COLLECTION

ABOUT

PRESS

THE JOURNAL

BEHIND THE SCENES

 

 

 

Monday, August 18, 2014

 
Monday Muse - Monday, 18th August
 

Our Monday Muses have ranged from women of great celebrity to personal inspirations of mine. It has been some time since we last celebrated a Monday Muse and it’s with pleasure that this week I find myself looking very much ‘close to home’.

It’s hard to know where to begin in describing the woman Monique is, and what she and her brand are all about. MONIQUE PÉAN is a New York based fine jewelry brand that features beautiful, innovative and unique designs. Monique speaks of the importance of being able to ‘stand behind’ ones product and ultimately MONIQUE PÉAN is an entirely socially responsible and environmentally friendly business.

All luxury brands fall prey to criticisms of extravagance, materialism and moral irrelevance. I personally have always believed that there has to be a substantial soul and persona behind luxury, that it has to relate back to the real world and be able to speak not only to the lavish and indulgent, but on some level to everyone. People should be encouraged to appreciate quality and beauty without feeling guilty, and this is exactly what Monique fights for, and achieves.

All materials used in the MONIQUE PÉAN collections are sustainable, sourced globally through partnerships with local communities and artisans. Monique produces two signature collections a year with each collection beginning with a total immersion in new local culture around the world. She picks up local techniques, for example hand carved scrimshaw - unique designs are hand etched into materials with vegetable dye -and now works with scrimshaw artists throughout the Unites States, promoting and supporting artisanal trade. Materials she uses include fossilized walrus tusk, fossilized dinosaur bone (150 million years old), fossilized jet and meteorites among others. Monique travels constantly, always looking for new naturally sourced materials. She told me once about jade she found in Guatemala, that rose naturally to the surface, prompted by the motion of plate tectonics that occur in the region. She will only use recycled gold - gold mines are commonly linked to poor working conditions and gold mining is an environmentally harmful process, depositing cyanide, lead and mercury into local water sources. She told me last week that the production of one gold wedding band can produce 20 tons of waste.

Diamonds found in MONIQUE PÉAN collections are exclusively conflict and devastation free, and often repurposed (existing stones found in antique jewelry). Interestingly – she tells me that diamonds now cut with lasers, are so symmetrical and perfect that the light is unable to bounce off in the same way it does with antique diamonds.

The full circle of social responsibility culminates with the provision of clean water and sanitation in disadvantaged communities supported by MONIQUE PÉAN sales. Monique has built clean water wells in Malawi, Mozambique and Haiti and is currently building wells in Ethiopia and Nepal.

If you ask Monique what prompted her to start a fine jewelry line (having graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Philosophy, Political Science and Economics - and as a graduate working as an analyst at Goldman Sachs) she’ll tell you that immersing herself in creativity, and working with her hands, was how she coped with a personal tragedy. Her younger sister Vanessa Péan died in a car accident at the age of 16, when Monique was 25 years old. Vanessa had become interested and involved in charity work in Haiti, where their father is from – she was working to set up a scholarship fund and was focused on providing education to underprivileged Haitian children. After Vanessa’s death, the Péan family endeavored to continue her work and set up the Vanessa Péan Foundation. In the face of such personal devastation, Monique was compelled not only to make the most of the time she had, but also to give back. It was a year later, in 2006 that she launched MONIQUE PÉAN.

Monique’s fascination with travel and culture never ceases to inspire me. PRABAL GURUNG is also a brand that speaks to the global, travelled and cultured woman, the woman that looks out at the world around her and engages with a number of meaningful occupations and interests. In this way I couldn’t identify with Monique more, or appreciate the ways in which our brands speak to each other. Buying a piece of Monique’s jewelry is not just a statement of social awareness, you are buying into an exquisite reflection of the world we live in, the history of the world we live in, and helping to perpetuate a principled and honorable luxury. The women that inspire me are women of substance and integrity, intelligent and curious women of inordinate inner strength. I can’t think of someone these words apply to more than they do Monique. I am always in awe of those who are willing to devote time and hard work to follow through with their vision. And so Monique, besides being a dear friend of mine, is also an inspiration and this Monday’s Muse.


moniquepean.com

 
 

Monday, June 02, 2014

 
Monday Muse - Monday June 2nd
 

Tonight, at the 2014 CFDA Fashion Awards, Bethann Hardison will be honored with the Founder’s Award, given in honor of the CFDA’s founder, Eleanor Lambert. It feels right to reflect this much deserved recognition (albeit in a smaller way!) with our Monday Muse series.

