Laura Mvula on her personal style

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Laura Mvula’s anthemic single, “That’s Alright,” is a declaration against all of the unrealistic beauty standards promoted in magazines that make women second-guess themselves: “I will never be what you want, and that’s alright. Cause my skin ain’t light and my body ain’t tight. And that’s alright.” So it’s not surprising that the Brit, who is often described as this generation’s answer to Nina Simone, would be equally secure in her personal style. As she prepares to go on tour for her new album, “Sing to the Moon,” she opens up about her natural hair, crush on Vivienne Westwood and weakness for big heels.

On styling around her natural hair
“My hair is very short, so it’s important for me to feel soft and feminine. I like to think I’m a warm person. I  like to soften my image as much as possible so that my short hair isn’t overly strong or intimidating.”

Figuring out her look
“I’m an explorer. My dad used to say that I was always the kid in the wardrobe trying on ridiculous pieces together and thinking somehow that they would work. I think a lot about my style and my image, which is really important to me, even though I do feel like a baby when it comes to fashion. I still feel very much at the beginning of it all.”

Her stage persona vs. her off-duty one
“I think the two go alongside each other. Even things like being practical, which isn’t my strongest point as a person. Sometimes I’m standing at a keyboard, and I want to wear my big heels. I love my big heels. But even though I might have a specific image and vision in my head. It also has to be comfortable for me to wear. I think what I wear will change as I work with bigger ensembles. At the moment simplicity is really important to me. I want to come off the stage feeling comfortable, like I’ve been able to move and not think about this wrap falling off my head or the length of my skirt.”

Her ultimate fashion fantasy
“I dream about Vivienne Westwood. When I was getting married, I spent a lot of time dreaming about her dresses. But to have this kind of [professional] opportunity makes [her clothes] more attainable. I’ve worn some of her pieces before. They’re so elegant, pretty and feminine.”


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