everybody in this room is wearing a uniform

Frank Zappa, style icon? (found here)

Trendsetters are rushing to buy the “261 top” – with the latest star to wear it being American Idol judge Randy Jackson.

He wore it next to Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul on the hit show at the weekend.

The unlikely fashion trend goes back to 1980 and an equally unlikely source – the late rock legend Frank Zappa.

It should also be noted that, as far as I can tell, Frank Zappa invented the concept of the ironic T-shirt, and the ironically blue-collar T-shirt, circa 1967. (I don’t think he should be held responsible for subsequent developments of that trend any more than Nirvana should be held responsible for Pearl Jam.) He also presaged hip-hop fashion.

update: I just remembered, I should link to this Zappa interview on fashion:

Before we left, Frank and I were pals and he wanted very much to give tips on what he’d like to see as jewelry. Since jewelry catches onto the instruments, he would like to have it ingrown into the skin, like, let’s say, a watch transplanted into your wrist with phosphorescent digits so that you could see it through the skin, and in the dark. Not very practical? Well, Frank is a genius, and geniuses aren’t always practical.

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