Bethann Hardison has been fighting tirelessly for greater diversity on the runway since 2007. We have identified that integrity, resolution and grit are qualities integral to the women we look towards as inspirational – Hardison fulfills each in abundance – she has adopted the slogan “Activism needs to remain active.”

Hardison started modeling in the sixties, she appeared in the 1973 ‘Grand Divertissement à Versailles’, a fashion show staged to raise awareness for the disintegrating palace – a face-off between top French and American designers using exclusively black models. When she founded her own model agency ‘Bethann Management’ in 1984, representing both white women and women of color, designers’ reluctance to consider any but white models caught her attention. She pressed the point, as far as she could, before tiring of the modeling industry and retiring in 1996. During the late 90’s (and in Hardison’s absence) trends shifted back towards generic, clonelike casting for the runway.

For the New York Times: “In my heyday, black models worked more than they worked today,” said Iman, who calls Ms. Hardison her closest friend. “I thought, what the hell is this on about?”

In July 2008 Bethann helped to develop and edit the ground breaking and highly successful “All Black Issue” of Vogue Italia, and in September 2013 Bethann led the Diversity Coalition, an organization that developed the Balance Diversity initiative, a movement to improve racial diversity in the fashion industry permanently. On the eve of the Spring 2014 Season’s debut, Hardison’s Diversity Coalition penned an open letter to the fashion industry chastising the designers who made little or no effort to incorporate women of color into their runways.

Thanks to the Diversity Coalition’s pioneering efforts, there has already been a noticeable increase of ethnically diverse women on runways and in editorials alike.

Bethann Hardison serves as a model of empowerment for the fashion industry and her steadfast commitment to increased diversity is cause to celebrate all she has inspired. She continues to shed light on the sensitive matter with the utmost grace. It’s easy to become wrapped up in the fantasy of producing a luxury brand, Hardison works relentlessly to make sure that our industry continues to see past this, maintaining integrity and an intelligent ethical justice. Hardison is a fierce female role model, and this Monday’s Muse.

 
 

Monday, April 28, 2014

 
Monday Muse - Monday, 28th April
 

I was browsing the Internet recently, and came across a short essay entitled ‘The Opposite of Loneliness’. I happen to be perpetually intrigued, captivated by and concerned with the increasingly digitally over - connected / personally under-connected world we are living in – and so this article caught my eye. Marina Keegan, musing over her last few months at Yale University, and the disconcerting state of unknowing anticipation she found her fellow undergraduates to be so nervously wallowing in – juvenilia, in general - writes, ‘We’re so young. We’re so young. We’re twenty-two years old. We have so much time.'

I delve into the context of the article, and I discover Marina, aged 22 years old, died in a car crash five days after this essay was published.

Marina graduated magna cum laude from Yale in May 2012. She had a play that was to be produced at the New York International Fringe Festival and a job lined up at the New Yorker. She was a rising star. The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories, is a collection of short stories and essays that was published posthumously this month. Keegan creates alarmingly imaginative emotional dynamics, empathetically exploring the idiosyncratic nature of the human condition.

Her essay entitled ‘Even Artichokes Have Doubts’ resonates with me enormously. Alarmed by the statistic that 25 percent of employed Yale graduates enter the finance or consulting industry, she insists that young people shouldn’t stop dreaming.

‘What bothers me is this idea of validation, of rationalization. The notion that some of us (regardless of what we tell ourselves) are doing this because we’re not sure what else to do and it’s easy to apply to and it will pay us decently and it will make us feel like we’re still successful.’

She isn’t discounting the finance industry, or the nobility of needing to make money and absolutely doing so.. but merely agonizing over the fact that so many young people don’t seem to realize the opportunities they have entering the world as adults. Upon investigation, amongst her peers, she finds only apathetic attitudes towards upcoming positions in gleaming financial institutions. ‘I just haven’t met that many people who sound genuinely excited about these jobs. That’s super depressing!’. She closes her thoughts – ‘I feel like we can do something really cool to this world.’

