Oh Lorde: October Muse

Her song may say that she'll never be royal, but up and coming singer/songwriter Ella Yelich-O'Connor - better known as Lorde - has already been named the Queen of Alternative. lorde-billboard-mag-cover

She may be only sixteen years old, but the newcomer  is mature beyond her years, and she has a blooming music empire to prove it.  Her first single, 'Royals' - a minimalist track filled with soulful harmonies, took the charts by storm, making her the first New Zealand solo artist to reach number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. With the recent release of her debut album, 'Pure Heroine', Lorde is becoming talked about more and more.


If you are unfamiliar with her work, Lorde has a particularly subtle, mysterious, smoky and soulful sound to her music.  Her music draws from electronic pop sounds, but also adapts a minimalist approach of putting together a couple of sounds and yet making them explosive, keeping the focus on her voice.  She draws inspiration from a multitude of artists on every end of the spectrum, from Etta James to Grimes to Kanye West.

So where did the stage name/character Lorde come from?  With a name like Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O'Connor, she knew that she would need something short to put on the album.  She attributes Lorde to her fascination with royalty and aristocracy as a kid (now we know where her first single came from too).  She added the 'e' to the end of the title Lord to make it more feminine.

But not only is Lorde captivating audiences with her music - her style is too.  She has perfected the art of minimalist beauty.  A pale foundation with a natural lip matched against a perfect smoky-eye.  She also uses the dark lip, making it clear that oxblood and wine should be the first choices in lipstick hues this fall.  There are some great tutorials to recreate Lorde's look, such as those by Rachel Whitehurst on Youtube (on Lorde's Tennis Court music video style or that from Royals).




Her cool and mysterious style is reflected through her clothes as well. "I love fashion, and I like wearing something that makes me feel grand.  Onstage I want something that has an element of theatricality to it, like long dresses and chunky shoes.  I love designers like Rodarte, Alexander McQueen, Rick Owens... I would have trouble playing a show in my t-shirt and jeans!" (http://noisey.vice.com/blog/meet-lorde-shes-a-talented-teenage-badass).


Lorde Performs At Madame Jojo's

A hint of lace and a drop back can take a little black dress and give it the perfect amount of edge.


Denim jackets bring back the grunge of the nineties, which is perfect for the fall.




Is it surprising that Lorde can take something as simple as a black maxi dress, accessorize it with an armful of simple gold bangles, and look impeccable?  Not really, because this girl can wear just about anything and make it look fantastic (having a mane of incredible hair doesn't hurt either).  But if we can learn anything from Lorde, it's that we can incorporate her style into our own closet by adapting a grungy, eclectic, bohemian vibe.  Lorde makes it clear that black is the new black and that less can be more when styling and accessorizing.

Since she broke into the music industry so young, Lorde has many years ahead of her, and for that we should be grateful.  Why?  Because that means plenty of time to watch her grow into a Queen B of the music industry, as well as a style icon.