Florence: the new Ginger Spice?!

15 May 2009

As if Grazia wasn't a tad too obsessed with Florence from Florence + The Machine already, a five-minute chat with her has resulted in a full-blown girl crush. Her amazing red hair, the quirky-cool wardrobe and not to mention the awesome tunes and instantly recognisable voice – Florence cuts a rather enviable figure. A new album is on the way, as is the festival season, so we wanted to catch up on all things style, music and um, undies....

Hi Florence, how are you?
Good thanks.

What are you up to today?
I'm at home!

So, let's begin... Festival season is approaching and, as well as on-stage outfits, what are your other survival essentials?
Firstly a strong constitution! But seriously, I'm rubbish; I never bring anything along for survival. Some years I've even turned up without a tent or wellies and managed to procure them along the way. I can remember one Glasto being really cold and the one thing that kept me warm was a clown suit. Clown suits... the new essential!

And as far as stage clothes go – do you dress the same at home?
Well, today I've got a He-Man T-shirt on. But I guess that's where my dress sense started. I would wear crazy outfits at home and have fun with clothes and somehow it progressed from a kind of singing in front of the mirror thing to being in front of hundreds of people instead. And it's just as fun dressing up at home anyway!

There's quite a battle for best stage costumes right now – Lady GaGa, Beyoncé, Britney, Madge... they're all at it. But who do you think is rocking it?
Beyoncé! I love Beyoncé's looks, and especially when she wore Gareth Pugh. That was really cool and unexpected. Plus Gareth's studio is near me and some of my friends know him, so it's nice to see that support.

And will we be finding you in a PVC leotard writhing around on stage any time soon?
Hmm, think I'm more of a floaty fabrics girl. I love to do the whole gothic romance thing. Mixing up hard and soft fabrics, like chiffon against snakeskin. Hannah Marshall and Felder Felder both do this really well and I love wearing their stuff. For a Radio One gig I wore a great layered chiffon Hannah Marshall dress with big knickers from Felder Felder underneath.

Talking of knickers... there's quite a few pictures from your gigs where you flash a bit of your undies. So what kind of knickers girl are you? Bridget Jones or Paris Hilton?
Big pants all the way! Big tummy-hugging pants! I don't think I've ever worn a thong in my life.

Good to hear. We once style hunted you out on the street and we also adored your jumpsuit at the Brit Awards, but how do you get ready? Is it just thrown-on-whatever or do you wardrobe-plan?
Well, I was shocked when I saw that pic of me in Grazia. I was in the supermarket having a flick through the mag and couldn't believe it – I thought I looked so bad that day! But usually I just put on whatever is nearest on the floor or clean in the washing basket. It's just important to feel good and be able to move. At the Brits, I was absolutely terrified and didn't want to be the centre of attention as I didn't feel like I'd earned it. So I went for the jumpsuit as it was a more subdued outfit compared to another more extravagant piece I could've worn. I just wanted to feel comfortable. Plus it had a cape. I love capes!

So, we know you love Gareth Pugh, Hannah Marshall and Felder Felder, but where do you love to shop?
I adore Vivienne Westwood too. But my favourite shops are charity or vintage. Plus there's this great place in NY called In God We Trust.

Who are your style icons?
I am really inspired by movies. Ghostworld is cool, and I love all the dark colours of La Vie En Rose and Edith Piaf's character. Kenneth Anger (film director), Talullah Bankhead (actress) and the 1940s are where I draw a lot of inspiration.

Do you have any guilty fashion secrets?
Um, the whole of the '90s! I was really into The Craft – purple lipstick, velvet, I was channelling Neve Campbell and trying to be a witch. But I mixed it up with dayglo '60s prints. Hang on... maybe I'm still channelling The Craft. And, of course, I couldn't resist the Spice Girls phenomenon. I definitely owned a pair of purple velvet flares and platform boots.

And which Spice Girl did you feel most like? I was definitely leopard-print clad and therefore Scary Spice.
It was a cross between Ginger and Posh. A mixture! Plus I had Björk-style knotted hair.

Me too Florence. Thanks and bye!


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