And she’s right. No one has as much power to positively impact the world than the next generation.

Jack Hitt writes for the New Yorker:

‘For her family and friends, the grief is intimate and personal. But for some in our field—producers and editors, reporters and writers, the loss of Marina is a different kind of tragedy. We lost a talent before we got to know her.’

Naming Marina Keegan as our Monday Muse isn’t intended to be an act of contrived posthumous glorification, but recognition I feel compelled to give to an overwhelmingly talented, promising and intuitive young lady, whose chance to make a name for herself in life was ripped away from her far too soon. She was a girl who believed she could change the world for the better, and a girl who had the strength of character to try to do so. PRABAL GURUNG is a brand inspired by women of substance, women who are interested and curious about the world around them, women whose beauty radiates from the inside. Marina was insistent that if given the chance, one should absolutely follow their dreams - and so am I. Marina Keegan is this Monday’s Muse.


Even Artichokes Have Doubts

The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan



 
 

Monday, February 17, 2014

 
Monday Muse - Monday, 17th February
 

Our Spring 2014 Campaign launched last month, featuring Liya Kebede

PRABAL GURUNG is a brand just as much inspired by women of substance, grace and intangible beauty, as it is a brand established to inspire the same. As has often been reported, particularly of late, the PRABAL GURUNG woman is a woman who epitomizes what Prabal describes as ‘femininity with a bite.’ The rose with its thorn - the harness under a ball gown. For us, profound beauty cannot be comprised simply of aesthetic, but must also refer to intellectual, emotional and artistic capabilities.

For Spring 2014, a collection whose narrative referenced the concept of preserving the elegant and accomplished woman, it seemed therefore both fitting and necessary to celebrate a character of such integrity and infallible beauty, a woman who has achieved so much and stands as a symbol of such extraordinary female empowerment.

Liya Kebede was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She’s been seen on the covers of Italian, Japanese, American, French and Spanish Vogue a number of times, and has featured in campaigns for Yves Saint Laurent, Dolce & Gabbana and Louis Vuitton - amongst others. She’s been named by FORBES as one of the world’s top 15 highest earning models.

In 2005, Kebede was appointed WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and in 2006 the Liya Kebede Foundation was started, the mission of which is to reduce maternal, newborn and child mortality in Ethiopia, and around the world. She is also part of the Champions for an HIV Free Generation, an organization of African leaders who advocate for increased HIV prevention and treatment efforts in Africa.

Liya launched her clothing line ‘Lemlem’ in 2008. Meaning ‘to bloom’, the line, that sells hand-spun, woven and embroidered women an children’s clothing was founded to preserve and promote the traditional arts of her homeland.

Looking aside from the statistics - awards she has won, figures she has achieved- Liya’s philanthropic endeavors act as a genuine example of her compassion and concern for those around her. The ability to see beyond your personal success, and further, feel the compulsion to share your privileges as best you can with those less fortunate is not something everyone can do, or wants to do, and is something that requires integrity, resolution and an undeniable degree of grit. Liya commemorates each and every one of these qualities, she is absolutely one of the most inspirational female role models of our time. Her strength of character radiates with sincerity, and her beauty undoubtedly comes from the inside. She is this Monday’s muse.

The Liya Kebede Foundation

 
 

Friday, February 07, 2014

 
Prabal Gurung Fall 2014
 

‘In Mustang, leave nothing but footprints..’


Mustang; a source of awe, a place of solace, with a history of myths and legends.

Mustang is the former Kingdom of Lo, an ancient Tibetan kingdom that is now part of Nepal. Until 1991, no outsiders were allowed to enter Mustang. The Nepalese government tenaciously kept this slice of mythical, spiritual land closed to all foreigners - save the odd inquisitive scholar.

Hidden in the Himalayas, it is protected by its remoteness - for centuries the only way in and out was on horseback. Explorers in the early 1900s described Mustang as a 'hidden kingdom' - the practice of Tibetan Buddhism has remained unchanged since the 14th century.

