21 posts tagged "Coachella"
Sleigh Bells Frontwoman Alexis Krauss Talks Coachella Fashion Norms, Style Evolutions, and Wearing Crocs-------
Thank the rock-and-roll style gods for Alexis Krauss, front woman of noisy pop duo Sleigh Bells, whose sartorial-slaying style is greatly appreciated in the current sea of zanily dressed pop starlets with a penchant for trend-hopping. There’s the sea punk, the ratchet realness, the ghetto gothic, the lovelorn old Hollywood damsel in distress. Then there’s—sartorial sigh—the normcore. But with three Sleigh Bells’ albums under her studded belt, Krauss continues to keep it real with the classic rock-and-roll duds. She’s doing something very right, and we’re not just talking about Sleigh Bells’ inescapable bangers soundtracking Spring Breakers, The Bling Ring, and HBO’s Girls.
The Brooklyn-based band plays Coachella for the third time starting this weekend (Saturday at 9:10 p.m. PST between Lorde and Pharrell, to be exact), which will find Krauss hair-whipping (and probably crowd-surfing) whilst belting it out.
Style.com caught up with the former schoolteacher before she headed over to the festival. She spilled about her thoughts on the (oftentimes unfortunate) Coachella fashion norm, her dreams of working with Alexander Wang and meeting Pharrell, and her style evolution: her suburban alt-kid-meets-pop-diva high school style; her corporate, crocs-heavy schoolteacher style; and her (of course) current killer style as a punky princess.
What was your style like in high school?
It was kind of weird because I was also in a girl pop band, RubyBlue. It was this weird disconnect where among my friends I was wearing, like, creepers and studded belts and spaghetti tank tops with, like, the Gwen Stefani knots in my hair. But then in my professional life—which sounds crazy to say because I was, like, 15—but with RubyBlue, it was much more bubblegum-pop style. There were, like, sparkling bell-bottoms going on and hot pink corset tops. I went through my period in high school where all I would listen to was The Ramones, The Clash, The Smiths. I feel like I was the typical suburban alternative-looking kid but also, like, pop diva. It was a weird juxtaposition.
You were also an elementary schoolteacher pre-Sleigh Bells. How’d you dress then?
I’d like to think that I tried to be more fashionable than most teachers. The first year, I tried really hard. I thought, How can I embrace this corporate, casual world but do it in a way that’s fashionable? I did try to look cute, but then by my second year—I’m not gonna lie—I walked around in Crocs. I’d walk up four flights of stairs and stand in a classroom all day. When you’re waking up at 5 in the morning, you don’t really have the luxury of thinking of fashion like I do now.
What are your thoughts on the fashion and beauty expectations of women in pop music?
I definitely think women are held to a different standard than men, and as a female musician, you’re expected to engage with fashion and beauty in a way that men obviously aren’t. That being said, there’s this whole styling industry that goes along with being a female artist. A lot of artists engage with that but a bit haphazardly. People are giving them clothes, but they don’t really have a strong sense of personal style. Then there’s obviously artists who have incredible personal style and have that gift to curate amazing designers and pieces and kind of pull it all together seemingly effortlessly. It’s kind of hard because you have to figure out who you are. Are you gonna be the person who can wear crazy couture pieces, or are you gonna be the person who just kind of wears basics?
I’ve finally kind of developed my own space that I’m comfortable in. I like being adventurous to a degree, but I also really like keeping it simple with denim, black, leather—simple pieces and moods that obviously reference classic rock ‘n’ rollers like Debbie Harry and Joan Jett. I’m really interested in fashion as an accessory to the music, and not as the dominant show. But that’s just me. For a while, I feel like I tried to make myself into something I wasn’t by just saying yes to everything. It became stressful and disingenuous, so at this point, I like repping pieces by brands that I love and I know and I have a personal relationship with. I’m not looking to wear something because it’s on trend, or I should wear that because it will get me attention. I’m much more interested in calling up somebody I know and being like, “Hey, let’s work on this really awesome, badass, simple denim jacket” and call it a day.
Would you ever consider being the face of a major fashion brand? Alexander Wang, for instance, has a thing for musicians in campaigns and front-rows.
