2 posts tagged "Nicola Formichetti"
Beauty And The Beat: Sleigh Bells’ Alexis Krauss Goes From Business Casual To “Bombastic, Energetic, And Tough”
With a varied career path that has included stints singing in the teen pop group RubyBlue and teaching the fourth grade, you’d hardly expect Alexis Krauss to have a soft spot for spiked leather jackets, big hoop earrings, and blunt jet-black bangs. Yet the Sleigh Bells front woman has developed a badass onstage persona that pairs perfectly with the band’s chainsaw rock sound. Since forming the Brooklyn-based outfit with Derek Miller in 2008, the twosome has released two albums (the latest, Reign of Terror, came out earlier this year) and garnered a diverse range of fans—including M.I.A., who signed them to her music label—and the throngs of kids who come to their sold-out shows to watch Krauss sing, dance, and headbang her way through the set. How does she maintain the high-level energy, night after night? “I try to stay as sober, well rested, and active as possible,” she explains, adding, “I bring my bike on the road with me and lately I’ve been practicing a lot of hot yoga—it’s an incredible challenge but the payoff is worth it!” Before heading out on a two-month tour, which takes Sleigh Bells across the U.S. and through Europe, Krauss let Style.com in on a few of her other tricks, including how to trim tough-girl bangs, doing your own nail art, and what it feels like to get a custom-made jacket from Nicola Formichetti.
What has been the biggest difference between releasing the first and second albums?
Our confidence levels. We are more assertive and more capable of making smarter business and creative decisions. We’ve learned to never compromise and to never succumb to the pressure or expectations of others. We no longer feel like the new kids on the block, and as a result we are more comfortable being who we want to be.
Rock ‘n’ roll has its fair share of tough girls. What is it about certain symbols of toughness—be it leather jackets or jet-black hair—that you think appeals to a lot of female performers?
I can only speak for myself, and in our case the band’s aesthetic is inextricably linked to the music we make. I want my style to represent our sound, which is bombastic, energetic, and tough while also being playful, innocent, and feminine. I like wearing clothes that represent that juxtaposition, whether it be pairing a studded leather jacket with a pair of pastel daisy dukes or classic white Keds with shredded fishnet stockings. I’m also constantly referencing the looks of rock ‘n’ roll’s most badass women, like Joan Jett, Cyndi Lauper, Lita Ford, Debbie Harry, or Mary Weiss, to name a few.
So your look is pretty thought-out?
Honestly, it’s something that I’m constantly thinking about and cultivating. When I began performing in Sleigh Bells I was still teaching fourth grade, and it took some time to transition my wardrobe from business casual to what it is today. I did tons of research looking into designers and cultivating relationships with my favorites. I love working closely with small labels such as Obesity & Speed and Bambi and Manson to create looks that are compatible with mine and the band’s sensibilities. Like many women I love experimenting with clothing and makeup and I’m always pushing myself to take risks and try different things.
Remember last month when we spotlighted Kristina Salinovic‘s super-sweet fade and pointed out that we thought it might be contributing to her stellar season so far? Well, it seems as though Nicola Formichetti feels similarly. Not only did the Mugler designer have the Croatian stunner open his highly anticipated Fall women’s show—his first for the house—he seems to have instructed coiffing star Sam McKnight to mimic the front of her now statement, side-parted crop on the 20 girls that came out behind her. Both black and blond varieties made cameos, calling to mind Salinovic’s recent appearance in Love‘s androgyny issue, in which she sports a platinum streak down her otherwise raven-hued locks. As for the rest of the models, they received either bleached, gelled-up fan shapes protruding above their ears or long, middle-parted bangs left out and dangling loose below the chin. All 35 of them were given long, mid-back grazing ponytails as well, except, of course, for one lone catwalker. Lady Gaga got two ponytails worn as pigtails, which the she whipped back and forth with a bravado possessed by her alone.