Lykke Li Explains The 3 (Okay, 8) Things That Make A Good Outfit

Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images.
Picking out an outfit for the day is hard enough, but imagine having to choose one that looks good, photographs well, keeps you covered from an audience that's eye-level with your ankles, stays put as you rip through dance moves, and perfectly conveys who you are a person, an artist, and a visionary. It’s no wonder that Lykke Li can't simply head to the mall to scout her on-stage style. “I'm just not that into everyday fashion,” Li told us. “I always think it's too much detail and it never really fits your body the way you would want.”

So, the singer turned to the one person most women consult in a wardrobe crises: her best bud. Gina Correll Aglietti is a costume designer, consultant, stylist, and general magic-maker, and has been working with Li on her stage looks for the past few years. She's sewn up the likes of Li's croc-embossed witchy power suit and some caped, draped concoctions that look like what Ziggy Stardust would wear to join a coven. Says Li, “The venue and set list always influence us and the pieces. It takes weeks of brainstorming the actual silhouette and finding the fabric, but somehow we are always last minute, so the actual piece usually gets turned around in a heartbeat.”

We asked Li to expound upon this creative working relationship and the things that her clothes — regardless of whether she’s wearing them to perform or just pick up toilet paper — all have to have. 

Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images.
You and Gina are friends first, and business compatriots second. How did this collaboration start?
"Gina and I have been partners in crime for over seven years, and she's been along for the ride of me complaining that I can never really find anything to wear. She pulled the trigger and started making custom pieces for me, and I've never really gone back since.”

At what point did it become clear that off-the-rack wasn't going to cut it?
“[Gina and I] are both dreamers and doers; we just found it so rewarding and stimulating to make our own. We spend hours and hours researching inspiration, listening to the album, choosing fabrics, and talking through the way it should feel and transport you. What we are consistently going for is a seamless look that enhances the message. The stage is more dramatic than real life, it needs to be elevated and other-worldly, with no distractions.”

What are the three things that a stage outfit always has to have or be?
"It has to be strong, empowering, and flattering, and make you feel strong and groovy and unrestricted...always with a dash of Bowie.”
       
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