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Pinpointing the exact moment Cher became a style icon is impossible. Perhaps it was in the ‘60s, when the songstress was glowing in billowy tops and fitted blue jeans. Or the 1970s, when she was the definition of Hollywood glamour in jeweled evening gowns and midriff-baring jumpsuits.
Regardless of the era, the cultural significance of Cher’s style cannot be ignored. This season it seems more relevant than ever before, echoed in a pair of wide-leg trousers at Balmain, a skinny scarf and hat combo at Saint Laurent, and a Roberto Cavalli gown worn by none other than Kim Kardashian. If we could turn back time, we'd hightail it back to the late '60s and '70s — if only to witness her humble beginnings as one of music's biggest style icons. Read on to see her indisputable influences and find out how you can join the Cher style club yourself.
The '60s witnessed the rise of Cher's career alongside her then musical and real life partner, Sonny. The duo hit it big in 1965 with their hit single, "I Got You Babe," Cher singing flirtatiously beside Sonny in a ruffled top and matching bell bottoms on an episode of "Beat Club" that same year. By 1968, the singer was already making waves with her own solo hits, climbing to the number two spot in America with her dramatic tune, "Bang, Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)." She probably didn't know that the striped pants she wore (pictured here at home in Los Angeles) would influence designers for years to come.
Balmain's Olivier Rousteing is known to draw inspiration from the past, and his spring 2015 collection was no different. These eye-catching, high-waisted pants bear a strong resemblance to Cher's nonchalant loungewear.
One of Cher's most iconic looks happens to be one of Kim Kardashian's as well. The seemingly identical, sheer feather-lined gowns were even worn to the same event — a few decades apart, of course. Cher was well on her way to becoming a household name in 1974 despite the end of her relationship with Sonny. The entertainer had just snagged a Golden Globe for best performance in the hit television show The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour. She dazzled in a barely there Bob Mackie gown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's 1974 exhibition, an ode to romantic and glamorous Hollywood design. The gown would make another appearance just a few months later, when the starlet graced the cover of TIME magazine.
There was no coincidence in the similarities between Kim Kardashian's 2015 Met Gala gown and Cher's. The Roberto Cavalli gown was not familiar to people on social media, though, and the only comparisons were to that of Beyoncé, who had worn a vaguely similar dress in 2012.
In this 1974 shot, Cher encompasses the spirit of Hedi Slimane's spring 2015 collection. In her wide-brimmed hat and silk skinny scarf, she was a picture-perfect example of the 1970s glam-rock sensation Slimane regularly channels in his work. That same year, the singer released her third number-one single, "Dark Lady," and a greatest hits album that solidified her icon status.
Some outfits remain classics years after they're worn, such as the low-cut blouse and form-fitting jeans pictured on the cover of Cher's 1976 album, I'd Rather Believe in You. For their debut line, Réalisation Par, design duo Alexandra Spencer and Teale Talbot recreated the look for the 21st century woman, posing in similarly cut Levis and loose blouses.
In 1978, Cher was on the cusp of superstardom. Her self-titled television show was pulling in big numbers, but her musical career had yet to reach its peak. She became a muse for Bob Mackie, the American fashion designer whose clientele included some of the biggest entertainment icons of all time, from Judy Garland to Diana Ross. In a 1978 studio session with the designer, Cher posed in a crystal-embellished, fishnet bodysuit. Hedi Slimane's fall 2013 rendition, seen on everyone from Lady Gaga to Kate Moss, conveys the same '80s vaudeville essence.