The artist formerly known as twigs (that’s what the FKA stands for if you didn’t know) is honestly just cool. I feel stupid using the adjective ‘cool’ to describe anything now that I’m not in primary school (surely my lexicon is a little more advanced now) but cool is exactly what Tahliah Barnett is. Here’s five reasons I dig her style:
twigs has hair that I wish I could have, but it would look like I got very confused about where I’m from. It’s like dreadlocks or cornrows, it can look amazing on the right person but for the most part I would recommend people avoid doing them. twigs seems to agree, saying “I've been doing S-curls for years; I just use gel and a tooth comb. But the baby hairs are gone now; I'm done. I'm sure they'll make an appearance, but I used to really enjoy doing them every single day, even if I was half an hour late I'd manage to squeeze in seven minutes to do it. But since I did the i-D cover, it's something that's really taken off in fashion and in music. My reference for it comes from Josephine Baker, the first-ever famous black performer, but I think the way it's been taken now, I don't know if I'm down with it. It's just like piercings and tattoos: On the right person they can be really beautiful, but on the wrong person they can be really bad.”
twigs always has perfect accessories to accompany her tripgoth/RnB/synth-pop queen look. Every time I see her gold septum rings paired with big gold hoops and the previously mentioned, masterfully done hair, a little wave of happiness rushes over me. I appreciate anyone with the guts to rock a piercing so commonly despised, especially when they look as beautiful as twigs does. I remember when I went to get my nose pierced my mom begged me not to come home with a “bull ring”. I never intended to get my septum pierced when I went out on that fateful day, but maybe she’d be more accepting of the trend now with stars like twigs, Rihanna and Lady Gaga rocking the septum ring. If this is your scene, keep an eye out for when Meadowlark drops their line of septum rings (available for those of you with the piercing and also without).
Image sourced from here.
(3) COLOUR AND TEXTURE
Although she admits she works with a lot of black, twigs says that colour and textures are extremely important to her. She said “I like the colour red; I think it's a really lucky color. When I'm thinking about artwork I always like there to be a bit of red in it. I think it's a winner's color. Textures apply to everything I do. Even within my music, I like smooth things, and then hard and fluffy things, all giving them their place to shine.” Maybe this is why she’s pictured so often with an almost trademark red lip or flowers adorning her. Watching her music videos is another place to see how twigs’ style flows in everything she does, from physical appearance to audio to visuals. Watch the video for Lucki Eck$’ ‘Ouch Ouch’ directed, produced and starred in by twigs to see how her style is expressed with everything she does.
(2) HER ARTISTIC DIRECTION
As I just mentioned, twigs’ style bleeds through in everything she does, not just shown by her clothes/accessories/make-up but also by her music videos. twigs is a trained dancer who featured in the videos for Jessie J’s ‘Price Tag’ and ‘Do It Like A Dude’ and has served as a back-up dancer for Kylie Minogue and Taio Cruz. You can tell she has a background in this area simply from the way she holds herself. Watch the video for ‘Two Weeks’ where we see twigs pouring milk into the mouth of a smaller version of herself, spray-painted gold and dancing wildly. She is decidedly a sexual person, but not in the hypersexual and sexist way often seen in the media, and I think this plays into her style a lot. She readily accepts that sex is a complicated topic; highlighted by the negative response some gave to the video for ‘Papi Pacify’ where she’s shown in a submissive embrace. She told the Huffington Post "Everyone's like, 'Oh, it's so shocking', but you were doing it last night," she says. "If I was a mother, I would rather my child watch a video like that and not understand it and be inquisitive about what it means. Be curious about something that's so complicated, rather than watch something really crude and overtly sexual."
Image sourced from here.
(1) THE WEIRDER THE BETTER
She’s said “Weird things can be sexy” and I think this sums up her philosophy on style. She isn’t what I would call conventionally attractive, but I think she has put together an image which turns her into an ethereal queen with a distinct personal aesthetic. Her wardrobe choices, music and visuals all seem deliberately selected so they flow together perfectly. It’s often quite strange, but this is what makes twigs such an intriguing individual that I want to see more from. She seems completely in control of the strange world she’s created, the vision presented to us as an audience is completely her own. I think people like twigs are rare to find, from her divergent image to her out-of-any-genre music, and this is why I love her.
Images sourced from here.
twigs’ debut album ‘LP1’ dropped yesterday on Young Turks and if you have a brain in your head, you should cop it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to lock myself in a room with gel and a toothbrush and come out after a few hours pretending I didn’t listen to ‘How’s That’ and play with my baby hairs at all.