It remains wild and isolated, one of the world’s last few existing and genuine indigenous tribes. For a considerable and challenging permit fee, foreigners can now wander the dirt roads, crumbling monasteries and isolated villages. The Champa Lakhang Temple, standing close to the palace of the Raja of Mustang, houses the largest collection of 15th century Buddhist murals in the world. (Most Tibetan art was largely destroyed by the Chinese in the 1950s). Walled settlements are guarded by fierce Tibetan Mastiffs, and the Mustang people live in flat-roofed, mud brick houses. Rooftops are often stacked with piles of firewood , and with fuel being scarce in the barren lands such displays can be seen as demonstrations of wealth.

Mustang has been described as the last true Shangri-La of today’s cultural landscape – Shangri-La, the fictional utopian Tibetan lamasery described by English novelist James Hilton in ‘Lost Horizon’, a place of inner peace, love and sense of purpose. The PRABAL GURUNG collections have often referenced Nepalese culture, but this season is directly inspired by Nepal, and the richly mythical and legendary culture it celebrates.

PRABAL GURUNG Fall 2014. Saturday 8th, at 12 Noon. Live streaming at prabalgurung.com

 
 

Monday, November 25, 2013

 
Monday Muse
 

Last weekend Angelina Jolie won the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the fifth annual Governors Awards. As I reflected on the composure, elegance, dignity and compassion Jolie radiated standing on the podium, I began thinking about her life and career as we know it, and felt instantly compelled to have her as our next Monday Muse.

The humanitarian prize was awarded to Jolie for her charitable work with United Nations Refugee Agency for the past decade, for which she had made over 40 field missions, including helping refugees from Cambodia and Syria - this doesn’t cover even half of her contribution to philanthropy in general. In her acceptance speech, Jolie comments on the moment she understood her responsibility to others - the moment she realized how sheltered and fortunate her life had been and decided to commit her life to helping those less fortunate. Also not to forget - Jolie has simultaneously been the recipient of an Academy Award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and three Golden Globe Awards. There have certainly been the cynics who doubt the integrity of her cause, and I write this in definite opposition to them.

Angelina Jolie has undertaken the most fascinating evolution in life, as a spectator I feel one can only admire what she has achieved. From Girl, Interrupted to receiving this award.. Perhaps she has made a few ‘wrong’ decisions, run wayward a few times, but there is no denying that throughout all the choices she has made in life and in spite of what may have been considered ‘right’, she has remained entirely true to herself. To do this, and more importantly to do this in the public eye, requires an undeniable amount of inner strength and belief. In this world of flagrant pop culture that we live in, this world of Real Housewives and Snookis, it is so important to hold a beacon to the popular culture icons who act as a genuine reflection of the society and community we live in today. Jolie in no way glorifies the shallow, materialistic and bogus temptations of our times - we have been able to watch a woman mature and grow with her generation, using the opportunities she has been given to better herself and those around her.

There is certainly an element of surprise that Jolie has ended up where she has, and this can only make us applaud all the more. I identify with a journey that started out problematic, and not without demons, and can appreciate how far she has come all the more. Her acceptance speech thanked her late mother, her role model and constant supporter. Again I can identify with this. Jolie’s story is one of true resilience, she epitomizes the concept of ‘femininity with a bite’ that so defines the woman I design for. She is this Monday’s muse.

 
 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

 
Spotlight on Greta Bellamacina
 

If you've been following our Monday Muse Journal series, you'll know we have recently been keen to celebrate women from around the world that we feel are uniquely talented, spirited and inspiring. In line with this theme, we wanted to take a minute to talk about this young, beautiful poet and model from London, Greta Bellamacina.

The Better Geranium

I like to pretend
I don't care as I pour you a lake
From my kitchen sink.

I pour you my tears
Wide-wept dunes, to the
Geranium hero liver, in
Seas of flowerfaces.

I reorder my ways,
Cause my 'Friends' told me it was the 'right' way.

"I hope you will stay better"
I say it, but don't know it.
You will go, because I will go,
In innocence when others are not innocent

A less to lesser us both
My daytime idol, as it appears, bacteria
I grew.


