Mick Jagger onstage with The Rolling Stones
It’s usually a bridesmaid who manages to upstage the bride. Or at the least an over-zealous mother-in-law to be (or Liz Hurley). But when Jade Jagger got married this month it was her father who stole the show, resplendent in the wedding photos in a colourful striped jacket, whilst the rest of the bridal party were merely bit-players in monochrome.
Mick Jagger, who celebrates his 69th birthday today, may have calmed down considerably on the partying, but his love of the spotlight is as potent as ever. No doubt it’s this overwhelming desire to be looked at that inspired his Sixties wardrobe, which, with The Rolling Stones as one of the biggest bands in the world, helped the magnetic front-man become the very blueprint of a rock god.
Jagger was born in Kent in 1943, and co-founded the Stones in 1961 with his child-hood friend Keith Richards and guitarist Brian Jones - the band became an international hit in 1965 with their classic (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
, which set a sexually charged precedent for the group, something Mick was quick to reflect in his attire.
In a contrast to the more Mod-ish Beatles, Jagger favoured tight trousers, boots, belts that highlighted his snake hips and classic shirts worn casually unbuttoned to a point of near indecency to show off his chest. He was also partial to a quirky hat or two. It was the kind of look that put fear into the fathers of the Stones’ fans, and one that helped establish the band as rock’s bad boys – although admittedly the drugs charges also probably helped.
And despite the fact that elements of his style could have been seen as effeminate (Jagger remains slight in physique), there’s no denying Mick drove the ladies wild, racking up one of pop culture’s most impressive little black books and counting Marianne Faithfull, Carly Simon, Carla Bruni, Sophie Dahl, Angelina Jolie (and if certain salacious rumours are to be believed, David Bowie) among his conquests, while making brides out of Jerry Hall and Bianca Jagger.
Jagger with one-time girlfriend Marianne Faithfull
One of the most intriguing things about that classic Jagger look is that it seems to bring out something carnal in the opposite sex – the drainpipe jeans, close fitting crew-necks and theatrical jackets being the perfect balance of macho effortlessness and sartorial imagination. He loses kudos for that stint in the Seventies when the Stones embraced glam-rock and Jagger began appearing on-stage in glitter and make-up (not a look he was able to pull off well), but even today, his continued interest in fashion has to be applauded (he’s even dating designer to the A-list L’Wren Scott). So let’s wish the rock legend and style icon, a very happy birthday…