Harry Styles inspires the flashy fashion of fans during “Love On Tour” in Chicago
Madison Street in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood was extra colorful last weekend as people dressed head to toe in sequins, feather boas and chunky-heeled boots line up all around the United Center. Harry Styles performed his first of six shows for the Chicago stint of “Love On Tour” on Saturday, October 8, for a crowd of over 23,000 people.
Any fan of Harry Styles knows that eccentric fashion plays a big role in the British artist’s career. He sported his signature shiny tracksuit at Saturday’s show, practically blinding the audience under the lights. Fans in attendance didn’t shy away from matching Harry’s energy with their own outfits.
Eighth-grade science teacher Brooke Coats traveled all the way from Kentucky to see Styles. She, like many other fans, got inspiration from him for her sparkly outfit. “He’s really creative and bright and shiny. I just thought this was really fit for his vibe,” Coats said. Her first time seeing Styles was with One Direction, and then once again on his solo tour.
Ava Grillo, a student at Grand Valley State University, spent her 19th birthday camping out on the grass outside the United Center. Despite the cold, Grillo said the experience was positive.
“We had a lot of people by us that were really sweet,” Grillo said. “It just felt like a really respectful, nice environment to be in.”
Grillo has gone to Styles’ shows the past three years and loves everyone’s creativity with their outfits. As a lover of sparkles, she embodied Harry with a sequin pink jumpsuit and white feather boa.
“I really wanted to be a little version of him,” Grillo said about her fashion inspiration.
Skyler Slaughterbeck, Ciaira Brown and Alexa Brown found their inspiration from eccentric style of the 1970s. Alexa went all out by painting floral designs on her white, heeled combat boots. Ciaira said she wanted a ‘70s themed outfit that she felt comfortable and confident in.
“Harry is all about [accepting] who you are and [being] confident about it,” Ciaira said.
Pretty in Pink
Ria Dave, a medical student at University of Missouri Kansas City, traveled from Kansas City for the concert. She also wore some of the pieces of this outfit when she dressed in all pink for her white coat ceremony, a ceremony that signifies entry into medical school.
“My favorite movie is ‘Legally Blonde,’” Dave said. “Pink is one of my favorite colors, so I have to wear pink.”
First-time concert goer Teagan Morris originally wanted to recreate one of Styles’ old looks, but settled on a crown and green boa combo.
“He wears his crazy hats sometimes that people throw on stage,” Morris said. “[A crown] is as crazy as I wanted to be.”
Saira Khatoon, a freshman at UW-Madison, started waiting in line for the show at 6 a.m. At 9 a.m., the United Center gave out wristbands to everyone with general assembly tickets to hold their place in line. Although slightly sleep deprived from the long day, she still made a statement with her bright green outfit.
“I was going to do a leather jacket, but I couldn’t find one that I liked,” Khatoon said. “These pants, I found them … and I like the green color, so I went from there and I got green glasses and a green boa.”
It’s All About the Signs
Megan Hieb referenced Styles’ popular song “Watermelon Sugar” with pink and green watermelon earrings, but the real star of her outfit was the sign she brought with her. Hieb was already a fan of Styles, but decided to use this concert as an opportunity to further her search for a kidney donor.
“I have chronic kidney disease,” Hieb said. “Over a year ago on my personal page I put out my need for a transplant, and I had over 100 people try to donate to me. Here we are a year later, and we found out nobody was a match.”
At first Hieb didn’t want to bring a sign to the show, but Kelsey Ryan, her friend, convinced her.
“I was embarrassed and vulnerable,” Hieb said. “[Ryan said,] ‘We’re doing it, we’re in the pit. If he reads it, he’ll say something.’”
“Love On Tour” came to Chicago October 8 and had 6 scheduled shows. The last show is Saturday, October 15, at the United Center.
Header illustration by Annie Gidionsen