Style Evolution: Alex Turner
By Matt Glazebrook, 6 January 2015
Ten years ago today, an aspiring musician from High Green in Sheffield turned 19 and embarked upon what would be, by any standards, quite a big 'last year of your teens'. Alex Turner went from fronting an unknown garage band to leading the biggest, most hyped new British guitar act in a decade.
After a breathless 2005, some things settled down for Alex (on reaching the pop pinnacle, the Arctic Monkeys resolutely stayed there, unlike almost every other contemporary from Franz Ferdinand to The Libertines) while others, like his wardrobe, evolved almost beyond recognition. In honour of Turner's 29th birthday, then, we present a brief guide to the ever-changing styles of the Arctic Monkeys frontman.
Alex Turner of 2005 was not a fan of the ‘trilbies and glasses of white wine’ favoured by local would-be indie rock gods (who he memorably skewered in debut single Fake Tales of San Francisco). Instead he dressed understatedly in laddy casualwear – Adidas trackie tops, G-Star utility jackets and Hackett polo shirts – paired with an 'I'm not really trying at this' attitude.
By 2008, the Arctic Monkeys had scrubbed up a bit, but remained resistant to rock star pretensions and were seemingly uncomfortable in the style spotlight. When they did dress up, it was with tongues firmly in cheek, as with the country gent ensembles they sported to that year's Brit Awards.
Now, it's unfair to assume cause and effect when a dude's dress sense changes with the arrival of a new love interest. But there's absolutely nothing wrong with taking advice from a style-savvy girl, or even just upping your own clothing game to impress a prospective partner. Whether or not Alex Turner did fall under the sartorial influence of his new girlfriend – model, muse and all-round fashionista Alexa Chung – in 2009, it certainly coincided with a significant wardrobe refit. Out went casual mid-noughties lad, in came 70s-flavoured boho rocker garms and matching floppy hair. And sunnies. Lots of sunnies.
The next great leap forward also came paired with a new haircut. In 2012, Turner debuted a fine rockabilly quiff and a closet full of classic 50s styles to go with it. Leather jackets, crew neck tees and more sunnies were the order of the day in the casualwear department, while old-school Vegas glamour – well-fitted suits, crisp shirts and snazzy, retro loafers – accompanied a noticeably more confident Turner on the red carpet.
As for the future, we can only guess. But if a recent get-up is anything to go by – spotted while the singer was enjoying a crafty text outside The Groucho Club – 29-year-old Alex Turner is shooting for a sort of rock ’n’ roll, 40s Russian sailor vibe. Which can only be a good thing.