Sick of Nineties Nostalgia? LIZ Brings Back Y2K Sounds and Style-------
Feeling like nineties nostalgia is so last season? Then meet Mad Decent’s pop princess LIZ (aka the apt @LIZ_Y2K on Twitter), whose Y2K-heavy music and style could make Miley shiver. As LIZ herself puts it when we met at Gimme! Coffee in Williamsburg (the nail salon, our original meet-up spot, was closed), her style is “underground TRL,” a spot-on description.
The L.A. born/raised/currently based musician, with the recently released EP “Just Like You,” was in town to perform at the Spider-Man 2 premiere after-party. Her Pharrell-produced, slinky R&B jam, “That’s My Man,” is a featured standout (and a total song-of-summer contender) on the film’s buzzed-about soundtrack. Before heading to VFiles to get her shop on, LIZ put aside some time to reminisce with Style.com about TRL, and talk Etsy jewelry and L.A. style.
So are you a designer kind of girl?
I like a mix. I like finding new up-and-coming designers. A lot of them come out of New York. And people who are in fashion school. I just found a new Australian designer called Emma Mulholland. Her shit is so good. VFiles is really fun to go to because they support a lot of local designers. But I find a lot online. For jewelry, I’ll get a lot of things custom-made on Etsy. Like this necklace I’m wearing—it’s rubber gummy bears. I have three necklaces from Freak City and they’re all little plastic charms. I like pieces that are custom and that no one else has.
What was your style like circa high school?
I feel like I was always pretty put together. I always liked to match—my jewelry, my shirt color, my scrunchie. Ever since I was little, I’ve always coordinated things. But I always like to dress for my mood and change nine times a day. I was like Britney with the low-cut Frankie B. jeans. I would always get in trouble with my teachers. If you’d bend over to get your backpack and the thong string came out—that was huge at the time! But yeah, I’d wear, like, midriff tops and Juicy sweats. It was very J.Lo/Britney, I’d say. I used to get made fun of for wearing FUBU, too.
What about your younger years?
I would say when I was little, my style was always really eclectic. I’d like to wear oversize things—my best friends growing up were mostly the boys who grew up on my street, so I’d try to kind of fit in with them with the baggy stuff. Then I went through my Clueless phase where I’d wear knee-highs and Mary Janes to school and I’d be really put together, everything matching. I was a ballerina, too, and I’d always have matching hair ribbons and scrunchies with my leotards and leg warmers.
How would you describe your style?
I’d say my clothes give TRL vibes—TRL-meets-today. There’s definitely a little Spice Girls there, little bit of Aaliyah, little bit of TLC, little bit of Britney. Underground TRL!
Ahh. The TRL days…
I actually screen-tested at MTV when I was 17 to be a VJ. They were testing artists to do it. They brought in me and JoJo. JoJo and I screen-tested the same day. They didn’t end up having artists do it, they were just testing it out.
Do you have a day-to-day stylist?
No. Never. If there’s a stylist on a photo shoot, I always end up bringing my own clothes. These people don’t know me, you know? I need to make sure I’m always representing myself the way I wanna be. Of course, sometimes it’s fun to dress up and play a character, but when you’re a new artist, you have to be careful of that because people don’t have the context.
So, you’re an L.A. girl. Has the West Coast influenced your style? What’s going on over there style-wise that you’re into?
On the east side, girls don’t wear much makeup, they don’t really wash their hair, they look kind of grimy-chic. That’s the look. It’s like the more laid-back-you-don’t-give-a-fuck you are, the cooler you are. I’ve definitely become a lot more laid-back. When I go out sometimes, I just won’t wear makeup or I’ll just put my hair in a ponytail. But in West Hollywood, they wear a shit-ton of makeup. I grew up in L.A., I was born and raised here—there’s a difference between people who were born there and people who move there and have this idea of what they’re supposed to look like.