I was just gonna say Alex. I went to his show back in September, and I had the pleasure of meeting him. For the show, he gave me these incredibly skinny leather pants and a great, black simple tank top and these incredible boots. It was just like, “If I had the money, this is how I’d dress every day.” He was such a doll, and it would be such a dream to collaborate with him in some capacity. I think he’s really innovative and always does stuff that is fun and playful but never for the sake of being adventurous or silly or avant-garde. He manages to be that designer I think really caters to the New York woman who is interested in her basics and her blacks, her leather, her denim, her great pair of black pants and a classic dress. It never feels contrived to me.
I’ve had the privilege of going to a few Kenzo shows, and Humberto [Leon] and Carol [Lim] are so wonderful. I’m not naturally really comfortable with bold patterns and prints, but they do it in a way that I absolutely love. Their latest collection was so gorgeous. I’d love to do something with them at some point.
So, according to your Instagram, you also love nail art.
I see nail art as a really great accessory. I’m much more into having crazy nail art than a really crazy necklace. I think it’s a great representation of the rest of your style. I like to keep my nail palate pretty classic: black, metallic, gold. I’ve been really into different nude polishes lately. And I love studs. Nail art’s been great because it comes out of a personal relationship with my friend Ria, who has a Tumblr called RiaNailz.tumblr.com. She’s been a collaborator with me on nail art and styling and video things. It’s a really cool, badass, female-dominated culture.
What are you expecting to see style-wise at Coachella this year?
I think there’ll be a lot of crop tops and high-waisted shorts, which I have no problem with—I love it. And lots of florals and neons and updated hippie sort of stuff—which is cool, it’s not personally my thing. My whole wardrobe is black and lace and leather and studs and leopard print. I’m like, “God, man, I need a more summer look.” I think the best festival style is simple and sexy: really good denim cutoff shorts, a good tank top, jerseys are always good, a layer—whether it’s a badass leather jacket or a vest—and just keeping it simple. A good T-shirt and cutoff jeans always cut it, in my opinion.
Is there anyone in particular you hope to meet with that coveted backstage pass?
I wanna meet Lorde and Pharrell—speaking of fashion, I wonder if he’ll wear his hat. I’d probably die and go to heaven if I met Pharrell. I just wanna ask him, “How do you make your skin look so incredible? How do you not age?”
Neil Tennant is sitting in the Wolseley a day before he and Chris Lowe go west, flying from London to San Francisco to prepare for Pet Shop Boys’ headlining performance on Saturday night at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Annual Festival. “Is it Coach-ella or Co-a-chella?” Tennant wonders. He’ll find out soon enough. Beforehand, PSB are shaking off six months of rust—they finished the most recent leg of their Electric world tour in Mexico last October—with warm-ups this week in Oakland and Ventura, California. And there’s been a bit of fine-tuning. “We could feel the audience getting a bit shifty in their seats mid-show with the new songs,” says Tennant. So he’s promising “a traffic jam of hits” on Saturday night.
It’s been a staggering thirty years since the very first, “West End Girls.” Over time, that song has become the kind of classic to which all forms of human life have met and mated (Tennant and Lowe are always being reminded of that fact by the ardent fans who pay extra for a pre-show meet and greet). Chart-meister Pharrell Williams confessed to Tennant in Toronto recently that he wished it was his song. On Saturday night, Pharrell finishes his set at the Outdoor Theatre just as PSB walk out onto the Mojave Stage, so he’ll make their gig in time to hear the song he wished he’d written irresistibly elided with a new number, the EDM-ish raver “Fluorescent.” That’s a killer one-two that should shake the starry, starry night over the California desert. It’ll also be a measure of the way Lowe and Tennant constantly revise and refresh their material. “Traffic jam of hits” or not, I’ve never seen a show of theirs which left me feeling like I was listening to a mere run-through of old faves (even though there are dozens of them). The sound is always evolving and so is the masterful showmanship. Pet Shop Boys’ only real peer is Kraftwerk, with whom they are coincidentally co-headlining Moogfest in Asheville, North Carolina, in a few weeks.
