VOGUE Australia


For singer Starley Hope, feeling comfortabl­e in her own skin led to a more liberated dress sense.


It’s hard to imagine now, but just two years ago, Starley Hope was ready to give up on her dreams of singing and song-writing. Sick of “having doors slammed in my face”, feeling “the pressure to get a real job” and after five years of “nos” while living in London, the singer bid farewell to the UK, moved back to Australia and began planning her next move: a career as a personal trainer. It was at this point, from her parent’s home in Sydney, that Starley, as she’s known to her fans, wrote her hit single Call on Me.

Released in July 2016, the song has since garnered more than 100 million streams online and has gone platinum in Australia, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, thanks in part to popular remixes from DJs Ryan Riback and Odd Mob.

A tribute to her struggles and the difficult decision “to walk away from something that I had worked for my entire life” and an ode to all her false starts and frustratio­ns, Call on Me serendipit­ously kick-started the singer’s career.

Not one to let the ball drop, Starley has been keeping busy ever since, having opened for Katy Perry on the Australian leg of her 2018 Witness tour and performing at VAEFNO while simultaneo­usly working on her first album. Due out in early 2019, the collection of songs, she says, are a tribute to all that she’s been through in the last few years (the singer recently came out as bisexual to her family, a decision she explores in her single Love is Love), but that’s not to say there aren’t some uplifting tunes in the mix, too.

“I’ve kind of squeezed the emotion of everything that I’ve been through in the past few years, so it’s a lot of storytelli­ng but still good vibes and still good to listen to and uplifting stuff,” she says, noting that being able to share her journey and have her experience­s resonate with her fans is a dream come true.

“I wanted people to hear those songs and being able to do that,” she says of having her music speak to people. “And to put that out to the world and for other people to come back and relate to something that I’ve written or relate to something that I’ve been through, it’s a really beautiful thing … that helps me just as much as it does anyone else, because I get to live my dreams.”

Just as her music helps her to reconcile pain and frustratio­n or express the changes in her life, so too does her approach to dressing reflect her dispositio­n day to day.

“My fashion changes with my different moods; some days I feel more masculine than other days, so then I’ll wear something that expresses that. Or another day I might feel a little bit softer or a little bit more feminine and I want to express that. I definitely feel like what I wear is very much a representa­tion of what I feel on the inside.”

Preferring to keep things fluid, Starley says she’ll often chose to pair a patterned men’s shirt with big hoops and her “wild hair”, for a look that dances between masculine and feminine but certainly doesn’t take too much effort or fuss.

“I try not to think too hard about what I wear, because clothing should be really fun and easy to put on and you shouldn’t have to walk around trying to adjust what you’re wearing or trying to feel comfortabl­e. It should always feel easy.”

Now more relaxed in herself and with her choices, Starley’s acknowledg­es there’s room to experiment with her on-stage and off-stage style. “I have found more comfort in my own skin and because of that I experiment more and I know myself more,” she says of how her style has altered over the years. “I’m more fluid when it comes to the way I dress.”

Calling her on-stage style an “elevated version of my day-to-day look”, Starley observes that the pieces she inevitably ends up wearing to perform are always bigger, baggier and bolder than her daily wardrobe.

“We make things even baggier than I’d normally wear them or we’ll always show midriff,” the singer says of her approach to her style choices for performanc­es, which recently has included a pearl-encrusted bodice with white overalls or a pair of red leather shorts and matching bomber. “I’d say that my on-stage style comes across as pretty effortless. Iit’s not always effortless, but I guess it comes across that way.”


It was a seamless transition then for the singer to step into the oversized pieces and 90s-era silhouette­s from the autumn/winter ’18/’19 season on set for Vogue. Zipping into the reflective, utilitaria­n trend, which gives biohazard gear – think acid-proof boots paired with neon-green Prada and space-age Dior – an elevated edge.

The singer admitted the pieces didn’t deviate from where she normally gravitates silhouette-wise, but certainly pushed her out of her comfort zone from a colour perspectiv­e.

“It was totally in my lane,” Starley says of the all-white Strateas Carlucci and oversized Balenciaga. “I guess it was a little bit more elevated as far as the colours and the materials go.”

While the easiness of the new season’s silhouette­s suits Starley for now, on- and off-duty, the singer is always opening to experiment­ing with her look just as she is with her music. “I think this year my look will be completely different to my look next year, because I’m just constantly developing and am open to trying different things.”

 ??  ?? Starley Hope wears a Balenciaga vest,v $3,895, from Harrolds. Lacoste jacket and pants, P.O. A. Prada shoes, $1,220.
Starley Hope wears a Balenciaga vest,v $3,895, from Harrolds. Lacoste jacket and pants, P.O. A. Prada shoes, $1,220.
 ??  ?? Christian Dior jacket, $4,800.
Christian Dior jacket, $4,800.
 ??  ?? Strateas Carlucci jacket, $560, and pants, $890. Gucci shoes, $1,865.
Strateas Carlucci jacket, $560, and pants, $890. Gucci shoes, $1,865.
 ??  ?? Prada sheer blouse, $1,100, and top, $1,530. Gucci pants, $1,575.
Prada sheer blouse, $1,100, and top, $1,530. Gucci pants, $1,575.

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