Since launching earlier this year & other stories has cemented itself as the high street destination for true individualists. And to make sure we've received the message loud and clear, the Swedish brand has snapped up an impressive - but unexpected - duo to style and star in their Christmas collection shoot. Costume designer and stylist B. Åkerlund, who has worked with Madonna, Rihanna and Lady Gaga, takes centre stage alonside one of fashion’s most signficant girl crushes of all time: the flame-haired lead singer of Garbage, Shirley Manson. Her no-mess attitude has made her a wardrobe inspiration since the mid ‘90s, so it’s no wonder this party-dressing shoot is anything but sparkle and light.
[& Other Stories]
What could have possibly made this rebellious style influencer – who has previously worked on campaigns with Calvin Klein and MAC – work with a high street label? ‘Designer clothing is amazing but not affordable for everyone, and what I’ve loved about & other stories from the start is that they’re a cool street brand allowing women to be fashionable without spending a lot of money,’ explained Shirley from her L.A. base, ‘I worked at Miss Selfridge for five years before my music career took off and I’ve always had an appreciation for well executed high street fashion. Stories’ philosophy and the fact that I would be working with B, who I respect enormously, made it a no brainer.’ And so it was.
B and Shirley, who had never previously met, larked around the rooftops and streets of L.A., restyling the collection however they desired during a whirlwind five hour shoot. ‘It was a little stressful being on Hollywood Boulevard with an enormous 30ft train when people are crossing the road and with drivers beeping and swearing at us,’ Shirley admits, ‘But B and I were like sisters the minute we met. We actually look really good together. I’ve finally met someone as pale as me - and I love that she likes my wayward, undone makeup, too.’ As for the rest of Shirley’s look, even she has bad outfit days. ‘I hate my wardrobe like every girl… everyone experiences that,’ she says, ‘I’ve never thought of myself as particularly stylish but I definitely have a point of view.’ One that we’d like to channel – but not copy - when these clothes drop into store on Nov 18. You can see the full collection in this week’s issue, and watch the video below.