2 posts tagged "Sleigh Bells"
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.
Bonnaroo 2011 is officially in the books and while the Eminem, Arcade Fire and Black Keys-fronted outdoor camping extravaganza didn’t bring out the kind of celebrity sightings we’ve come to expect from the annual music and arts festival (a face-painted, Indian headdress-wearing Drew Barrymore was sorely missed this year), we still managed to glean a few beauty tips from the talent onstage (and their backstage hangers-on). Here, three lessons learned form the Tennessee valley:
1. Flowers, Not Feathers
Karen Elson passed on plumage and embraced petals instead, sporting a gigantic, bejeweled ginger
bloom behind her ear.
2. Don’t Forget Your Statement Lip
The day of the strong pout, on the other hand, is far from over, as Amber Rose demonstrated with a bright pink mouth backstage during new beau, Wiz Khalifa’s set. Wiz is no Kanye, but we’re glad to see that Rose is keeping up her fashion savvy after splitting from the front-row fixture.
3. When In Doubt, Wear Waterproof
Musicians are are no strangers to the smoky eye, but Sleigh Bells front woman Alexis Krauss worked the sultry look with impressive ease even when swinging her head back and forth and working up an on-stage sweat. That, dear readers, is the power of a good waterproof shadow like Make Up For Ever
Aqua Cream, which stays put even when the hard rocking ensues.