The en­ter­tainer

The new ul­tra-wide sil­hou­ette calls for a level of self-as­sured­ness and con­fi­dence, which British singer Dua Lipa has in strides. By Zara Wong.

VOGUE Australia - - Viewpoint - STYLING PHILIPPA MORONEY PHO­TO­GRAPH DUN­CAN KILLICK

Dua Lipa works so hard that she has been on tour for two years, with one more year to go. Al­though for the 22-year-old British mu­si­cian, per­form­ing and dress­ing up is less ‘work’ and more a driv­ing pas­sion that has ex­isted for as long as she can re­mem­ber. “I’ve al­ways wanted to sing and per­form,” she says after her Vogue shoot. “Peo­ple have asked when was the first time I re­alised I liked mu­sic but it’s never been a thing; it’s al­ways been around. I never had a plan B.”

So re­lent­less is her ap­proach to her ca­reer – stel­lar so far, with a list of ac­co­lades and record-break­ers so long it would take up most of this para­graph to in­clude them – that dur­ing her recent Aus­tralian tour, Lipa was forced to take time out for emer­gency wis­dom teeth surgery. “You just have to get it done,” she says with a rue­ful smile on hav­ing de­layed the process be­fore it came to a head dur­ing the Aus­tralian leg. “I was like: ‘Wow, great, in Aus­tralia – I didn’t ex­pect this!”

While many mu­si­cians are in­tro­duced to the fash­ion world through their mu­sic ca­reers, Lipa says it was an in­ter­est from early on. Grow­ing up, she would read her mother’s is­sues of Vogue and cre­ate scrap­books of her favourite im­ages. She also re­mem­bers be­ing struck by both the sound and im­agery of artists such as Pink. “That hair on her Mis­sun­daz­tood al­bum!” she ex­claims. “That was such a look.”

Lipa’s own style can be seen in some of the most mem­o­rable mu­sic videos of the past 12 months, such as the pop-tas­tic film clip for New Rules, which Lorde pro­claimed to be one of her favourite mu­sic clips of the mo­ment.

“It’s not nec­es­sar­ily the putting to­gether of the im­age that is im­por­tant, but be­ing able to rep­re­sent your­self and who you are as an artist that is im­por­tant to mu­si­cians,” she pon­ders aloud. “When I get in­volved in

the fash­ion world, it’s another out­let for my cre­ativ­ity, another ex­ten­sion of my mu­sic and who I am as an artist. Fash­ion is an ex­ten­sion of what I’d like to say, another part of me, so from the very be­gin­ning I had quite a clear idea of what I like to wear.”

Em­brac­ing the sil­hou­ette of wide-legged pants with fit­ted tops was a log­i­cal step from her on-stage to off-duty looks, which in­clude track­suit sets or cropped tops (that show off her boxing-honed midriff) with match­ing pants, as seen in her chart-top­ping IDGAF video clip. She says the turtle­neck with black pants (see below) was a favourite look from the Vogue shoot. “It was re­ally cool, and the low cam­era an­gles the pho­tog­ra­pher used were re­ally fun,” she notes as­tutely. “I’ve al­ways liked to play dress-ups.” Even as a teenager, the singer ex­per­i­mented with her wardrobe, reg­u­larly can­vass­ing the high street: “Dif­fer­ent colours, dif­fer­ent styles – I would never limit my­self and would make the looks my own by ac­ces­soris­ing and lay­er­ing.”

While shop­ping in her lo­cal stores back home is less of an op­tion for her, given her busy tour­ing sched­ule, she still buys on­line, send­ing pack­ages to her par­ents’ ad­dress.

Born in Lon­don to Koso­var-Al­ba­nian par­ents, Lipa moved with her fam­ily back to Kosovo at the age of 11, be­fore re­turn­ing to Lon­don on her own at 15. “I al­ways knew I wanted to sing, but didn’t re­alise how much un­til I didn’t have the op­por­tu­nity to do it on the scale I wanted to,” she says of her time in Kosovo.

Three years after ar­riv­ing back in Lon­don, at just 18, she signed a record deal. “That was when I re­alised it was real; the record deal meant I could quit my job as a wait­ress,” she re­mem­bers with a laugh.

Her style, it seems, sashays from boy­ish to fem­i­nine – like the Gi­ambat­tista Valli haute cou­ture tulle gown she wore to the Brit awards where she won Best British Fe­male Solo Artist and British Break­through Act. “That was my dream dress!” she says. “I re­mem­ber the box when it came in – it was hu­mon­gous. When we un­packed it, the dress went on and on and went around the lit­tle is­land in my kitchen and so when I tried it, I couldn’t move! Pil­ing it in the car was re­ally tricky. I had to go into the car back­wards and lie on the dress.”

On the day of the shoot the team is taken aback when Lipa turns up to the stu­dio wear­ing a short, sum­mery wrap dress that she bought at Bondi mar­kets. “It caught my eye and I’m ob­sessed with it!” she says. “Day to day I dress de­pend­ing on how I feel – mostly track­ies and a crop top, a hoodie and a scarf and heels. Most of the time, it’s what­ever won’t crease, be­cause I have to get around re­ally quickly!”

While Lipa is mostly iden­ti­fied as a pop mu­si­cian, her lower-pitched voice (as a child, she was once told it was too low for choir, mak­ing her doubt her mu­si­cal abil­ity) means she can ex­per­i­ment more mu­si­cally. “It’s crazy and sur­real and ex­cit­ing, all at once,” she says of achiev­ing smash hits.

In 2017, Lipa was the most streamed fe­male artist on Spo­tify in the UK, beat­ing out Bey­oncé, Taylor Swift and Ari­ana Grande, while her track New Rules hit more than a bil­lion views on YouTube, mak­ing her the youngest fe­male mu­si­cian to reach that mark. “I love pop mu­sic and it’s some­thing I’ve grown up with, but my mu­sic is di­verse, and I feel like that’s sim­i­lar to how I like my fash­ion – it’s quite play­ful and un­ex­pected.”

“FASH­ION IS AN EX­TEN­SION OF WHAT I’D LIKE TO SAY; ANOTHER PART OF WHO I AM”

Burberry top, $700. Mon­cler pants, $1,735. Alinka ear­ring, $2,505 and $1,846 (in left ear). Fear of God shoes, $1,250, from Har­rolds.

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