Tennant agrees it’s a challenge translating their intelligent spectacle to a festival setting: “It’s a bit more nerve-racking because it’s not your audience. You’ve really got to fight.” He remembers one rock festival in northern Spain where the audience was particularly ill-disposed to PSB’s brand of pop music. “But we followed Beck, and we were saved, in my opinion, from being canned off stage because Beck stood at the side of the stage throughout our performance dancing and singing along with his bass player, and the audience thought, Who are we to disagree? As Monica Lewinsky once said to me, ‘Oh, I know who you are. I grew up in Los Angeles in the eighties.’ So did Beck.
“That’s the funny thing about festivals,” Tennant continues. “You’re always following someone like the Red Hot Chili Peppers.” Or being followed by them—you have to feel for Bryan Ferry on Friday night, who is lead-in to the hoary goth metal of The Cult. And on Saturday night? “I’m sure it will be someone much more appropriate,” Tennant says confidently. Actually, Neil, you’re following Mogwai. If PSB are purest art pop, Mogwai has always been regarded by its devotees as the apogee of art rock. Maybe that means they’ll appreciate the jackets Jeffrey Bryant has sculpted for Tennant and Lowe from 3,000 drinking straws. At the very least, I’ll be looking for selfies of the Mogsters discoing wildly in the wings while the Pets woo the dancing hordes with their sparkliest manifesto, “Love Is a Bourgeois Construct.”
Tennant’s wracked nerves aside, PSB actually have brilliant form at the most famous festival in the world. I’m talking about Glastonbury, where, on another Saturday night in 2010, PSB were playing on something called the Other Stage while Muse headlined the Pyramid Stage. “The night before, when the Flaming Lips were playing the Other Stage, Chris went to see them and there were just a few thousand people, so we were reconciled to the fact that no one would come to see us. When we got there the next day, our production manager said the actual physical space for the audience in front of the stage was already full. In the end, 50,000 people watched us, the same number that watched Muse. It was absolutely one of the best experiences,” remembers Tennant. So perhaps it’s a promising coincidence that Saturday brings a rematch: Muse is playing on the Coachella Stage at the exact same time Pet Shop Boys take to the Mojave.
Now Tennant must leave to pack his giant-size Tumi for tomorrow’s trip, but there’s one pressing item before he goes. Monica…ahem…Lewinsky? “We met at Ian McKellen’s 50th birthday party. She looked iconic, like a walking Andy Warhol screen print. Liz Taylor, perhaps.” The history of the Pet Shop Boys is crammed with hundreds of similar stories. Can’t wait to see what Coachella adds to the almanac.
Coachella might have come and gone, but across the pond, festival season is just getting started. And if musical meet-ups such as Glastonbury and Lovebox are any indication, no one knows quite how to combine a muddy field, nonstop tunes, and bohemian threads like the English. In celebration of the Brits’ summer concert savvy, Topshop is releasing a full-fledged festival-themed collection. Available starting Friday, the sixteen-piece range pulled inspiration from Coachella veteran Kate Bosworth, who took some of the wares for a spin while in Indio last month. Topshop’s muse also showcases the line’s plaid shirt, denim cutoffs, and simple sundresses while dancing around the desert in a Michael Polish-lensed film titled The Road to Coachella. Ranging from $20 to $400, the capsule hits stores alongside a larger music-themed initiative, comprising Topshop playlists, an interactive worldwide festival guide on the brand’s Web site, and a series of secret international pop-up gigs featuring established and emerging artists alike. Watch the film’s debut (above) and take a first look at Topshop’s festival duds (below) here, exclusively on Style.com.
Last weekend, Jason Wu headed to Indio to experience Coachella for the very first time. Here, the designer shares the details of his festival adventure, exclusively with Style.com.
I was very excited to be a first-timer at Coachella this year. It is always so inspiring to see new things, and after hearing so much about it from friends, I decided to take the plunge! I arrived at the Parker Palm Springs and was greeted by its iconic white façade and orange doors. The weather was a delightful ninety degrees, which was a welcomed change from the often rainy New York we’ve been seeing this year.
On day one, I immediately ran into a familiar face: Chanel Iman! We’ve been friends since we were both just starting out in the industry. We haven’t seen each other since my Fall 2013 show, where she made a rare runway comeback for old times’ sake!
One of the bands I was most excited to see, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, take the stage in front of a throng of fans.