Victoria’s Vogue: The rockin’ closet of Arctic Monkeys’ Alex Turner

Nov. 8, 2022, 10:19 p.m.

It makes “Perfect Sense” that a bona fide rockstar would have a cutting-edge wardrobe to match. 

Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner might explore new sounds and wandering lines of thought in the band’s latest album, “The Car,” but his style has remained consistent since he took on the rockstar look. Interestingly, the same cannot be said for his hairstyles, which will likely continue to change as the band’s evolution progresses. 

Born from a group of four friends at Stonebridge High School in England in 2002, Arctic Monkeys played their first official gig in 2003, with total ticket sales amounting to a pitiful £27.

The band also began to record a number of demos during this time, now commonly classified as the “Beneath the Boardwalk” collection. Many of these songs were reworked into their debut album, “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not.” One of the fastest-selling debut albums by a band, the project explored topics fitting for a group of young boys such as run-ins with bouncers and classmates. 

At this point, the band sported simple outfits, often a t-shirt and jeans. Alex Turner could also be spotted in an abundance of polo shirts and the occasional unfortunate Adidas track top.

After the release of the ground-breaking album “Favourite Worst Nightmare” — containing one of Turner’s first real love songs, “505” — Turner began to take on the “indie sleaze” aesthetic during its boom, when he was dating fashion icon and designer Alexa Chung. In a departure from his previous, more juvenile style, Turner appeared in slim-fitting leather jackets and in more suited looks, which continued into the release of “A.M.

This era also saw Turner grow his hair into more of a baby mullet; it would evolve into a full on mop during the band’s release of “Humbug.” 

Turned in a tank top playing guitar.
Alex Turner (above) performs at Lollapalooza in 2009. (Wikimedia Commons)

Suck and See It,” a brief shift into the world of guitar and psychedelic pop, launched Turner into elements that are now considered to be general mainstays of his style. Turner rocked elements of the ’50s, added leather jackets and loafers into his wardrobe, and styled his hair into a quiff. The rest of the band followed suit. 

Turner also experimented with bright colors and swept-back hair when promoting the release of solo projects like “The Last Shadow Puppets.” Here he went with velour tracksuits, a serious departure from his rockstar style but fitting for the return of tracksuits to high fashion like the low-slung red tracksuit pants on Chloe’s runway.

Two people sit on a couch in track suits.
Miles Kane (left) and Alex Turner (right) of The Last Shadow Puppets. (Photo: ZACKERY MICHAEL/Handout)

For his next album, Turner kept his traditional shades and retained the classic suits he wore but added a spin. Turner relaxed his style and added a touch of grunge, reflecting the sci-fi nature of “Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino,” a more piano-oriented album that tells the story of multiple characters in a luxury resort on the moon. He appeared with longer, slicked-back hair and a trimmed beard in accordance with the ’60s nature of the album. Turner’s style once again reflects elements of the music he releases. 

During this time, Turner also shaved off his long-iconic hair. He appeared on Stephen Colbert’s late night show in 2018 in a buzzcut in another pair of vintage frames, a blazer and some jeans. 

With his iconic gravity-defying hair around for the promotion of “The Car,” it will be interesting to keep an eye out for how Turner will dress with the themes of the album. For his performances this year, Turner appears in gold jewelry, loafers and many open buttoned shirts. This era’s sound has the rush of constant movement, more falsetto and a warmer voice which reflect a loungey attitude much like his clothing. I almost expect his style to grow more relaxed with the band’s trajectory.

Editor’s Note: This article is a review and includes subjective thoughts, opinions and critiques.

Victoria Hsieh '24 is a Desk Editor for the Business and Technology Desk looking to major in Computer Science and minor in Political Science. She is from Seattle and thereby a caffeine and hiking fanatic. Contact The Daily’s News section at news ‘at’ stanforddaily.com.

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