How do we love singer Zella Day? Let us count the ways. For starters, the 21-year-old Arizona native is responsible for some of the best songs on our summer playlist, thanks to tracks like “Hypnotic” and “1965” off her album Kicker, not to mention her cool Western-meets-bohemian look to match. We saw the latter in full force at the Cleobella party, where we caught up with the Coachella artist before her Saturday evening set. Outfitted in a Jane Birkin–inspired crochet dress and vintage round frames, the beauty epitomized festival chic. Want to know more? We chatted with the rising star about everything from her weekend essentials to the surprising shoes she can’t stop wearing, so keep reading for our exclusive interview.
WHO WHAT WEAR: Describe your sound in three words.
ZELLA DAY: Psychedelic, organic, and rock.
WWW: How would you describe your stage style?
ZD: My aesthetic definitely mirrors my sound. I see it as being effortless but elevated at the same time. I bring in a lot of things I’m inspired by, like where I’m from. I’m from Arizona, so you have a lot of Western influence. I also grew up around a lot of very beautiful, ’70s, natural, salt-of-the-earth women, so I am inspired by the bohemian essence. And also a little rock star sprinkled in there.
WWW: This is your first Coachella! Let’s talk about your festival essentials.
ZD: I brought a whole rack of clothes. I have a stylist who is my best friend, and we work on these events together, so everything is very strategic. We started preparing a couple months in advance because of connections with designers and vintage warehouses. So just a couple of days ago, we were looking at a rack of clothes that is going to suffice for both weekends. It kind of works so that each piece is very particular and carefully chosen that you can mix and match anything you want and you’re going to come out with a great outfit.
WWW: You mentioned lots of vintage. Where do you like to shop?
ZD: The Fairfax flea market, that’s probably one of my favorites. I love Squaresville and Painted Bird by my house. Also, the Rose Bowl—can never miss that one. My sunglasses from Mitchells here in Palm Springs. The store is a treasure and very well curated.
WWW: What would you say if your hero piece for the weekend?
ZD: These YSL shoes ($895) I’m wearing, probably. They are so comfortable; they feel like sneakers. They just set off every outfit. I knew that when everything started picking up for me and I was going to lots of events, parties, and shoes, I knew I needed to get a pair of designer shoes. I went with these, and they look good with everything.
WWW: Who are your style icons?
ZD: Mick Jagger. Stevie Nicks. Bianca Jagger, as well. And Jane Birkin. Funny enough, this dress [I’m wearing] is the Birkin dress. There is a photo of her that I have had saved for a very long time, and it’s amazing. It’s so French, and she’s actually carrying a basket too. I just like the crochet with the little belly button. I’ve been wanting to make this dress for so long, and I know all of my girlfriends have wanted this dress for so long, so I got the chance to do it.
WWW: What do you think is key to pulling off a crochet dress?
ZD: I’ve never been one to pair sheer items with harsh black lines. I tend to stray away from the black bootie shorts and the black bandeau because to me it’s too trendy. I tend to do more of a bloomer or pasties. I would rather just the outfit to be beautiful on its own; I don’t want to distract with wearing accessories underneath that your eyes are drawn to. I guess if you had like a sheer caftan, the answer would be a vintage slip—it makes all the difference.
WWW: We’re here at the Cleobella party. Is there a piece from the current collection that you’re obsessing over right now?
ZD: I love Cleobella. I am very much involved in the family of Cleobella. There are so many beautiful women that work there, and so I’m around all the time looking at their pieces. Right now, the pieces I’m obsessing over are the pieces I’ve created with them. I have these pieces that we’ve made together in my house that I’m wearing every day. My sister is wearing a bag I designed, so that’s what I’m obsessed with right now.
WWW: I notice you wear a lot of cool hats. Is there a brand and style you are obsessed with right now?
ZD: Authenticity is important when it comes to hats, because as we all know, hats really blew up in the past couple of years, because everybody is wearing the big black brim hat. I, being from Arizona, was around a lot of cowboys and cowboy hats. I myself can’t really pull off a cowboy hat, but I do versions of it, so I have this one I got from New Mexico that was handmade. On tour I found this hat shop, and while everyone was eating, I went to the shop and picked up this handwoven hat, and it’s kind of like an equestrian riding hat. It’s beautiful and chic enough where it works in the city. I also have a vintage Stetson that my boyfriend and I share. It’s black, like that perfect Topo hat. And also Gladys and Tamez—they are an amazing hat brand out of L.A. I’ve worn their hats in videos and photo shoots. They always have this beautiful feminine curve that covers your eyes.
WWW: Finally, who are you excited to see this weekend?
ZD: I’m excited to see LCD Soundsystem, Guns N’ Roses. I am excited to see Børns. I’m excited to see The Arcs and Grimes. And Sia, as well. It’s an amazing lineup this year.
What are your favorite festival looks this season? Tell us below!