FKA Twigs Says She’s Over Chola Already. But Into Notting Hill Vintage Shops

She cites Richard Avedon and Josephine Baker as influences, but said she wouldn't care if you stole her whole wardrobe


by Pandora Sykes |
Published on

'I'm pretty fearless,' FKA twigs admits - unsurprisingly - of her style, in an interview with The Cut yesterday. Amid a white noise of popstrel matching co-ords and dip-dye tresses, twigs - aka Tahliah Barnett - sticks out like a sore thumb. Actually, she sticks out as a knowing yet uniquely fresh presence - in more ways than one. Ever since she graduated from being a MySpace baby into public consciousness, the world has sat up and listened and opened their eyes, with her style garnering an immediate response.

She scored her first i-D cover in 2012 with the word 'love' spelled across her forehead - in her own baby hairs (which is some pretty awesome creative direction.) Since then, the 26-year-old, famed for her niche brand of ethereal trip-hop and strong style has covered various arts magazines including* Dazed & Confused and become a genuine chola pin-up but don't expect any pretentious philsophy about her aesthetic. 'It's really easy to project this whole ideaology of what being an artiste is, and I'm just not down with intellectualizing it. I just think, if you feel like doing something, then do it.' *

It sounds like her ubiquotous chola style (she has become known for her style of gelling her baby hairs into crunchy curls) might be under threat, too. 'I used to really enjoy doing [my hair] every single day, even if I was late I'd squeeze in 7 minutes to do [the curls]. But since I did the i-D cover [the chola style] has really taken over in fashion and music... I think the way it's taken now, I'm not really down with it.'

Basically she brought a niche trend to the mainstream and got bored when she saw the genuine chola roots get bastardized. She's also sanguine about the interest in her and her fashion nous. 'All that stuff is fun while it lasts, but anything can happen tomorrow. You've got to have so much more about you than the way you look or your clothes. If someone said to me, When you go home, all of your wardrobe and all of the nice things you have would be gone, I wouldn't care.'

That said, she's still nurtering an interest in aesthetics and fashion - on a creative rather than a commercial scale. She grew up with an ex-fashion designer mother who made all of her own clothes and learnt to sew well, often altering her own clothes. Her favourite shop is an 'amazing vintage shop called Found and Vision in Notting Hill,' which is run by a friend, Karen, who introduced FKA twigs to some of her favourite creative sources. Her style icon is the American-born Parisian dancer in the 20s, Josephine Baker.

This is most apparent in her music videos. Whilst Water Me is a truly mesmerising pop of kinetic colour, where her head evokes a metronone (watch it and you'll see) - her brand new video for Two Weeks depicts her as the empress that she totally is. Of her forthcoming video for *Wet Wipez, *which she directed bherself, FKA twigs explains: 'I really wanted the texture of these satins and the velours and the furs in the video to be brought out in the contrast. But I like the color [sic] red; I think it's a really lucky color. When I'm thinking about artwork I always like there to be a bit of red in it. I think it's a winner's color. Textures apply to everything I do... I like smooth things, and then hard and fluffy things, all giving them their place to shine.'

Perhaps a metaphor for herself. Because she's certianly having her own moment to shine.

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Picture: Getty

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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