St. Vincent

Discovering what defines this indie darling's front-stage style. By Loryn Hatch, Portrait by Henry Hargreaves/Anthem magazine
stvincent_small_instorySt. Vincent. She debuted "Marry Me" to much critical acclaim (including the PLUG award for Female Artist of the Year), and spent most of the year touring, clocking in 151 shows and 200 days on the road. "But between you and me," she reveals, "my best day of 2007 was spent alone in a park in the Marais on a rare off day. I watched children playing from noon until sunset, drank coffee, and brushed up on my great American novel."
Something old, something new, something borrowed, and always something red (lips!) appear to be her style tenets, but be prepared for further developments—a ramblin' spirit never seems to stay in one place. We caught up recently with the NYC-based, Dallas-bred Clark to find out the finer points of her sprightly style and to see how 2008 (look for her in Europe and at NYC shows throughout the summer) is shaping up…
How is the new album coming along and how is it different from "Marry Me"?
"Marry Me," in a lot of ways, was a personal challenge to see if could interpret the great American songbook through my romantic/sardonic lens. The new album is more exacting at parts but more blood and guts in others. It's shaping up to be more extreme and much less romantic.
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What are your five style essentials?
1. "A St. Christopher medallion on a 30" chain from my 95-year-old Great Aunt Dee—irreplaceable."
2. "A white short-sleeved button-down from Acne Jeans."
3. "Shoes from Opening Ceremony—each season gets more interesting and special. Go Humberto!"
4. "A tube of Shu Uemura red lipstick."
5. "Black Wolford tights. They're like America. They never fucking run."
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Annie Clark in a cover shoot for Anthem magazine, photos by Henry Hargreaves/Anthem magazine
How did growing up deep in the heart of Texas influence your style?
"My skin is so pale it's almost translucent. I have black curly hair. I'm a 32-b. I am the antithesis of what it means to be a sexy lady in Texas, and realized long ago I couldn't run with those horses. I do still refer to make up as 'putting on my ladyface,' though."
Do you dress differently when you perform? (If so, how? If not, why?) What have been some of your best stage looks?
"I'm of the school of thought that if one is going on a stage with bright lights focused on them to be looked at by a room full of people, one ought to dress it up a little. My favorite recent stage outfit has been this light blue thin-strapped dress from Mayle. Or a super-short cream United Bamboo dress. They were both elegant and playful. But my best stage look? Terrified!"
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Annie Clark in action, images via View Images, Words for Nerds, and New York mag
What do you always pack when you go on tour? Any unusual items? Any packing secrets you can relay?
"No matter the length of the tour, I always pack a uniform: two pairs of jeans (right now I'm alternating between a giant flare and a skinny leg) and two every day shirts (right now I'm alternating between an Acne black and a white short-sleeved button-down). I also bring three pairs of shoes: one jazz shoe for everyday, a fancy pair for stage, and a pair of flip flops for the traumatizing showers that you invariably encounter. And my stage dress—I wear one dress per tour. Wow, I think I just admitted the fact that I'm disgusting."
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Anything you're coveting right now?
"What's worse than coveting is that I now rationalize the most sensational purchases as 'a business expense.' This is a slippery, slippery slope."
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St. Vincent on the cover of Pig magazine, proudly displaying her Pig mag cover, a street photo of her everyday style
Who are your style heroes?
"Seventies Diane Keaton, Jane Mayle, Yves Saint Laurent, R.I.P., Karl Lagerfeld, and Woody Allen."
If your style were a song, what song would it be?
"'Help!' by The Beatles."
Discovering what defines this indie darling's front-stage style.
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