In the wake of the shocking death of musician Prince at the age of 57, we look back on some of the incredible boundary-pushing, era defining style choices he has made over the years. He wrote some incredible music but whilst doing so, used the stage to promote new forms of sex symbol, carving out an instantly recognisable silhouette for himself.

Few people could master the art of utterly beautiful lyrics that were perfectly intertwined with unashamed, shirt off, tight trouser sex appeal. Bowie may have owned asexual androgyny in it's most perfect form, but his prodigy Prince took the ruffles and silk and turned them into a sultry, insouciant style that everybody wanted.

The crop tops, the pre-Raphaelite opulence and miles of leathers, silks and metallics were worn with a beautiful arrogance that few could master, purely because he knew that no one could do it better than he did. Louis Well and Terry Vaughn who created the infamous outfit for the Purple Rain movie, also looked after the likes of Earth, Wind and Fire and knew just how to capture Prince's personal style in their eclectic and imaginative designs.

Unlike many stars of today, Prince was never a mannequin for designers and he was never aligned to a brand other than his own, his bespoke creations were secretly conjured up out of nowhere, which made him a person to try and emulate but never truly copy. His longing for total privacy crept into his wardrobe also.

Eras are defined by their artists, but Prince never mellowed and never let the passing of time dull his style or make him any less the total peacock of music that he was. Of course, he experimented with many looks but never totally reinvented himself in the way that the likes of Bowie or Madonna have done. There was a certain consistency in Prince's style evolution. The hair was always big, the facial hair always expertly managed and the flares always reigned supreme.

IBTimes UK looks back on some of the best outfits worn by the artist formerly and forever known as Prince.

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