Greta graduated from King's College London in 2012, with a BA in English. Her poems and articles have been widely published in various magazines and international poetry journals - a regular contributor to Harpers Bazaar UK, known for supporting the literary world through fashion, the publication has been a follower of Greta from the early stages of her career. Greta has also been short-listed as the Young Poet Laureate of London.

Greta has recently collaborated with Dame Vivienne Westwood to help campaign for climate issues. Creating new, emotive poetry about the climate, and world we live in, helping raise awareness for Westwood's 'Climate Revolution'.

Her poetry revolves around an unwavering devotion to words, a curiosity for depicting emotions from unfamiliar phrases and seeking unique lexical patterns.

Her debut collection of poetry 'Kaleidoscope' was released in 2011, her newest collection is entitled 'To December - A Devotion To She.'

Read Greta Bellamacina's poetry here..

 
 

Monday, October 14, 2013

 
Monday Muse - Monday, 14th October
 

Much has been written and reported about Malala Yousafzai, the young champion of women’s education. On October 9th, 2012, aged 14 years old, Malala was shot in the head twice by the Taliban in Pakistan. She was returning home from school on the school bus when targeted point blank by the militant group for speaking out about their behaviour and for the promotion of women’s education. Somehow, Malala made what is widely believed to be a miraculous recovery. Flown firstly to Peshawar, then to England, she survived a not only barbaric, but also life threatening head injury.

"The fact that she didn't die on the spot or very soon thereafter is to my mind nothing short of miraculous," Dr. Javid Kayani told Diane Sawyer, anchor of ABC News.

The doctors who treated Malala told the BBC that her recovery was ‘a tribute not just to the quality of the care she received - but also to her own resilience and determination.’

This resilience and determination seems to define Malala, and her story exists as proof that both can get you through the most devastating of situations. We have written regularly about women who stand as pillars of strength, confidence and intense, but quiet, self assurance - Malala, now an international symbol of girls rights' for education and security through her efforts to fight extremism and oppression, is a prime example of this woman.

Malala rose to prominence in 2009 when she wrote a blog for the BBC Urdu service about her life under Taliban rule and the lack of education for girls. "I wanted to speak up for my rights, and also I didn't want my future to be just sitting in a room and be imprisoned in my four walls and just cooking and giving birth to children. I didn't want to see my life in that way."

She now wants to become prime minister of Pakistan, following in the footsteps of her role model, the late Benazir Bhutto.

Last Friday, Malala Yousafzai just missed out on winning the coveted Nobel Peace Prize. Regardless of the outcome of the award, we decided some time ago that she would be this Monday’s Muse. Malala's bravery and dedication to her cause we feel is truly, truly remarkable. She not only stands up for women's rights, but in doing so demonstrates the female strength, sophistication and unwavering confidence we admire so much.

Read more about Malala with the BBC

 
 

Monday, September 16, 2013

 
Monday Muse - Monday 16th September
 

This Thursday the New York City Ballet Fall 2013 Gala will open with costumes designed by Prabal Gurung. Having spent the last six months working with choreographer and dancer Justin Peck, immersing ourselves in the world of dance, movement and theatre, the more and more we came to realize the extent of dedication and persistence ballerinas devote to their craft, the multitude of hardships they face on a daily basis.

Amongst these dancers there are so many inspiring, infinitely talented and endlessly persevering women, and we felt that in light of the upcoming Gala, this week’s Monday Muse should pay tribute to them.

We were introduced to Wendy Whelan by Peck. At the age of 46, Wendy remains a principal dancer of the New York City Ballet. Not only do most dancers retire well before 40, Wendy also suffers from severe scoliosis - The New York Times recently named Wendy as "America's greatest contemporary ballerina”.

Similarly to many of our past Monday Muses, Whelan gains immense motivation through adversity. She admits to Broadway World, “I thrive on the challenge, the exchange, the collaboration and the discovery. These experiences have shaped my artistic evolution and have kept me motivated and fulfilled.”

A diagnosis of severe scoliosis is crippling for anyone. Requiring constant therapy from a young age, hours a day spent fighting your spine’s inclination to twist and curve with exercises and core work, long periods of time in a hard brace, soft brace, or cast - all the while knowing the likely outcome could simply result in extreme surgery, a fusion of your spine, in order to protect your organs from being crushed, and your body deforming - it without a doubt tests the strongest of characters. To excel as a dancer requires a precision of poise, balance and harmony that feels impossible to achieve with a curved back. However Whelan proves otherwise - after her treatment at the age of 13, her determination remained unwavering, she would continue to attend ballet class in a full cast from her shoulder to her hips.

