On Sunday evening, Joan Jett was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame wearing head-to-toe Saint Laurent. This is hardly a surprising choice for her, considering that Hedi Slimane seems to design clothes exclusively for and inspired by people who know how to play guitars. It wouldn't be at all shocking to see that Joan Jett circa 1982 is somewhere on his mood board, so in some ways this look is very meta.
It is also very, very Joan Jett. Sure, skinny pants, leather and mullets were the aesthetic calling card of every hair metal band ever, but Joan co-opted this very boyish look and made it her own, and she rarely strays from it. While you could never call her stylish in the manner of a Vogue "It" girl or someone like, say, Carolina Herrera, she definitely has personal style in bucketloads. (I credit her with my smudgy, dark navy eyeliner period.)
She's also a good argument for finding a signature style and sticking with it, particularly if you're a celebrity. I put Cher, Christie Brinkley, Diane Keaton and Jennifer Lopez in this camp, too. I can see Taylor Swift and Miley Cyrus (a Joan Jett fan who was on hand at the Hall of Fame ceremony last night also, complete with armpit hair) heading in this same direction. Thirty years from now, we will be marveling at how good Swifty still looks with her swoopy bangs and oxford heels and wondering who did Miley's boob lift, because she still looks so perky in her pasties.
That isn't to say being a style chameleon is bad, but let's compare and contrast Joan Jett with Madonna. I hesitate to make this about age, but it's going to come up, so here you go: Joan Jett is 56, the same age as Madonna. Madonna, a famous style chameleon, is now having some issues, at least in the media, with her many continued, erm, explorations of her ever-evolving personal style. She gets much more flak from the Age-Appropriate Police for wearing clothes that aren't deemed suitable than either Joan Jett or Cher do. Presumably Madonna DGAF, but if you've been used to seeing someone wear enough eyeliner to blind a member of KISS for the last 30 years, people don't say, "Wow, Joan Jett shouldn't be wearing all that eye makeup at her age." It's just an accepted thing, because it's Joan motherf*cking Jett and that's what she does.
Messed up? Yes. But it's something to think about, Lady Gaga.