Levi's and Liberty London's collaboration--which combines the American label's classic denim pieces with the iconic British brand's quirky floral prints--deserved a celebration worthy of the transatlantic partnership, so it was only fitting that Charli XCX was invited to perform at a soiree feting the launch. The UK singer/songwriter wrote--and is featured on--the Icona Pop smash hit "I Love It" that's recently taken over American airwaves and was featured on the Girls, Vol. 1 soundtrack, plus she just released her latest album True Romance. We sat down with her right before her concert at Levi's renowned Haus of Strauss in Los Angeles to talk about music and style. Read on for our exclusive interview, and be sure to shop the collection here!
WWW: How would you describe your sound? Charli XCX: It's emotional, beautiful pop music that's all about romance. Sometimes it's dark, sometimes it's bubblegum.
WWW: Do you have a favorite song on your latest album True Romance? Charli XCX: Yeah, it's called "Grins." When I play it live, I feel so free. I know it sounds cheesy but I just feel like a ball of energy!
WWW: Who are some of your musical influences? Charli XCX: When I first got into music, I was really inspired by all of the artists on Ed Banger Records like Uffie, Busy P, Justice, SebastiAn--they blew my mind. I was so into French electro. They definitely first inspired me to get into music. Some influences for the record were dramatic '80s pop songs like Martika's "Toy Soldiers" and songs by The Cure, so there's a wide range of influences.
WWW: What do you do to get ready before performing? Charli XCX: It's usually a panic to figure out what to wear. I'll usually drink this boring lemon and honey concoction--very rock 'n' roll!--and I'll jump around and do warm-ups.
WWW: You wrote and were featured on Icona Pop's "I Love It," which has become a huge hit. What would be your next dream collaboration? Charli XCX: To be honest I kind of want to stay away from collaborations for a while, and just focus on my own record and touring. But at the same time I'd love to keep on writing for and with people like Icona Pop, as well as other artists. I guess my dream collaboration would be someone like Bjork or Gwen Stefani.
WWW: Did you have anyone in mind when you wrote that song? Charli XCX: I didn't actually. I guess that's why I didn't take the song for my own album, because I didn't have a personal connection to it. I actually wrote it in half an hour in my hotel room in Sweden. It just kind of came out and the demo, melody, and lyrics were exactly the same. It was very spontaneous. I couldn't picture myself singing it and I couldn't picture a music video. That's how I know I'm connected to a song, so I knew I needed someone else to sing it.
WWW: What's on your iPod right now? Charli XCX: I'm listening to Tegan and Sara a lot. I love their latest record. Also listening to Kitty Pryde. She's supporting some of my dates on my headline tour in June. The Kendrick Lamar album is amazing. There's also this French band Jupiter; they're cool, and their album Juicy Lucy is really good. I also like Kavinsky and stuff like that.
WWW: Can you tell me about your personal style? Charli XCX: My style changes a lot. I like quite basic pieces and at the moment, I'm really into kilts and tartan, mixed with really simple, basic tops. Kind of like half cheerleader, half Nancy Downs from The Craft, which is one of my favorite movies. It's a cross between the two, and I always wear my Buffalo platforms. They're so easy to walk in. I promise they're like trainers! I have a few different pairs. I got these online and they were deadstock from the '90s. The original styles are hard to find.
WWW: You've toured internationally. Can you tell me some of your favorite stores and places to shop in different cities? Charli XCX: I love Patricia Field so much and always go there when I'm in New York. To be honest I haven't really shopped much in Los Angeles, but I really want to go to Opening Ceremony. Whenever I'm in London, I always go to Vivienne Westwood. Her clothes are amazing!
WWW: Is there a particular piece you've purchased on your travels that you love? Charli XCX: I bought a vintage Burberry kilt that was really cool. That was when I was in London for a day. It was a bargain as well. I was like, 'Wow! It's Burberry and vintage!' That was a good day.
WWW: Do you enjoy vintage shopping? Charli XCX: I do. This sounds like such a clichÃ©, but obviously you always get the original pieces and if you're doing good vintage shopping, you can always find something really special, which I like. There's nothing better than finding a good piece of vintage Chanel. But sometimes I just get really carried away and get loads of things.
WWW: What about online shopping? What are your favorite sites? Charli XCX: I love Nasty Gal; it's amazing. I also like Etsy, which is really hipster of me. I shop for platforms on there, and sometimes just type in types of people, like "cheerleader" and see what comes up.
WWW: Who are your style icons? Charli XCX: All my style icons are like film characters, such as Winona Ryder in Beetlejuice and Cher Horowitz in Clueless. I love all of the styling in Sofia Coppola's movies, in particular Lost in Translation.
WWW: Are there any spring or summer trends that you're looking forward to trying? Charli XCX: I'm never really good at keeping up with trends but I know that holographics are in right now, and I do like them. I have some cute holographic plimsolls [note: that's Brit speak for lace-up athletic shoes] that I like.
WWW: Do you have a favorite piece from the Levi's and Liberty of London collection? Charli XCX: Yes, this one I'm wearing [she was in the Levi's x Liberty Blue Denim Jacket With Removable Carlin Print Vest ($300)]. You can be like, 'Oh I'm just wearing denim' but inside there's this floral print. There's also a cutoff denim jacket--the Floral Carlin Print Denim Trucker Vest ($169)--that I really like as well!--Tiffany Tse