Her wardrobe hits the right notes too

Fitz and the Tantrums singer knows how to dress up her act

Los Angeles Times - - IMAGE - By Leigh-Ann Jack­son im­age@la­times.com

Soul-spiked L.A. pop band Fitz and the Tantrums will likely be greeted by a whistling crowd when they land at the two-week­end Coachella Val­ley Mu­sic and Arts Fes­ti­val in In­dio for their Sun­day per­for­mances on April 12 and 19. Af­ter all, the band’s whis­tle-happy ear­bug “The Walker” was om­nipresent in 2014, and their fes­ti­val shows are packed with plenty of mood-el­e­vat­ing hip-shak­ing, cour­tesy of hits in­clud­ing “Out of My League” and “MoneyGrabber.”

But be­sides mu­sic, fash­ion is part of the Coachella mys­tique, and this band de­liv­ers. While the group’s Fitz, Michael Fitz­patrick, def­i­nitely com­mands at­ten­tion with his svelte suits and sig­na­ture streak of white hair, it’s the group’s co-lead singer, Noelle Scaggs, who draws eyes like a mag­net.

She bounds across the stage in fit­ted minis, midriff-bar­ing tops and leather shorts. For TV ap­pear­ances, the soul­ful singer has been known to adapt the sleek pol­ish of early Mo­town artists.

“In the be­gin­ning stages of our ca­reer, we were very dressed up. Ev­ery­thing was from the ’40s to the ’60s,” Scaggs re­calls, think­ing back to her days in pen­cil skirts and se­quined sheaths. “Fitz and the guys were dressed to the nines. But af­ter you do a few shows like we do, that doesn’t work so well any­more.” Since then, Cory Sav­age, the band’s on-call stylist, has helped them in­cor­po­rate their own more ca­sual style into their stage acts.

“I’ve al­ways been drawn to­ward clas­sic ap­peal with an edge,” Scaggs says, de­scrib­ing her ev­ery­day style. Lean­ing against the rail­ing of a Los Feliz bal­cony, she ex­udes out-of-your-league al­lure, com­ing off like a swag-tinged min­i­mal­ist. Dur­ing an in­ter­view in March, she’s wear­ing a sim­ple, boxy white cot­ton blouse by L.A.based designer Fabi­ana Pigna, black Alexander Wang elas­tic waist pants, a black beaded neck­lace and a black panama hat by lo­cal milliner Gla­dys Tamez. In­di­vid­u­ally, the pieces might not wow, but the way she pulls them to­gether makes you want to steal her en­tire look.

She fre­quents cu­rated bou­tiques like Robert­son Boule­vard’s Curve and Mo­hawk Gen­eral Store in her own Sil­ver Lake stamp­ing grounds. And when she’s on the road, she makes stops at To­tokaelo in Seat­tle and In­ter­mix’s out­post in Chicago. Luxe, mod­ern brands such as Rachel Comey and Cush­nie et Ochs catch her eye, as does lo­cal jew­eler EF Col­lec­tion, whose del­i­cate, di­a­mond-dusted stack­able rings lace all her fin­gers.

Scaggs is quick to throw on pieces that show off her toned arms and ath­letic build. “I like pieces that are sexy and pow­er­ful but not too fit­ted,” she says. Not sur­pris­ingly, the star spent her for­ma­tive years in the Pasadena area tak­ing fash­ion cues from South­ern Cal­i­for­nia style icon Gwen Ste­fani.

Black and white may be her goto com­bi­na­tion, but the lone lady Tantrum more than makes up for it by rocking pops of color from the neck up. She’ll belt out the band’s in­fec­tious hooks through a pair of bold red lips. As for her hair, the singer’s TWA (that’s Teeny Weeny Afro) is cur­rently blond, but her hair­styl­ist, Yukari Yokomizo at West Hol­ly­wood’s Hel­met Sa­lon, has helped her go from pale pas­tel green to navy blue to pur­ple over the last few months.

The fol­low-up to the band’s sopho­more stu­dio al­bum, “More Than Just a Dream,” is still in its in­cu­ba­tion pe­riod and with it, she sus­pects, a new style change will be in the works. Maybe she’ll re­turn to a more “femme” vibe. “I may get back into wear­ing heels,” she says. To ease back into the habit, she knows she can rely on J. Crew’s retro-in­spired kit­ten heels, which she deems com­fort­able enough for danc­ing.

While she is the group’s only fe­male, Scaggs is by no means the only fash­ion fa­natic. “John and I both have amaz­ing shoe col­lec­tions,” she boasts, si­mul­ta­ne­ously prais­ing the band’s drum­mer, John Wicks. His as­sort­ment re­port­edly in­cludes sev­eral pairs of col­lectible Nikes, while hers leans more to­ward Wang and Ru­pert San­der­son. “Fitz and I play off each other,” she also notes, peg­ging his fa­vored graphic tees and stripes as “industrial.”

Later, en route to the band’s back-to-back Sao Paolo, Brazil, shows in late March, Fitz­patrick mes­sages to share his love of clean-cut suits filled with all-over pat­tern. “Geek chic is def­i­nitely an in­flu­ence on my wardrobe,” he says. The French-born singer also says that the many phases and styles of David Bowie have made a last­ing im­pres­sion on his wardrobe.

When the six-piece act heads to the desert for Coachella, they plan to go with light­weight pieces that make it easy for them to put on their usual high-en­ergy, funkedup per­for­mance. Fitz­patrick says they’ll work with their stylist to make sure their fes­ti­val clothes are breath­able but still sharp. They’ll add built-in ven­ti­la­tion here and stretchy fab­rics there in or­der to, as he puts it, “make sure we don’t pass out on stage from heat ex­haus­tion.”

Coachella-go­ers can ex­pect to see Scaggs in her ver­sion of “sporty chic” — base­ball caps, Jimmy Choo sneak­ers and cropped tops and pants. Her other must-have In­dio ac­ces­sories? A jacket to com­bat the chilly desert nights and a re­us­able wa­ter bot­tle.

Hy­dra­tion is Scaggs’ No. 1 style tip. “We al­ways tell peo­ple to hy­drate; I think a lot of them for­get that!”

Ri­cardo DeAratanha Los An­ge­les Times


a singer with Coachella-bound Fitz and the Tantrums, has her own style.

Chelsea Lau­ren WireImage

“I’VE AL­WAYS been drawn to­ward clas­sic ap­peal with an edge,” singer Noelle Scaggs says of her at­ten­tionget­ting sense of fash­ion.

C Flani­gan . Getty Images

1ALL-CAPS LEDEIN: This is cap­tion

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