Style Icon - Patti Smith

Minimal and Monochrome – we chart the many influences of one of rock’s most inimitable style makers

Though she’d probably baulk at being labelled a style icon, music’s ‘punk poet laureate’ Patti Smith certainly set the tone for what has become the quintessential rock and roll uniform — that effortlessly cool combo of cigarette pants, white shirt, leather jacket and lace-up boots.  

Her trademark look has always incorporated dishevelled hair, a makeup-less face and a beguilingly rakish air. A true bohemian, Smith was never one to follow rules; she honoured her muse and made her own.  

Born in Chicago in 1946, the singer-songwriter, poet, author and visual artist earned her stripes in the New York City punk rock movement in the late 70s, and became known for her distinctive fusing of punk rock and emotive spoken poetry.  

When she released her debut album Horses in 1975, Smith unwittingly established a cult following. Commercial success came in 1978, with the release of her anthemic single, Because the Night – a song she co-wrote with Bruce Springsteen and which reached number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100.  

Always open about her influences, Smith says she channelled the likes of Bob Dylan, Keith Richards and French symbolist poets to pull off her timeless look. Notably androgynous, she liked to keep things monochrome, minimal and overtly punk.  

Keen to inject some Patti Smith style? Look no further than the iconic cover image on her album Horses. It’s a look that exemplifies the artist’s inimitable sartorial style and is as relevant today as it’s ever been. 

Patti Smith tours Australia in April.

Shop the Patti Smith look at Eastland

From top left -

Cotton shirt from H&M

Nappa Leather Tie Belt from Scanlan Theodore

A5 Bonded Leather Notebook and Kontor

Rollerball Pen from KIKKI.K

Barfly Fragrance from Scotch & Soda

Ray-Ban High Street Sunglasses from Sunglasses Hut

Fuji Film X T10 Camera and Portra 400 Film from Camera House

Fedora Lana by Milana in Wine from David Jones

Levi's 710 Super Skinny Denim from Myer

Roses from Bayside Flower Garden

Dr Martens 1460z Dmc 8-eye Boot in Black Smooth from Platypus