Triple Threat

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Photograph by Flora Hanitijo
The ladies of Au Revoir Simone spill the beans on their globe-trotting style. By Nicole Schlomann
Even if you haven't heard Au Revoir Simone's music, you've probably spotted the band members—Erika Forster, Annie Hart, and Heather D'Angelo in lush fashion mags or countless online profiles. There's something about these bewitching ladies that everyone seems to love—whether it's their dreamy keyboard pop, their charming and eclectic vintage style, or their drop-dead good looks. They've even captured the attention of culty-cool director David Lynch who asked the group to perform at a book signing.
The Brooklyn-based band, whose members magically met by chance on a train to New York, has built a growing fan base as they travel all over the globe now to perform. Of course, no matter where they go, we're always tracking their fantastic style. We caught up with them after a whirlwind summer tour to figure out what little fashion secrets make this girl group so enchanting (hint: "fancypants" and Febreeze might have something to do with it).
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Photograph by Sarah Wilmer
So what are you ladies working on at the moment, other than always looking so cool?
Erika: "We're recording a new album right now and working with a really amazing producer named Thom Monahan. It's a wonderful season to be recording; trying to capture the feeling of crisp New York mornings and wondering about what it all means! We are also putting out an album of remixes and covers from The Bird of Music. It's awesome and diverse and danceable."
Heather: "Recently, I've discovered that the confinement of the studio is perfect for dabbling in jailbird handicrafts. I've been stitching together little leather purses to give to my visiting loved ones. I've also been working on my blog www.hellopoindexter.info, but at a less industrious rate."
Annie: "We've been writing songs for about a year now, and it's very fulfilling to watch them come to life in the studio. While listening to the other ladies do their takes, I'm knitting a sweater for my niece. I'm also working on some other musical projects, too. I guess, in short, all I do is knit and play music."
What are each of your top five style essentials?
E: "High-waisted knee length skirts, feathered bangs, moccasins, bright lipstick, ear-plugs."
H: "Riding boots, a wide-brimmed hat, a cape, fancypants, a sword."
A: "A bicycle, clean fingernails, a keyboard, fancypants, a library book."
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Photograph by Sara Gomes
You girls spend a lot of time together—do you ever find yourselves raiding each other's closets?
E: "I sometimes borrow Heather's belts or boots."
H: "I've raided Erika and Annie's closets for tambourines and maracas, the occasional guitar cord, and some lipstick."
A: "Heather lent me some stockings the other night during a fashion emergency, and we do share makeup a lot on tour."
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Do you guys coordinate for stage?
E: "A little, we think about colors or what persona or era we all fit into. There is certainly a lot of pre-show consulting."
H: "Not deliberately, but we find that we're usually dressed similarly anyway."
A: "When we first started, we used to call each other up before the show to see what color scheme and level of dressed-upedness was going to be. Now, we have a lot of similar clothes from designers and get dressed together on tour, so it's really easy to not be all over the place style-wise."
Where are your favorite spots to go shopping? Any vintage recommendations?
E: "Swedish vintage is the best so I like to visit the Swedish vintage shop in Williamsburg (Malin Landaes @ North 6th and Bedford). I also love Dalaga in Greenpoint, and ebay."
H: "Yes, but I only share such secrets with Annie and Erika."
A: "I really love shopping in thrift stores, because I love the thrill of the hunt and working with amazing things that one randomly finds there."
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Photograph by Flora Hanitijo
What are your wardrobe essentials on tour? Any packing secrets?
E: "I bring lots of tights. They pack way smaller than pants and make you feel like you are wearing something new. Dresses are always easier than mixing and matching!"
H: "I do have a packing secret that I can share which I believe is essential to pleasant body odor maintenance. I wrap each individual article of clothing in a Febreeze dryer sheet and place it within a labeled Ziplock bag. That way, no matter what alcohol and smoke infused hellhole I play a show in, one night in the Zippie renders null all offensive odors."
A: "I really love Miranda Bennnet's silk dresses—they take up no room and always look good on stage. I also have a knit dress from Agnès B. that I also really like because it is impossible to wrinkle."
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Photograph by Inma Varandela
You've toured all over to places like Tokyo and Barcelona. How do these places inspire your style?
E: "I have definitely enjoyed seeing the sights of lots of different cities. I think more than anything it has made me feel more me!"
H: "Traveling the great, big world makes you realize how little fashion matters within its context. Coming from New York, that's an easy thing to forget. But style is obviously different from fashion, and I think traveling exposes you to what truly personal style means—it has something to do with using whatever resources are at hand in a creative way, with the purpose of self-expression."
A: "And as we travel, it's so fun to see how people across the world dress and all the variations between the places we go. It makes you realize that you can do anything you want."
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Au Revoir Simone performing in Paris
You've also been in tons of magazine spreads. Have you picked up any good pieces on those shoots?
E: "Our stylist friend Michelle Lane has hooked us up with a few very nice things.
And we learned about Maison Michele hats and feather headresses from Paris on a shoot for I-D."
H: "We never get to keep anything besides the occasional pair of tights, unfortunately."
A: "That is definitely the tragedy of fashion shoots, falling in love with what you are wearing and then realizing you can never afford it. I've started questioning the morality of that."
Your "Fallen Snow" music video is like a short film, and David Lynch is a big fan. Any favorite films or actresses whose look you love?
E: "70s and '80s French actresses from Eric Rohmer movies and Sofia Coppola girls."
H: "The City of Lost Children is one of my favorite films--I'm very inspired by Caro and Jeunet's nightmarish cinematography and Gaultier's sombre costuming. I wish we could make one of our videos look like that.
A: "I love Bottlerocket and Rushmore. I also adore What's Up Doc with Barbara Streisand and Ryan O'Neil. He's so cute and the movie is endless hilarity."
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Photograph by Magnus Unmar for a New York Times story on girl bands
What do you think your music and your style have in common?
E: "Curiouser and curiouser!"
H: "Both are influenced by a sense of nostalgia and drama."
A: "I guess, as far as my parts: nerdy, repetitive, classic, and simple."
Who are your style heroes?
E: "All the art school girls at Skidmore College who taught me East Coast cool."
H: "I'm pretty smitten with Little Red Riding Hood, the Three Musketeers, and Samantha Pleet."
A: "Cute girls on the street, usually when they are wearing a hoodie or a nice day dress."
And finally... if your style were a song, what song would it be?
E: "Give Peace a Chance"
H: "Boots of Spanish Leather"
A: "Particle Man"
On November 11th Au Revoir Simone will release their new album Reverse Migration—a collection of their favorite remixes and re-workings of 2007's album The Bird of Music.
The ladies of Au Revoir Simone spill the beans on their globe-trotting style.
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