Move over Kate. There's a new Moss ruling the fashion land - and her name's Liela. Don't know her yet? Well, believe us, come February and the first catwalk show from Twenty8Twelve at LFW, this lead singer of punk rock band, The Duke Spirit, will be the name on everyone's lips. Why? Well, not only is she Savannah and Sienna's muse for their A/W ‘09 collection, but the gorgeous blonde has inspired Alexander McQueen for his Target range too. So, we couldn't wait to catch five minutes with Liela to quiz her on her new style status....
How does it feel to be a muse for Twenty8Twelve and also Alexander McQueen?
It's a weird complement. On the one hand it's strange and totally out of the blue, but on the other hand it's great that people have come to see us play and enjoyed the clothes that I wear on stage and have been inspired by them. Over four years of touring, I've found that the clothes are almost a performance in themselves - lit up and moving, it's easy to understand how designers find inspiration there. The clothes almost have an inherited power by just being on stage.
Does fashion play a major part when you're performing with The Duke Spirit?
It has become important. When we first started out I was really conscious of just keeping the gang like spirit with the rest of the band so I was a real tomboy. I didn't push my interest in fashion. But over time I've picked up some amazing things and got a bit bored of my initial image and wanted to explore. It's been really refreshing to do so and also reinvigorates my performance. Picking out strident pieces is just really empowering and can change how you move around during a gig.
How would you describe your personal style?
It's like a split personality. I love simple, really elegant shapes and keeping things plain and un-fussy. But I like to take these and screw them up a bit - finding random bits and bobs and accessories and transforming the look. I like my clothes to be tactile and adding a tiny bit of danger and humour to normal clothes. Doing a bit of DIY with clothing is great, I wish I had more time to do it, but, I recently bought a metre of amazing gold rope from a haberdashery near to my house and turned it into a demonic half nautical/half noose style necklace which reflected the element of the sea in our album Neptune, it made you look again at someone's outfit like: ‘What is that?'
Do you have any favourite designers or stores?
I've not stopped wearing this gold tunic made by my friend in Montreal, Renata Morales. I really like sequins at the moment. I like to look to new designers for something fresh, also, there's this LA brand called Unhee who's designer Susie showed up to a gig with a gift for me, which is great but at the time you can't tell if it's going to suit you or even fit you - but it's perfect. It's a fabulous black all in one romper suit with these huge Victoriana sleeves - she must've seen the way I fling my arms about on stage! Also, I adore Tatty Devine's colourful jewellery - it's got such humour and looks brilliant against a plain black outfit.
Do you have any style icons?
Again, like my personal style, it's a split personality. I love the simplicity and the confidence and conviction Patti Smith has in her eyes, the cover of her album Horses where she's got a jacket slung over her shoulder just sums it up. But then I also admire the flamboyance and fun behind Bjork and Grace Jones' outfits. My style oscillates between these two extremes.
Have you met Savannah and Sienna to talk through the collection?
We've not met up yet but are planning to soon. Their team came to see us perform and then cut out loads of pictures and cuts outs of me to create a mood board, which feels kind of weird! They must've admired the music too, as I've created some lyrics for them to print onto the lining fabric of their clothes - it makes each item even more special. I'll definitely be there for Twenty8Twelve's first catwalk show at fashion week.
Have you made any New Year's Resolutions?
Well, I never really keep them... so, I think it's just important for me that I want to take some pressure of myself, keep calm, not get in a flap or beat myself up. Keep it calm!
- Hannah Almassi