A new segment I am starting on my blog are interviews with individuals from all fields, from entertainment to construction. The focus will be on style and fashion from their perspective. I landed my first interview with pop singer/songwriter Alyssa Bentley, who has the hit single out “Brand New Girl.”
A small town girl from Kentucky, her music is pop with a fresh blend of electro/dance/hip hop/reggae/R&B and even some gritty rock! She and her band have played at legendary LA venues, such as The Knitting Factory and the Whisky. After interviewing Alyssa, I could totally see us swapping closets and enjoying a girls night out. So what did this down-to earth, flavorful female have to say?
1. Describe your style.
I like to play around with decades. I love the vibrant colors and bold patterns of the 80’s, and I love the tailored/feminine fit and the high heels of the 50’s. Blending the 2 into a modern look is definitely ‘my style’. As well, I like to add a little bit of edge, like wearing a black leather flower in my hair, or wearing a black studded waist cincher belt over a dress.
2. What article of clothing in your closet makes you feel on top of the world?
I’d say my little black Guess dress. It’s a slip with a crochet dress overlay. At first, it would just sit in my closet and intimidate me. Lol! But I’m so glad I got the nerve to start wearing it. It’s sleek and sexy, black without being boring.
3. If I were to enter your closet right now, what would I be surprised to see?
How about… an overwhelming number of belts, waist cinchers, and corsets. I put them over dresses and tops all the time.
4. How much influence does the way you dress have on your personal brand?
It’s a big part of my music career. The look has to be something that stands out if you’re in pop music. That’s where all the bold prints, bright colors, and big accessories come in handy. I’m just glad I don’t have to be something I’m not in order to make that happen. I really do pick out (and love) all of my own clothes.
5. Do you follow trends or make your own?
Definitely a combination of both. Mostly, I picture an outfit in my head that doesn’t exist and then try to shop for pieces here and there to put it together… it can be pretty difficult. Often when I’m in a check-out line, I’ll get comments on how I must’ve found the most unique pieces they had. But I do follow trends to a degree… I wear skinny jeans and ‘jeggings’ (though that word irks me. Anyone else? Lol!)
6. Which designer would you love to wear at your next performance?
Already got this one covered. My next performance is gonna be for the filming of my 2nd music video for the song “Til We’re Ready To Go” on January 22nd at The Libertine on Sunset. I saw a Cowgirl Heaven dress at a fashion show recently that I WILL be wearing for the video! =) It was a fun halter a-line silky dress. You’ll see it when the video releases for sure.
7. How does Kentucky style compare to LA style?
That’s the best interview question I’ve EVER been asked. =D Is there such a thing as ‘Kentucky style’? My life in Kentucky was playing flashlight with the neighborhood kids, going to football games, church, choir concerts, playing soccer, etc. Fashion was a low priority. In my hometown, the style is generally conservative and simple: Dockers, button ups, polos, jeans, t-shirts, etc. LA is definitely trendier, and you have a lot more style/shopping options.
8. Are you currently working with a stylist right now?
I hired a stylist, Olivia Crouppen, to help with my 1st music video (for “Brand New Girl”). She pieced together a lot of what I already had for several of the outfits, and then she also brought in 1 new outfit that was just perfect! Aside from really big occasions (like filming a video or a photo shoot), I do most everything else by myself.
9. Would you consider becoming a designer?
I would love to collaborate with a designer for a line that is ‘inspired by Alyssa Bentley’. I’m not sure yet if I would want to be an independent designer. Maybe someday. Baby steps…
10. In your opinion, what is the future of fashion?
Great question. I’m more of an ‘in-the-moment’ type, but a few things come to mind. Thick stripes, bold patterns, more daring creativity with styles of heels and sunglasses, and silk/satin blends (a little shine goes a long way).
11. How do you see fashion and music working together?
They’re inseparable. Video really did kill the radio star. Lol! With the internet, magazines, music videos, etc. ‘image’ is just as much a part of what makes or breaks a musician/band as the music itself is. Fashion is about self-expression, and you have to make a strong fashion statement as a musician that can tell people not just who you are as a person, but also give a glimpse into what kind of music you do. As well, musicians (like Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Gwen Stefani, etc.) can help push the mainstream fashion envelope so that the ‘daring’ becomes more accessible and comfortable to people.
12. You definitely are not afraid to wear color and mix it up and I love that about you. Is color the new black?
Depends on who you ask, and since you asked me- DEFINITELY! =) Gotta have vibrant variety. It’s fun, playful, and adds visual interest to whatever I’m doing.
13. What is your favorite clothing store in LA?
For Accessories- Ella Bella, for dresses/stilettos- Guess, and for more dresses and vintage style- Age Of Innocence.
14. What would you never be caught wearing as long as you live?
I do have 1 general rule: I will not buy any shirts that have the brand/label name in a huge obnoxious font on it. I’m not trying to be a walking billboard.
15. What fashion advice would you share with the world?
Liven things up, don’t be afraid to take a little risk, and most importantly, learn what best suites your body type. Fashion should be fun, flattering, and expressive.