Sunday, September 7, 2008

7 Sep: Vintage sound, vintage style

The below article appeared here.

Vintage sound, vintage style

It's no surprise that Duffy, the Welsh waif with the big voice, is keen on pairing her retro voice with retro fashion. For her Fashion Rocks performance of Mercy, she wore a 1950s dress she plucked from a secondhand shop in Camden, London. Some stars might spend (or borrow) thousands of dollars worth of satin and sequins for their stagewear; Duffy spent just $50. "I’ve had it for a while, and I just thought that it was so perfect." She does spend extra, however, on tailoring. "Everything I wear I have to have made to fit — otherwise, I just look like I borrowed my mum’s outfit."

Although two-thirds of Duffy's closet is vintage, "they don’t make my wardrobe smell that fantastic, I’m not going to lie to you. I’m forever buying soaps and little things to hang in my wardrobe because it gets a bit musky." She's particularly passionate about the '40s and '50s, "the cardigans with the high neck and the gorgeous cashmere." But "don’t get me wrong. I go out and get contemporary jeans and contemporary shoes."

Just as she's new to the U.S. music scene, she's new to fashion. "At the moment, I’m just kind of playing around with fashion and understanding it because I’ve never really had it so much in my life before," said Duffy, two tiny pink flowers blooming amid her Dusty Springfield hair.

Her Mercy and Warwick Avenue videos may feature a preponderance of tight shots of her doll-like face, but "wait for my next one," she said assuredly. "You’re going to get more of the lady lumps." — O.B.

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