“I have this crooked body,” she tells The New York Times, “so I have to be really disciplined with it. It has to stay strong and limber, or else it gets tight. I also feel like if my spine is longer and more open, I don’t get depressed." The discipline pays off – Whelan is renowned for being one of the most adaptable, elegant and accomplished dancers in America.

“She’s New York’s treasure,” Mr. Petronio (of Stephen Petronio Company) said. “The longevity of her career has been astounding. She’s like a great architectural building you pass day after day.”

Wendy Whelan is proof of a sincere and dedicated pursuit of beauty against all odds, and someone who refused to give up on her talent. Both qualities we admire without exception, and so she is this Monday’s muse.

 
 

Monday, August 26, 2013

 
Monday Muse - August 26th
 

Last weekend, I went to see Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine featuring Cate Blanchett and I walked out instantly knowing who our next Monday Muse would be. Cate’s performance stayed with me for days. Haunting, compelling and raw, it was one of those rare cinematic experiences in which the chasm between audience and projection melted, and I felt a complete and unnerving connection with the fictitious world on screen. I couldn’t get Jasmine out of my mind.

It got me thinking about talent, pure, raw talent. In a world in which anyone can be famous, there has to be something said for those individuals who remain as steadfast devotees to their craft, who remain oblivious to the buzz they so organically generate. My most vivid memory of Cate is from the 77th Academy Awards, in 2005. She won the award for Best Supporting Actress in The Aviator, and wore a pale yellow Valentino gown. It was one of those great moments for me, as a fashion designer, with great talent and great beauty colliding so sensationally. It followed from my first memory of her when nominated for Best Actress for Elizabeth, wearing the hummingbird embroidered Galliano gown in 1999. Cate wears clothes with a rare elegance and finesse, and simultaneously, but independently, maintains her identity as deeply respected actress. This multi dimensional nature of her character I can’t help but admire and applaud.

Cate Blanchett and her husband Andrew Upton have been the creative directors of the Sydney Theatre Company since 2008. They work together day in, day out for this institution, believing passionately in the preservation of theatre and performance. Credited with bringing international film and theatre directors into STC productions, Sydney Theatre Company chair Ian Darling has said - “They’ve transformed the company and the way many people feel about it”. Again going back to the idea that real craft and skill can get a little lost in the age of digital frenzy we live in, there is something so inspiring and refreshing about the dedication that has gone into this project. Cate draws so little attention to herself, yet regardless continues to succeed in proving herself to be a true ambassador of the arts.

I have no doubt that Cate will be nominated for an Oscar for her performance in Blue Jasmine, and indeed I have written this as a humble plea not only that she does, but that she wins. I can think of no one more deserving.


-Prabal

 
 

Friday, August 23, 2013

 
Our Fall 2013 Digital Campaign
 

Our Fall 2013 Digital Campaign features Bridget Hall, was shot by Daniel Jackson and styled by Tiina Laakkonen with Creative Director Christopher Simmonds.

As Prabal said to the New York Times :

“We’ve grown up with this fantasy about supermodels,” he said. “I felt personally it was the right moment to celebrate women of that age.”

Bridget speaks to the customer, a perfect representation of the woman the Fall 2013 collection was designed for.

Featured on the cover of Vogue, French Vogue, British Vogue, Vogue Japan, as well as Harpers Bazaar, Elle, Italian Elle (at least three times) and W Magazine - to name but a few - she has also been named one of Sport’s Illustrated top 50 Swimsuit models and been the face of Dior. Bridget Hall is an established legacy of iconic, timeless and powerful beauty. She bridged a gap between high fashion models, and every woman. Her ability to work between American Athletic and French Couture gives her an edge, that beauty with another dimension.

And indeed, shooting Bridget was a dream, there was an undeniable ease about her, a quiet and natural strength of character that was present at all times, backstage and in front of the camera - a perfect muse for this campaign.

