Yes, it’s that time again: spring meets summer and your wardrobe meets music festivals. With music on the brain and the chance for a seasonal closet overhaul here, we suggest taking a little fashion inspiration from some recording artists ranking high on our Ones To Watch list. Between their addictive tracks and their pitch-perfect personal style, we ask: what is there not to love?
Album: Know-It-All | Hit Single: “Here”
Sounds Like: A mainstream chart topper, sharpened with a drifty ’90s vibe. Cara’s coolly melodic voice finds soul in hip-hop and R&B bravado. YouTube fledgling though she might be, the singer’s natural talent for pairing coming of age lyrics with head-bopping beats will quiet the haters of “online sensations,” while we—along with millions of other listeners—will continue hitting the replay button on “Here.”
Her Look: Take a cue from the lyrics in the singer’s hit single and think house party, when trying to put together your “Alessia look.” Start by slipping into a romper, adorned with a vintage-inspired graphic print, rather than anything floral or too girly girl. Next, snag your boyfriend’s black denim jacket; the oversized look of a slim fit men’s cut has more edge than your typical shrunken denim jacket for women. Lastly, finish off the outfit with your go-to beanie to keep from looking too dressed up. Remember, cool kids need to appear not to care, and in fashion, a beanie is the equivalent of a slouched stance.
Album: Blood | Hit Single: “Unstoppable”
Sounds like: British folk meets the mellowest of soul music. A songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, La Havas also happens to have a sophisticated vocal scope (comparable to a fine, aged wine) that matches her stage presence, which is on par with that of jazz greats, the likes of Nina Simone.
Her Look: Take your natural beauty and tie it up in a head scarf and a knotted men’s Oxford shirt; a combination of items perfectly paired with cropped wide-leg pants. If La Havas is your style inspiration, then like her, femininity should ooze from you, with or without the aid of a bedazzled dress and a blowout. To complete this look, layer on some modern gold rings, the more the better. We think chevron rings work best…and Etsy has more than a few to choose from.
Album: Get A Witness | Hit Single: “Cold Daggers”
Sounds like: A bit more Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, than Sleater Kinney, in other words, badass rock ‘n’ roll with punk sensibility. Callaway—the band’s frontwoman, lead vocals and songwriter—was discovered at age 17, after a chance meeting with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, and has precisely the kind of layered musical vision one would imagine Reznor might gravitate towards. Visceral as her music is, we predict Callaway will find herself moonlighting as a composer for films, not long from now. (Listen to the track “Strange Fruit” to hear what we’re talking about.)
Her Look: Punk rock with a vintage pinup girl twist. Everything about Callaway’s look is movable and perfect for slam dancing to her songs. For this, you’ll want to start with shoes, or more, the perfect pair of boots. When it comes to footwear that goes with music, no other brand of boots pairs quite as well as Dr. Martens do. With your feet firmly planted in the land of rock, you can girly up your look with a modern bodycon ensemble that comes in the form of a crop top and matching skirt.
Album: Meg Mac EP | Hit Single: “Roll Up Your Sleeves”
Sounds like: SxSW meets Adele. Mac’s songs have a Sam Smith melody to them, while her voice bridges the gap between pop and soul with indie prowess. Born Megan Sullivan McInerney, the Australian singer is slowly making her way across the pond with tracks that go well with oxblood stained lips and black ink tattoos, as confirmed by the recent musical appearance of “Roll Up Your Sleeves” in an episode of HBO’s Girls.
Her Look: Sleek and effortless, much like Mac’s smooth voice, the singer’s personal style prefers structured—verging on conceptual—looks in the shade of black with jeweled accents. Try a gem-studded blouse underneath a leather blazer. (Given the inspiration for this outfit, it seems only fitting to go with an option from Metric’s Emily Haines’ collaboration with Rudsak when selecting the perfect top layer.) Finally, pull on a pair of silk shorts—SS16 ’s must-wear fabric—tuck in your blouse and decide between that trusty pair of black booties in your closet or those edgy new flatforms you’ve been waiting to pull out.
Album: Coming Soon, Date To Be Annouced | Hit Single: “Ego”
Sounds like: A hip-hop remix of Amy Winehouse. To say there is grit to Bourelly’s music is to state the obvious. One listen to her latest single, “Sally,” released earlier this year, and listeners will understand where the bare-knuckle punch in Rihanna’s “Bitch Better Have My Money”—penned by none other than the Berlin-born Bourelly—comes from.
Her Look: Without even seeing what she looks like, one can tell by her voice that this singer/songwriter is anything but emo. It’s no wonder that Bourelly’s take on fashion should walk the fine line between street punk and urban princess. We suggest channeling the ‘90s and going for a grunge-esque look, like a graphic tee (we’re slightly obsessed with the ones from Echo Park Surf Squad) knotted up at the side and a pair of skinny black denim, especially contemporary when they come in jogger form from the men’s section. (Montreal men’s label, Frank & Oak’s collaboration with Naked & Famous boasts a pair that offer sizes small enough to fit women, come done in Power Stretch Japanese Denim and also happen to be made in Canada.) Finished off this look with kicks that say “I cuss when I talk and lean when I walk.”