Trailblazers in music are subsequently trendsetters in fashion – because really both music and fashion complement each other.Regardless of if an artist displays winning style (J.Lo in that scene-stealing green Versace dress at the 42nd Grammy Awards in 2000) or lackluster frocks – style is an extension of an artist’s creativity.
Much like its musical companion, fashion has no boundaries and often serves as the bridge between artists of different genres. Lupe Fiasco, A$AP Rocky, Michael Stipe bonding in conversation on the front row at the Y-3 show during New York Fashion Week a couple of years ago? Yes, all in the name of fashion! Of course it only makes since that we get a variety of stylish input from three unique gems: Adi Ulmansky a singer-lyricist-producer hailing from Israel, UK-based rapper Little Simz, and Jessie Andrews – a DJ-jewelry designer-model from the States. Adi, Simz, and Jessie share with us their opinions on the symbiotic relationship between music and fashion.
The Songbird: Adi Ulmansky
From your viewpoint, in what ways does music influence fashion?
Adi Ulmansky: For me, music, as well as fashion is a way to express myself. I always feel like my clothes reflect what I’m going through and it always felt like fashion and music are walking hand in hand in my life. It’s not just fashion actually, it’s all the visual elements of my art – from the styling to the videos, and graphic designs. Those are amazing ways to share my feelings and tell people what I’m going through without actually saying it.
How is your personality reflected in your personal style?
Adi Ulmansky: I think my style shows diversity. I like taking little elements from a lot of different genres and combining it all to this thing which is my personal style. That’s a huge part of my personality. I’ve never wanted to be a part of a specific scene or genre. I just liked collecting tiny bits of different elements and creating something new out of it. You can definitely hear it in my music as well.
Who are your style muses?
Adi Ulmansky: Hmm, that’s a tough one. I guess Aaliyah, Chloe Norgaard, and Kate Moss.
Are people fairly conservative in Jerusalem when it comes to fashion and music? How has growing up in Israel shaped your style and music?
Adi Ulmansky: It depends where you are in Jerusalem. There are areas that are super religious and conservative and you can’t actually wear shorts or a crop-top, but I wasn’t growing up in these areas so I didn’t really get this conservative vibe. Once I moved to Tel Aviv though, I realized how conservative Jerusalem is in comparison to TLV. I think my country has totally influenced my style and music. You can hear lots of ethnic elements in my music that’s inspired by Arabic music that I was exposed to in Israel.
What are the wardrobe must-haves you bring with you when you’re on tour?
Adi Ulmansky: My must-haves are my kiwi suit that I bought at Zara a few months ago. I’m in love with it! My platform shoes – I have loads of them – and a few crop tops.
What’s the best piece of style advice you can give me?
Adi Ulmansky: Just be true to who you are. Wear what makes you feel comfortable, that’s the most important thing in general, I guess. You gotta feel comfortable in order to own it.
The Rapper: Little Simz
What’s the correlation between music and fashion?
Little Simz: I think fashion plays a big part in my music because it reflects onto the music that I make and the way I dress. When you think of a rock artist, you think of their style and the way they dress: leather jacket, bandanas, [and] boots. When you think of a rap artist, you stereotype them in baggy clothing. For me, it’s more based on who I’m around and my day-to-day life, where I grew up and the kind of music that I’m listening to.
How does your career as an artist affect your style?
Little Simz: It affects it in many different ways because I suppose when you grow up you go through different music phases and different style phases. A lot of the things I thought I was into when I was younger fashion wise, now, I wouldn’t wear and it would probably be the same in another 10 years. So as my music has evolved, so has my style.
You are easily the only dame that can rock a bucket hat in 2014 and look killer in it. That’s your signature. What’s the story behind your choice in headgear?
Little Simz: For me, I’ve always been into hats and more so now caps as opposed to snapbacks. I suppose again, who I’m around has influenced that. I know sometimes I might put on a cap, it all just depends on the day and how I’m feeling. But yeah, you’re likely to catch me in a bucket hat.
Feminine patterns and silhouettes coupled with the tomboy edge of a snapback and an insane pair of sneakers encapsulate your style. Who or what are some of your style muses?
Little Simz: I think the people I’m surrounded by, Space Age, inspire me and we now have Space Age clothing. We all have different styles but it all comes together.
What is a wardrobe staple you can’t live without and why?
Little Simz: Probably my hats. I can’t go anywhere without my headgear.
Tour life: How do you determine what items stay or go?
Little Simz: It’s a hard one, but I probably wouldn’t wear a jacket on stage – so that stays. Most of the time I’d probably be in my Space [Age] top or just anything comfortable and that I feel comfortable performing in.
What is one piece of style of advice that you live by?
Little Simz: I don’t dress to impress.
The DJ: Jessie Andrews
What determines what you will wear to a DJ gig?
Jessie Andrews: What time of day the show is.
Do you think music (broad sense – not one particular genre) influences fashion? If so, in what ways?
Jessie Andrews: I’m positive it does. Too many ways to tell.
In the spirit of definitions – we live in a world that is infatuated with definitions – how would you “define” your style?
Jessie Andrews: It’s definitely ADD. I go from all black, to boho, to fancy, to hipster, to sporty, to sweats.
Male or female – are there any artists within the DJ world that you particularly love their personal style and production style? We both know you can have one and not the other.
Jessie Andrews: I really like Brodinski’s style. He’s the most fashion-forward to me in the DJ scene – mostly black with a classy, hipster, Euro vibe with some vintage mixed in. Musically he’s up there as well. I play some of his tunes in my set.
What’s one item every industry female should own in their wardrobe?
Jessie Andrews: American Apparel black Easy Jeans.
Give me your funniest fashion faux pas. What happened?
Jessie Andrews: Probably me wearing a black tank top at a gig in Paris not realizing it was extremely see-through.
Parting words: What’s one fashion statement that you live by?
Jessie Andrews: Once you go black…
Words: Gabrielle Pharms.