H&M’s website recently posted an article containing an Interview with Lana, you can read the whole interview below,
She’s graced the cover of Vogue, inspired a best-selling handbag and been portrayed by top photographers. When it comes to marrying music and style, Lana Del Rey is, by all definitions, the top of the pops. Yet, just two years ago, nobody knew who this American singer/songwriter was. Now she’s the star of H&M’s latest campaign.
It really is her. Lana Del Rey steps into the über-cool Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn and she is absolutely gorgeous. She is tiny, slight of frame, and, apart from her fascinating charisma – equal parts innocent girl and adult seductress – the 26-year-old is wearing a crisp men’s shirt, a varsity jacket, blue jeans and blue Converse high-top sneakers. Slightly dressed down from the more glamorous, urban and slightly sexier looks we’ve come to recognise her for – and which she has herself described as “Ghetto Monégasque”, “Gangster Nancy Sinatra” or “Lolita Lost in the Hood” – but nevertheless a stunner.
“I never had a defined style,”
she explains over a hot drink in a quiet, thoughtful voice.
“I wear lots of jeans, white Oxford shirts and white tennis dresses… But I also love beautiful diamonds and long acrylic nails.”
And that is perhaps the secret behind Lana Del Rey’s success, both musically and as a trendsetter. Focusing on the classic icons of the Americana wardrobe/songbook, she can pick and mix the best of different decades. She will draw on influences from jazz, folk and pop in her songs. And wear pieces inspired by the 1920s, 1950s or 1960s, for both men and women, when performing them.
It is almost unimaginable now, but just a few short years ago, the incredible Lana del Rey was still an unknown singer, trying to get by in New York City without a proper place to stay. Back then, she sang jazzy folk and pop at open-mic nights around Williamsburg and the Lower East Side.
Then on 1 July 2011, a sweet, melancholic clip set to a sad song about passionate love entitled Video Games landed on YouTube – the supernova that was to become a global phenomenon had been set in motion. Video Games was straight out of Lana Del Rey’s creative universe; it was she who’d edited the pictures of old Hollywood and of herself singing. Five months later the clip had spawned 20 million YouTube hits.
Lana Del Rey’s immediate success came, first and foremost, from the unique, nostalgic, yet fresh sound she’d managed to create.
“I like to write about the way things used to be and paint pictures of my memories with beautiful words and melodies,”
she says today of her hit album Born to Die, which has topped the iTunes charts in 19 different countries.
”I wanted the record to sound dark and glamorous… and remind me of the hot summertime. [My producers] filled the tracks with lush strings and sound effects like cicadas chirping and girls laughing.”
The music and DIY footage might’ve set things in motion, but soon the singer’s signature look was as well-known as her songs. The clothes could vary, but the bouffant hair, bee-stung lips, long acrylic nails (painted blood red on the day of our interview), even longer fake lashes and layers of shiny jewellery were always all there.
“I know more about jewellery than I do about fashion,” Lana Del Rey confides. “And I love emeralds and diamonds.”
When asked about her style icons, she cites Lauren Bacall as a huge influence.
“I love her because she’s a strong woman and her style embodies that. Her silhouettes have always been strong, clean and glamorous.”
London designer Christopher Kane, who just like Del Rey merges a nostalgic longing for innocent girlhood with a gritty urban feel, was one of the first to give her music a fashion insider push, using Video Games as the soundscape for his S/S 2012 show. Before long, one of her songs was also used for a Gossip Girl promo, and she was invited to sing at a Dior party. Earlier this year, she attended the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala as New York designer Joseph Altuzarra’s date, complete with a custom-made outfit.
“Joseph wanted to design a dress for me that was dark and glamorous, like my music,” she said of the full-length chainmail-inspired creation. “He knew I liked to revel in my dark side so he also made me a cape that was sheer and black, but feminine and reminiscent of the 1940s.”
And this past spring, Del Rey received the highest fashion honour: the iconic British brand Mulberry launched the Del Rey – a bag inspired by the singer, and a true testament to how her style and talent has captured the world’s imagination.
This season, Lana Del Rey’s affinity with the fashion world is taken one step further as she stars in H&M’s autumn/winter campaign, shot in New York City by superstar photographers Inez van Lamsveerde and Vinoodh Matadin. We get to meet Lana in the season’s trendy pastels, soft mohair knits, chunky earrings and floral prints. Needless to say, she looks stunning.
There is plenty of 1950s inspiration here, a decade Lana has a weak spot for:
“I love the sturdy, rich materials that girls’ dresses were made of; the fabrics were luxurious and meant to last. The clothes reflect a time when things were new and beautiful.”
These days, wherever Lana Del Rey appears, be it on the front row, on America’s most popular talk shows or on the pages of a glossy fashion magazine, her appearance is always tinted by a certain dreamy sadness. As if the lost loves of her younger years haunt her wherever she goes and whatever she does. It is the same romantic nostalgia that we can hear in the trembling of her singing voice, and in the poetic lyrics she writes about a love so bright it threatens to burn you.
And perhaps it is this nostalgia that makes us all love Lana Del Rey so much. However much she experiments with her look, or whichever context she’s in, we recognise her by the rawness of her feelings – and the intimacy she creates by wearing those feelings on her sleeve. In a world of information overload, Lana Del Rey cuts through the noise and touches us with her honesty. She’s the perfect pop star – and fashion icon – for our times.
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