On-Point Style Advice From Fashion's Anti-It Girl

Deciding what to wear every day is hard enough, but imagine getting dressed for a crowd of nearly 18,000. For front-woman Aluna Francis — who performs to sold-out crowds on the reg with English electronic duo AlunaGeorge — that's simply par for the course.

With a magnetic stage presence and vibrant, balls-to-the-wall look that can be spotted from the nosebleeds, Francis has been on our style radar for quite some time now. You probably know her as the infectious singer behind dance-floor hit, "You Know You Like It," which we've all played on repeat while sweating through a workout or gearing up for a night out. But there's also much to be discovered and learned from Francis' zero-effs style. Her out-there, playful-meets-edgy vibe, which she documents daily on her Insta feed, rebels against the cookie-cutter aesthetic of most bloggers in the game. Case in point: Frequent appearances of mesh, combat boots, and oversized everything. Not only does she not take herself too seriously, but she looks damn good while doing so.

To demystify the chart-topping songstress further, we teamed up with Versace to pin down the magic behind her too-cool-for-school look, along with the influences we didn't see coming. Fresh off a cross-country tour with Miguel and Sia, Francis sat down with us to share some of the secret sauce that goes into her style. We can only hope it's contagious.

Photographed by Lucie Hugary.
Okay, so break down your approach to style for us. What types of pieces do you gravitate towards?
"I'm certainly allowing myself to be more playful now. If something makes me laugh hysterically, I'll wear it. Clothing has to elevate your mood. A lot of the things that elevate me are humor, glamour, and comfort. There has to be something funny and tongue and cheek about what I'm wearing, because that's who I am."

As a touring musician, you've been able to travel the globe. What city would you say speaks to your style the most?
"In New York, it’s like pow pow pow — you have to make sure you’re saying something with what you’re wearing when you walk into a room. But it's always going to be London, for me. There's a rebelliousness about it that I enjoy."

Versace sunglasses and shoes.
Photographed by Lucie Hugary.
Does your on-stage style persona differ from your off-duty one?
"It’s absolutely a different persona. On stage you exaggerate who you are and what you’re trying to say. It’s the same as your voice: If you’re standing next to somebody, you’re having a conversation in your talking voice, but if you’re singing, you’re pushing so much more air out of your body and making melodies and a much bigger sound. I think everything else you do on stage has to have the same process. So your clothing is not going to be conversational clothing, it’s going to be melodic and louder, and it’s going to say something."

Versace sunglasses.
Photographed by Lucie Hugary.
Tell us about your go-to stage look.
"I'm inspired by elements of sportswear, particularly boxing. Those outfits tend to combine glamour and practicality: The shorts are silk and full of color. The dressing gown is practical when you’re warming up, yet floaty and gorgeous. And the belt is huge and blingy and beautiful. I like to bring those elements together because performing is very much my form of a sport and there are practical matters to be considered, like getting hot and sweaty. I need to move my legs, I need to bend down and run and jump around, but at the same time, I want to look glamorous and elevated and feel floaty. Combining all of those things together to make clothing for this tour has been an absolute joy."

What led you to see boxing as a source of fashion inspiration?
"Boxing is one of those sports that has a very interesting element of skill involved, and it also has that double-edged sword of being incredibly violent. So it’s kind of curious to me. My dad watched a lot of boxing, and although I didn’t like it, I was fascinated. And of course people like Muhammad Ali really pulled you into the sport, so you can't deny it's attractive."

Versace bag.
Versace Palazzo Empire Medium Bag, $2,150.00 Buy
Photographed by Lucie Hugary.
How does that turned-up look compare to your off-duty uniform?
"When I'm traveling between shows, it's all about a fresh tracksuit. I like patterns on my tracksuit and big, bold lettering — something more playful. I also like really stupid, loud T-shirts. But my ultimate Aluna outfit, because I'm intrinsically lazy, is a one-piece, something that's pretty much a bag."

What's your M.O. when it comes to accessorizing?
"On stage, [I want you] to see what I'm wearing from a long distance away. If you're at the back — it's not the ballet so you don't have binoculars — an accessory has to be a really bold statement."

Versace bag.
Photographed by Lucie Hugary.
What fashion rule do you love to break?
"Wrong length trousers."

How do you approach shopping for one-of-a-kind pieces without breaking the bank?
"If you see something that is out of your price range and you think you just have to have it, take a minute, leave the store, and see how you feel as you go around the block. If you have a feeling of relief — Oh yeah, that would’ve been a terrible purchase — or if you feel really desperate to get around the block and get back into the store before somebody else buys it, then you know whether it’s worth the check."

Versace bag.
Photographed by Lucie Hugary.
What do you hope people take away from your style?
"Try not to see clothing as just about your body type and what fits your shape. See it as your escape, your way to say something that your body doesn’t say, or something that your voice doesn’t say. It's there to help you go out in the world with a little bit of protection, meaning that you get to be free.

"You have to learn how a piece of clothing makes you feel inside. If I put something on and feel good enough and lighthearted enough to walk up to somebody on the street and say, 'Hi, babe! You look great, are you having a great day?' — which is not really how I normally am — then I know that a piece of clothing is doing its job."

Versace bag.
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