'I Can't Quit You Baby'

All photos by Nick Tomecek

The idea of Led Zeppelin eluded me for most of my life.

It wasn’t until college when I finally decided to give this household name a true listen. In retrospect, what was the hold up?

I think it took me awhile to listen to Led Zeppelin, because I had jaded stereotypes of what heavy metal and 1970s rock might sound like. I thought I wouldn’t like them, and I was right.

I love them.

I was lucky, because my first Led Zeppelin listen was a vinyl pressing of the English rock group’s self-titled debut album released in 1969. I was slightly unlucky, because my record is scratched in several places, and tape holds together the case.

Having beat-up cases surrounding pre-used vinyl records, however, is half the appeal of collecting for me.

I listened to the skipping record at least 10 times the first week I heard it and 50 times since. I adore Robert Plant’s high-pitched vocals, the dynamic pace of the songs and the passion behind them.

I’d always relied on lyrics to ascertain the emotions in a song, but this album was a game-changer. The instruments in “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You” and “You Shook Me” tell you everything you need to know, which is completely different in each song by the way.

The way Led Zeppelin intertwined blues rock and folk rock with heavy metal was innovative and still captivates me. From the folk-style storytelling in “Your Time Is Gonna Come” to the intensity of “Communication Breakdown” I couldn’t assume anything about music after hearing this record.

The trippy track “Dazed and Confused” is legendary and “How Many More Times” is downright charming.

My view of rock music from that era wasn’t the only stereotype “Led Zeppelin” reversed.

I found myself favoring the most guitar-heavy increments; the loudest, whiniest vocals; and the most drum-centric moments of the songs. Who is this girl, I asked myself.

Honestly, though, it’s no surprise I was attracted to Led Zeppelin. I grew up listening to bands such as Deftones, Kittie and Korn in a minivan with my mom on the way to soccer practice.

My general inclination toward rock music contrasts seamlessly with my love for joyous funk music. Where other music falls in relation to these polar opposites — hard rock and funk — is how I define my taste in music.

The character Penny Lane in the movie “Almost Famous” inspired this outfit. Her 1970s blend of bohemian and rocker styles fits well with my personal style and this record.

This white, shaggy coat spoke to me when I saw it in the window of H&M. My mind instantly flashed through five to 10 outfits featuring this fluffy outerwear.

As a side note, this soft coat terrifies my dog every time I wear it. Don’t ask me why.

While stylists often recommend sticking with one statement piece, I’m a rebel.

I crafted this outfit to look over the top with thigh-high leather boots, an embroidered faux suede skirt and a silky forest green tank top. Why can’t every piece make a statement?

I snagged the earrings at De'france Antiques in Fort Walton Beach, picked up the soft tank at H&M in the Destin Commons, scored the mini skirt at Deja Vu in Seaside, spotted the necklace at Destin Target's clearance section and pulled these boots from obscurity, in other words, out of my closet.

One of the reasons I particularly like this look is because it incorporates several fall colors: burgundy, forest green, off white and brown. Plus, it makes me feel like a gypsy rock star.

“I Can’t Quit You Baby” is the song playing in my head when I wear this combo.

P.S. This 1978 Volkswagen bus might be Pink Floyd-ed out right now, but the owner says its next theme might be Zeppelin.

The outfit:

Earrings - De'france Antiques

Necklace - Target

Coat, tank top - H&M

Skirt - Deja Vu, Seaside

Boots - Gianni Bini, Dillard's