism, just how scary said capitalism is, and how it’s frustrating that so many women and drag queens are forced to continuously sing songs about aesthetics – instead, we’ve chosen simply to celebrate not just a song that we truly want to listen to until our ears fall off, but some of the greatest fashion bops of all time. What left is there to say? Tina Barrett for global number one, tbh – keep doing the Lord’s work.
SISTER SLEDGE — “GREATEST DANCER”
Despite the fact there’s only one mention of fashion throughout this remarkable song, which shouts out ‘Halston, Gucci, and Fiorucci’, it truly makes you feel like you’re wearing the most expensive silk, to the coolest club, with the most fabulous people. It makes you want to rub expensive things on your body while eyeing up some absolute raging stallion on the dance floor – and if that ain’t fashion then I don’t know what is.
LADY GAGA — “FASHION” (DUH)
While “Stupid Love” might not have been the fashion extravanganza we were all hoping for (we’ve all seen the shoe meme, right?), this masterpiece by mother monster is the ultimate in fashion bangers. You see, the mark of a true fashion bop is that it doesn’t just list luxury label after luxury label and leave it at that. It has to ignite something inside you that makes you feel rich, powerful, glam, and gorj, even if you are just a 22 year old f*g wearing a half weave and a nun’s cassock (hi!). Using the most fashionable of all languages (French, obvs), Gaga explains not just how good she looks but how fine she feels. The result is a fashion orgasm, aided by similarly sartorial bops including “Fashion of his Love”, “Donatella”, “MANICURE”, and “Bad Romance”. Passion for fashion indeed.
ANNA DELLO RUSSO — “FASHION SHOWER”
We love a slash in fashion. Model/actor. Photographer/bodybuilder. Fashion editor/fFUCKING SONGSTRESS. The year was 2012. The collaboration was with H&M. And Anna Dello Russo, the Vogue Japan ed delivered us her rules for fashion in poetic, robbed-of-a-Grammy song form, confirming that wearing night clothes in the daytime is ‘unexpected!’, and imploring us to wear outfits only once, as part of a line that has truly aged monstrously. Still, it’s bop status can’t be denied: just swerve that particular nugget.
RICO NASTY — “FASHION WEEK”
Of all the songs on this list, it feels as though Rico Nasty is the only person who has any actual knowledge of what good fashion actually is. Confirming that Maison Margiela will match with everything, including even a black jean, she couldn’t be more right.
KREAYSHAWN — “GUCCI GUCCI”
This one is fashion blasphemy, but it’s also, like, iconic. I mean in the song Kreay says that if you wear Prada you’re basic, which is flat out not true, but she also says it about a pre-Alessandro era Gucci, and if the belts around the waists of all the homophobic boys from high school aren’t proof enough of that, then I don’t know what is. This was an undoubtable fashion banger from another time, back when Mickey Mouse bows in the hair were very the look. But fashion is a harsh mistress and while the song is indeed a fashion fave, the video is, stylistically, a terrifying fossil from a bygone era.
NAOMI SMALLS — “POSE”
“Hey sweets. Let me introduce you to my friend: her name’s Fashion!” Sorry, but name a more fash-un opening line? I mean the whole premise of lots of fashion is to make you feel 50 per cent glam and 50 per cent terrible about yourself – a balance Naomi sets off perfectly because she’s a stunning inclusive queen. That said, while Smalls can certainly pose, her singing leaves a lot to be desired. Do we care? Not one bit. An anthem.
NELLY FURTADO — “BIG HOOPS (THE BIGGER THE BETTER)”
The most baffling thing about this song, by IRL Grammy winner Nelly Furtado, is that in the video she’s not actually always wearing hoops even though the song is literally... all about hoop earrings? Can we get a stylist on the phone? Not only is this song a bonafide fashion banger, though, it also sounds exactly what I imagine a migraine would sound like if it could write lyrics and sing them as part of a chart-topping hit.
MADONNA — “VOGUE”
Arguably the most banging of all fashion bangers, nothing says style like knowing all the lyrics to the spoken word moment in the middle eight even if you’ve got no clue who Lauren, Catherine et al are. That said, it loses a few big fashion points for appropriating and then failing to credit the creators of Ballroom culture. Paris Is Burning might not have been handily available to stream circa the early 90s, but Madge: that’s really no excuse.