Finding My Look

EPSON MFP image
sheerpolkadot)My whole life I have always been a bit of a chameleon. Not only is my fashion taste constantly changing, so is my taste in music. Looking back over all my band photo shoots and videos, you can really see how my fashion and musical styles have changed. Here is a little insight into my forever growing fashion and music statements… One of my first bands was a new metal band called The Finger (2006-8).

As you can imagine there was a lot of black involved in our wardrobe – homemade netted skirts, customized t-shirts, comedy bows that were meant to be headbands worn as boob tubes and added to clothes! Black lace was featured a lot at this time in my musical life, not only on my clothes, but on my face, too. Back then, my clothes would always magnify how I felt or what was going on in my life, and that has never changed.

As you can imagine there was a lot of black involved in our wardrobe – homemade netted skirts, customized t-shirts, comedy bows that were meant to be headbands worn as boob tubes and added to clothes! Black lace was featured a lot at this time in my musical life, not only on my clothes, but on my face, too. Back then, my clothes would always magnify how I felt or what was going on in my life, and that has never changed.

On iMMa’s first photo shoot, I was styled by a stylist as were the guys. I had an idea of what I wanted, however, the clothes they put me in were clothes that I never wore again. Sadly, the photo shoot misrepresented my own personal character and was a cliché of that genre. In truth, during this period I wore a bit more colour, dresses were featured a lot and comedy bows  disappeared for good.

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Kei Kagami Photo by Stuart Weston

At the time, some old dresses from when I was a little girl found their way into my gig wardrobe and the waistline became an empire line! I think it may have been the first time a Shirley Temple dress graced the rock toilet scene! Cute dresses and dirty converse was my thing – I rocked it and flaunted it.

iMMa stayed the same musically through these fashion changes, however iMMa the band eventually became iMMa my solo artist project. I recorded my album and released it through my own label, my clothing staying roughly the same during this new solo venture.

I was still wearing cute dresses with high tops, but in photo shoots the heels came out, as did they for acoustic shows! I also got an endorsement with PUMA, so I was lucky enough to get some wonderful trainers and clothes!

As some birthdays passed, my musical and fashion tastes changed as did my own musical direction, the latter becoming a bit more pop and less hard. My clothing followed suit in this transition, becoming slightly more high fashion. In fact, I wore Kei Kagami–a designer I have loved and whose clothes I have owned for a very long time–in my first solo photo shoot with fashion photographer Stuart Weston.

ShirleyTempleOn stage I am very aware of how things move and what shape they create.  I always try to either pick pieces that have structure or for those that don’t, try to imagine how they move on stage before I buy them.

I like picking really interesting clothes, and though I sadly can’t afford high-end fashion couture, I have been able to get a lot out of my budget at places like TK Maxx, which has been a great help. I have been picking up some lovely pieces there, including a Galliano structured jacket, Chloe dresses, etc.  Asos is also great for finding unique pieces – I managed to find some incredible gold palazzo trousers there that are shiny, shimmered and move beautifully in the light.

I also found a gorgeous polka dot sheer skirt, which I not only wear for my own stage, but also for when I sing with Skunk Anansie. This looks great on a big stage and it’s not too much for a smaller stage either. It’s also nice to mix high street fashion with some uncommon high fashion pieces, too.  One of my favourite outfits was skintight disco pants from Primark paired with a lace shirt from Monki and some killer Jeffrey Campbell studded flat-forms! Kill ‘em with the shoes!

At my recent EP launch party, I really wanted to get the audience involved with what I wore. My initial thought to accomplish this was to get the audience to be a part of my dress, which I used as my finale.velcro3 webLace blouseDuring the process of coming up with the idea for the dress, its designer Kei Kagami came up with the idea of it being made out of Velcro, and I had the idea of getting the audience to actually design the pattern of my dress, which I thought worked really well!
I love fashion. When I was quite little my dad would often ask me, “who have you come as today?” When I was a younger artist I tried and challenged many fashion/style ideas. Today I have settled with what makes me comfortable, this still changes everyday, it’s just the way I am. There is a definite need to express my mood through fashion as well as my music.
The more I’m on stage, and the more often I organise my own photo and video shoots, the more I have realised that actually am the chameleon. My skin changes, not my clothes – clothes are just the leaves that I rest on, the flowers framing my head. My mentality and motives for my day, and my show are what makes my clothes sing. So for my next gig I am wearing a black sack with some killer heels! Ha ha ha!

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