Florence Welch Named Gucci's Timepiece and Jewelry Brand Ambassador
The Grammy-nominated singer shared insights into her look at an L.A. event Friday: "I feel quite naked without jewelry."
Gucci and creative director Alessandro Michele showed their impeccable taste on Friday when they revealed Florence + the Machine singer Florence Welch as the new timepieces and jewelry brand ambassador for 2016. Of course, the announcement comes just days before the English superstar attends the Grammys with five nominations. The Italian label took over Downtown L.A. restaurant Redbird for the announcement and a chat between style guru Alexa Chung and Welch.
Both beauties were radiant in head-to-toe Gucci, naturally. It turns out that Michele listened to Welch’s album while designing his first collection. When they met "we hit it off straight away," says the singer. "He wanted to know the whole story behind the record." Appropriately, she’s equally fascinated by his "magical” creations, which include her Grammy dress for Monday night. Coincidentally the label and The Recording Academy have an exclusive partnership that includes a Gucci Timepieces & Jewelry Music Fund for students to attend Grammy Camp programs. Here, highlights from the ladies' chat.
On hers and Alessandro's shared influences:
“A lot of it comes from quite similar places, fascinated by the renaissance and Greek mythology coming in there. And it’s also like psychedelic granny influences, which is what I’ve been dressing for a long time. So I don’t know, when you listen to music it does create images in your head.”
On feeling naked without jewelry:
“When I first started touring I didn’t really it was so chaotic and everything you’re living in this splitter van there wasn’t really room for anything nice. As we were touring I started to pick up little bits of vintage jewelry here and there and it kind of became a memory of every place that I’ve been to. It’s become so a part of me… it becomes part of my hands and I feel quite naked without jewelry. If I step out and I’m not wearing rings I feel kind of weird. Sometimes I wish I was a more static performer so I could go out in really fragile, beautiful things but they’d get completely destroyed. Really precious stuff I kind of leave that in the dressing room.”
On dressing as creative expression:
“When I’m working really hard on a project or making an album I can’t get dressed. I just have to put on the most simple pair of pants or leggings because actually getting dressed is a form of creative expression and a form of using your imagination. I have to put a lot of thought into it and then I have to make a record, it’s like I have no other thoughts left. But getting dressed is such a pleasure for me. I really love clothes and thinking about it. It’s a real form of protection as well. Like a way to feel strong.”
On the magic of fashion:
“I think if I was kind of caught in a T-shirt I’d feel quite vulnerable. It feels like [fashion is] a little bit of my magic powers. And I think that’s something about Alessandro’s clothes as well — you feel they have a little extra magic in them you only become aware of when you see it in the flesh. Like the lining is so amazing.”
On going incognito:
“If I need to get from A to B without getting noticed I put on full sports gear. No one thinks that it’s me at all because they just cannot put those two things together. I’m running around London in a hoodie. It’s good to still be able to do that. I can hide if I need to.”
On merging her off- and onstage personas:
“A certain look evolves around each album. I really don’t know what it’s going to be when I start making it. As I’m making it this world evolves that I then become completely absorbed in and without fully realizing it it starts to dictate quite strongly like what I wear, how I hold myself onstage. Coming back to this record it felt like the two sides of me onstage and off I wanted there to be less divide, onstage I wanted to wear something I would just wear offstage, because I think there was such a feeling of doing something really raw with this record. I kind of wanted to be like, This is me.”
On asking audience members to remove a piece of clothing:
“I worried about people throwing things, like what if it’s a precious item! I talked to my stage manager, like can you make sure they get them all back? We’re so caught up in the moment, you see from all the way in the back people chucking… because it’s more symbolic really. I want to give someone a feeling that they are exorcising something and they’re part of something and taking something off is a kind of letting go. People do get quite caught up. I’ve had people who remove their top and bra! Like, do you want anything back!? And they’re like, ‘No!’ So free, but I love it.”
On being timely:
“I saw a vintage watch like this and thought about it for years. When they showed me this it was quite serendipitous. It’s quite masculine. But I like the bee symbolism. I really hate being late, actually. It makes me feel really anxious. I know it’s more rock ’n’ roll, perhaps, to be much later, and I should use this watch to make sure I’m late. This is set to rock time so I’m always three hours late. But I’m quite responsible for a rockstar.”
On her Grammys gown:
“I am wearing something that’s so magical. Alessandro manages to make things that are so pretty without ever being too sweet. So it’s just the most beautiful, romantic thing but there’s always some kind of edge to it. You don’t know if he’s done that psychically with his mind. His attention to detail as well, you really feel like everything he’s making is a precious object to him and it comes from a very imaginative place. And you can imagine that every piece of clothing has about five intertwining stories to it. I just want to sit down and talk to him about why did you put this here, and what does it mean, and what characters were you thinking about when you made these items of clothing? I feel very honored to be wearing it.”