As the only Scotland-based member of the Style and Then Some team, I was rather disappointed to miss the exclusive Q & A session with legendary pop icon Annie Lennox at the Victoria and Albert Museum to launch an exhibition dedicated to the singer last October. However I was lucky enough to get a second chance at an insight into this musical genius when The House of Annie Lennox, popped up again, this time right on my doorstep and Annie’s hometown of Aberdeen.
Not only does Lennox have an impressive recording career – spanning over three decades, from her work as one half of pop duo the Eurythmics to being a solo artist – her influence on modern music is still strong today. Whether it’s Lady Gaga being accused of stealing her look, Beyonce singing the Eurythmics‘ hit Sweet Dreams at Glastonbury last Summer or Nicki Minaj sampling Lennox’s solo song, No More I Love Yous for her 2010 break out hit Your Love.
The House of Annie Lennox didn’t just celebrate her talent but also her contribution to contemporary style. Along with the likes of Grace Jones, back in the 80s Lennox’s name was synonymous with the androgynous look; so it was rather apt that the first exhibit as you enter is a Tartan suit by Jeff Banks - one of her favourite designers – worn during the Eurythmic’s 1983 Touch tour. More stage costumes are on display such as the vibrant Union Jack Tuxedo she wore for a performance at the 1999 Brit Awards and a silver and black gothic ball gown worn to perform with fellow trendsetter David Bowie. As are her numerous accolades including the Quadruple Platinum Award Disc Lennox garnered for her 1994 solo album Diva and the Oscar she recieved for the song Into the West off the Lord of the Rings soundtrack.
Just before you enter the main part of the exhibition where Lennox’s Gold and Platinum disc collection practically covers the room like wallpaper, there is an opportunity to listen to an interview recorded especially for the event. In it, Lennox reveals how her masculine style choices came about as a result of her musical partnership with Eurythmics counterpart, Dave Stewart. Although many people speculated over the singer’s sexuality due to her fashion and often short hairstyles, this did not bother her, as all she wanted was to assert herself and really stand out when placed next to a man and I think it’s safe to say she achieved her goal. Not only will Lennox be immortalised as a great style icon, she is often referred to as one of the greatest voices of our time.
For those of you a little further up north than London (OK alot further), The House of Lennox exhibition will be on until September 29th at the Aberdeen Art Gallery, Schoolhill, Aberdeen. Open Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-5pm, Sunday 2-5pm.