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Musicians don their best at Fashion Rocks

Singer-turned-designers Beyonce, Gwen Stefani pull out all the stops
/ Source: The Associated Press

When fashion rocks, singers-turned-designers Gwen Stefani and Beyonce pull out all the stops.

Stefani put on a slinky silver dress worthy of a screen siren at Thursday night's Fashion Rocks concert that kicked off New York Fashion Week, and Beyonce — along with her fellow members of Destiny's Child — wore shimmery babydoll dresses.

The concert, to be shown Friday night on CBS, brought together some of music's biggest and most fashionable stars to celebrate the link between style and song.

Richard Beckman, the show's producer and president of The Conde Nast Media Group, which publishes Vogue and GQ, said "music defines the epochs of fashion over the years."

"Music stars have always been fashion icons. Think of The Beatles coming off the plane, the mods of ‘the new romantics,' Madonna, David Bowie."

Last night, Bowie looked like a billboard for sleek chicness — until you looked down: His seemingly perfect suit had pants that only reached his ankles. His stunning wife Iman made up for that faux-pas in a clingy, skin-colored gown decorated with crystals.

FASHION ROCKS
David Bowie performs during the \"Fashion Rocks\" concert Thursday, Sept. 8, 2005 in New York's Radio City Music Hall. Proceeds from the concert will be donated to Hurricane Katrina relief. (AP Photo/Jeff Christensen)Jeff Christensen / AP

"Music influences fashion and vice versa," said Tina Chai, the show's stylist. "You have to strike the right balance of both sex and sophistication."

Bowie wasn't the only ‘80s rocker there Thursday.

"Style has always been very important to us," said Duran Duran's Nick Rhodes backstage before the show. "We grew up in the '70s. Music was glam rock, punk rock and a very stylish movement."

Recalling Duran Duran's very first photo shoot, Rhodes said he and his bandmates went to a college campus in London and asked the edgiest students they could find to come up with the band's wardrobe. "We liked what they came up with at the time, but, yes, they'd be a little dated now."

The band, known for songs like "Rio" and "Hungry Like a Wolf," wore suits when performing "Girls on Film" with a gaggle of women dressed in clothes designed by Stefani, Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Sean "Diddy" Combs and Jay-Z behind them.

The big finale was Billy Idol's "White Wedding," and for that number models were dressed in bridal gowns by Roberto Cavalli, John Galliano, Chanel and Vera Wang, among others.

Hanging out in the green room with model wife Marisol, Rob Thomas said he gives some thought into his wardrobe, especially what he wears on stage, but not too much. "I like something with a classic touch. That way, it's easy."

So what did Thomas wear for his duet of "Stop Dragging My Heart Around" with Joss Stone channeling Stevie Nicks? Jeans and a T-shirt.