Check out more the behind the scenes footage HERE

 
 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

 
Who we're listening to..
 

Alex Catarinella talks to Natalia Kills

It’s safe to say that there are a slew of powerful ladies currently ruling the pop music universe. But come September 3rd, when dark pop recording artist Natalia Kills releases her LP, ‘Trouble,’ some room will need to be made. At 27-years-old, the British musician already boasts quite the resume including a lauded debut album, 2011’s synth-heavy ‘Perfectionist,’ and traveling the globe playing sold-out arenas as an opening act for Katy Perry, Ke$ha, Robyn and more. But as you’ll soon hear via ‘Trouble,’ an opening act she is certainly not.

Instead of the dance floor-ready anthems prominently featured on her debut, ‘Trouble’ sounds like, well, trouble. There’s screeching guitar riffs and defiant drums; there’s visceral shouts and girl group “oohs”; there’s hauntingly honest lyrics about domestic abuse, visiting her father in prison (purchase her song “Saturday Night,” recently featured on Vogue.com, for proof) and even ending it all, in addition to runway-friendly bangers like “Problem,” where Kills sassily warns about herself over sirens: “That girl is a goddamn problem.” Backed by production from music heavyweights Jeff Bhasker and Emile Haynie, both of whom have worked with Kanye West, Lana del Rey, and Fun, ‘Trouble’ is like torn pages from Kills’ lifelong diary (Did we mention she writes all of her own music?). She also designed the album artwork for ‘Trouble,’ which finds Kills glamorously framed within a collage complete with cop cars, dripping pink nail polish and roses... all the while clad in a Prabal Gurung dress.

We caught up with Kills and chatted about all things fashion… and what kind of ‘Trouble’ to expect from the talented buzzed-about artist very soon.

Who taught you the most about “style”?

When I was really young my mother always wore a mink coat, clip-on gold and pearl earrings and short Versace dresses. She looked like Ginger from ‘Casino’ with all the Cartier bracelets and sunglasses! When I was a teenager, I had no money and I'd wear black all the time so people couldn't tell how expensive or cheap my outfit was… I dreamed of having nice things and would go try on clothes in designer stores even though I couldn't afford them, just to feel wrapped in luxury for a few minutes in the changing room.

What does elegance mean to you?

Elegance is everything! It’s not about how new or expensive your shoes are -- it's about how gracefully, playfully and powerfully you walk in them.

If you could raid anyone's closet, whose would it be and what would you take?

I'd raid Dionne's closet from ‘Clueless.’ She's the perfect mix of preppy rich girl meets bad ass. I'd steal her hat collection and all of her plaid mini skirts and blazers.

Describe your forthcoming album, ‘Trouble,’ in five words...

All my best mistakes yet…

Intriguing! Okay, spill more...

It's high impact bad girl anthems over hip-hop drums and grunge guitars. My friends call it "Girl Interrupted Pop" because in almost every song I'm confessing about something bad in my past -- stalking my ex boyfriend, trying to set fire to the house with us both in it, getting taken away by the police, visiting my dad in jail, leaving home at 15, making out with boys I'd never met before, suicide attempts and running away to Paris. Fun times…

What song from ‘Trouble’ is the most special to you?

My favorite song is “Saturday Night.” It's my life story in four minutes of music!

Going into the making of the album, was it your plan to reveal so much from your past? Why the need to do it now?

My first album was about wanting everything to be perfect when it really wasn't at all. ‘Trouble’ is realizing why things were so messed up and that most of it was my fault. I was wild and didn't understand consequences. Despite everything that's happened, I'm not trying to be fixed or saved. It's not therapy -- I'm not trying to get over the trauma, or even get better. I want to look in the mirror and see the scars as well as the beauty and think "Fuck yeah, these are mine and no one else's." This album is a confession -- it's me being naked in front of everyone, so they can see something that they thought was pretty rosy is actually just as much a mess as themselves. There doesn't have to be secrets or regrets -- the only mistake is trying not to make any.

And on a lighter note. What can we expect from your upcoming performances?

I just started rehearsing with my band! We're all girls, we're all hot and the guitarists can really shred…


Preorder Trouble here..

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STOCKISTS

CONTACT

SIGN UP